A BRIEF HISTORY
Initially, the property of Dr Adolph Schwarzenberg-Hluboká, was seized by the Gestapo in 1940 due to his pro-Czech attitude and continuous and outspoken resistance to the Nazi regime.
Already in 1937 Adolph Schwarzenberg-Hluboká had donated 1.000.000 crowns to President Benes for the fortification of the Czechoslovak boarder with Germany. His pro-Czech attitude and well-known resistance to the Nazis forced Dr Adolph Schwarzenberg and his wife Hilda to flee to the United States of America.
However his adoptive son and plenipotentiary Dr Heinrich Schwarzenberg, who had taken over the running of the estate, was incarcerated in various police prisons and the concentration camp Buchenwald.
Despite the fact that all of the assets of Dr Adolph Schwarzenberg within the reach of the German Reich had been seized, the family, throughout the war, continued to support the Czechoslovak Government in Exile of President Benes financially.
After the war, when Dr Adolph Schwarzenberg and Dr Heinrich Schwarzenberg wanted to return to Czechoslovakia, they were denied entry by the Czechoslova authorities for no reason and the family estate was placed under national administration, because of their absence enforced by the very same authorities.
Later in 1945 the Presidential decree No. 12 was used to confiscate the estate by the Czechoslovak state. However, seeing that, in light of the family’s exemplary conduct during the war period, it was not possible to keep the property under the Presidential Decree No. 12 (against Germans, Hungarians and collaborators) the Czechoslovak authorities passed the special law 143/1947, the so called “Lex Schwarzenberg”, which was solely aimed against Dr Adolph and his family. It expropriated their economical assets in the Republic.
It is noteworthy that this law is aimed only against one private citizen, whom it does not even accuse of any crime.
Already in 1947 numerous ministries saw that this law as being in breach of the Czechoslovak constitution of 1920 and the legal advisors of President Benes urged him not to sign this law, not least because they saw that it was so badly drafted that it would not be possible to enact it. Despite this the law was passed and signed by President Benes.
Since the collapse of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia Dr Adolph Schwarzenberg’s granddaughter, Elisabeth Pezold, nee Schwarzenberg, has sought the rehabilitation of her grandfather inter alia through the abolition of this law, which is not only in breach of the Czechoslovak constitution of 1920, but clearly also of the Czech constitution as well as the Charta of Human Rights. To this day Czech authorities have refused to let the Constitutional Court check the constitutionality of this law. Rather, in order to prolong the theft of the property by the Gestapo, the Czech Republic seems quite happy to break with its own constitution and violate human rights.
Therefore today the so called Lex Schwarzenberg remains in force discriminating against the heir of one unblemished Czechoslovak citizen. This makes it clearly in breach of the principle of the equality of all people before the law, as well as other fundamental Human Rights. Thus the continued existence of a law against a specific unblemished citizen remains unique throughout the civilised world.
The continued refusal by various Czech authorities to return the property of Adolf Schwarzenberg to his heir is the material aspect of the repeated renewal of this gross injustice and a renewed breach of Human Rights and the Czech Constitution on an on-going basis by the current Czech Government and unnecessarily prolongs Nazi injustice today.