Wandel-Hirschberg v Jacobsfeld-Yakurska

CourtSupreme Court (Israel)
Israel, Supreme Court sitting as the Court of Civil Appeals.

(Olshan C.J.; Susman and Landau JJ.)


Recognition of acts of foreign States and Governments Acts contrary to international law Whether entitled to recognition abroad Ultra vires measures of belligerent occupant Whether Soviet civil law of divorce introduced into occupied areas of Galicia entitled to recognition The law of Israel.

Warfare on land Occupation of enemy territory Legislative, judicial and administrative functions of Occupant Modification of domestic legal system of occupied territory Limits of Occupant's authority Article 43 of Hague Regulations of 1907 The Law of divorce Effect of Soviet occupation of Eastern Galicia The law of Israel.

Warfare on land Occupation of enemy territory Nature and effects of occupation Duration Whether Occupant can acquire sovereignty over occupied area pendente bello Soviet occupation of Eastern Galicia during Second World War.

The Facts.In 1947 the appellant was granted an order of succession to lands in Palestine as sole heir of one Hurwitz, who had died in Bialystok (Poland) in 1942. The order of succession had been based on the fact that the appellant was the husband of Hurwitz's daughter Jadwiga, who had died in 1946, and who was, according to the appellant, at the day of her death the sole heir of Hurwitz. In 1949 the respondent appeared and claimed revision of the succession order in favour of herself and one Silberstein, the respondent being the daughter of Hurwitz's brother and Silberstein the son of his sister. The grounds of that application were that the appellant had divorced his wife in 1939, so that he was no longer entitled to the succession, a contention which had been upheld in the District Court.

The appellant and Jadwiga were Jews of Polish nationality, domiciled in Warsaw. There was no issue of the marriage. On the outbreak of the war, and following the German invasion of Poland, they fled from Warsaw and reached Lwow in Eastern Galicia, which was occupied by Soviet Russian forces. In November 1939, the couple went before a Rabbi in order to arrange their divorce according to Jewish law, and shortly afterwards Jadwiga applied to the Civil Registration Office, which had been established in Lwow by the Russian authorities in accordance with Soviet Law, and made various entries there. Thereafter their ways parted. The appellant joined the Polish Army and in. 1945 found himself with that Army...

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