Since my childhood I have been living with porcelain about which my mother always said, "This belonged to Jews." After our apartment was destroyed in December 1941, my mother was able to select furnishings that had been confiscated from Jewish families. The porcelain is now valuable to me as a memento and as an admonition, but it was never paid for. If I could at least symbolically pay for it now, it would be easier for me to leave it to my heirs.
The idea of giving something back moved me greatly. I think it is exactly the right thing to do. My mother was a young woman in Berlin when the war began. I don't know anything about any concrete benefits or advantages, but I thing that in this case that's irrelevant, because we, the following generations of non-Jewish Germans, have a responsibility. It is in this sense that I would like to give something back.
My parents and grandparents did not profit directly from the plundering of Jewish people, but they owed their middle-class prosperity also to the Nazi regime as independent shopkeepers. My father was exempted from military service because he owned a grocery store. He also worked for the town, there he was responsible for the municipal food supply. There was no longer any Jewish competition. And my grandfather? When he heard that my father was sitting next to a Jewish boy in class, he asked the teacher to change his son's seat. That was during the Kaiser's time. With his overt anti-Semitism, my grandfather contributed to the climate that made the crimes against the Jews possible.