Joe Liebman

The Neuilly mansion is sold

Biney reports sale of Neuilly mansion

On May 12, 1943, Clerc provisional administrator Armand Biney reports to the Directorate of Aryanization at the CGQJ (headed by Boué) that a sale has been concluded for the property in Neuilly-sur-Seine, pending authorization and approval. Here is my imperfect translation:

Sir, As the provisional adminstrator of the Société Anonyme C. CLERC & BOIURGUIGNON, jewelry, 4 place de l'Opera, functions which I have been appointed by ministerial decree of May 6, 1941 published in the Official Gazette of May 19, 1941, page 2112. 

In conformity with the mandate I was given to pursue the sale of the business covered by said Society, according xx received by Barillot and Ms. M. Prudhomme, notaries at Paris, dated October 30, 1941, said rendering definitive December 29, 1942 deed said Notaries additional passes. 

The notice of approval of November 13, 1942 given by the Commissioner of Jewish Affairs, Section 8, file 264 was supplemented by an order to liquidate and dissolve the assets of Societe Anonyme, C. Clerc & Bourguignon and proceed with the sale of the mansion belonging to the company. 

The sale of this Hotel located 31 boulevard de la Saussaye sur Seine Neuilly has occurred following the minutes of the auction [?] Estate section, 1, rue de la Banque, in favor of Mr. Bellonat in Paris dated 12 February 1943 for the price of 1,301,900 francs. This sale is under execution for authorization and approval. 

In execution of the order that I was given in accordance with legal provisions on the Societies and ... [page 2 of document not available]

A couple of points: In a prior post, I said the sale happened simultaneously with the rental of the property to Mme. Kleinknecht. That was wrong, as this letter is written a year later and reports the sale is concluded in February 1943.

The buyer is M. Bellonat of Paris and the price is 1.3 million francs. With the surplus of Jewish real estate on the market needing French buyers, that price would be well under the prewar value of the property. I tried to find something on M. Bellonat without success.

The letter is useful in establishing this chronology of events.

• May 6, 1941 Biney appointed PA
• October 30, 1941 Sale of Clerc business announced pending approval
• November 13, 1942 Approval of sale by CGQJ
• November 13, 1942 Supplemental order to proceed with sale of the mansion 
• December 29, 1942 Sale of Clerc business is finalized and announced
• 12 February 1943 Real estate auction, sale pending approval

Biney's mission to Perpignan

Biney requests permission to track Liebman assets in the free zone

Here we see mounting frustration from Clerc provisional administrator Biney as in July 1941 he seeks permission to travel to the free French zone to track down assets that Joseph Liebman has evidently left on deposit in a bank in Perpignan. Getting permits to pass between the occupied and free zones was not an easy matter, even though Biney writes that he sees people passing through zones "on the flimsiest grounds." This is Biney's second request to the authorities at the CGQJ to facilitate his request. 
The letter is also important because it is our first introduction to M. Vincent, who Biney describes as "the director of the house" who has given "statements" about the deposits of 2.2 million francs in Perpignan. Biney proposes that Vincent will join him on the mission to recover these assets. 
We hope to learn much more about M. Vincent's role in the story, we believe as some form of "straw man" for Joe Liebman, representing his interests at home while Joe was forced to flee the country. Here is my translation attempt:

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of June 19 and if taken good note of your recommendations. 

As I explained in my report on the case CLERC & Bourguignon, 4, place de l'Opera, the Jew LIEBMAN won in June 1940 a large batch of jewelry which he kept some in his flight to America . 

But, after the statements of Mr. Vincent, Director of the house, he remained another important part to rise to 2.2 million francs in a box at Discount Bank of Perpignan. 

It is essential to recover that part of the asset and I asked last May 13 at the Prefecture of the Seine, a pass for me and Mr. Vincent, to go to PERPIGNAN to seek to repatriate the mechandise. 

Probably due to the lack of attention given, I was sent the attached printed form by mistake. 

Yet I see every day people go in zone free on the flimsiest grounds. 

I have therefore ask you, Mr. Director, kindly support our request by the Prefecture of the Seine which was the complete file May 13, noting the importance of (TWO MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND FRANCS) and emergency this mission ...

Liebman-Clerc story published on Treelines

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