A Royal Court hearing this week dealt with the matter of a property seized from an expelled Enemy Alien. The house in St Martin formerly belonged to Mrs Emma Ramm, a German national living clandestinely in Jersey at the start of the war. Since her forced repatriation in June 1916, the house has stood empty, a situation the local authorities believe is not appropriate.
The house, located on the heights overlooking Anne Port, had belonged to Mrs Ramm’s partner, a man named Williams, who had acquired the property for them both to live in. After his death, however, Mrs Ramm continued living in the house, claiming to be Williams’ widow. The situation unravelled after she failed to register as an Enemy Alien, which is a wartime compulsory rule in Jersey for all German nationals. It led to her arrest, trial, imprisonment and finally deportation from the Island to Germany.
Under these circumstances, the Court decided to seize Mrs Ramm’s property. It cited that first, she was not married to Mr Williams and therefore had no right of inheritance, and second, that as an Enemy Alien she had no property rights under Jersey law.
A/E/8/1 contains extensive correspondence on Mrs Ramm, including attempts to reclaim her property after the war.