Two Geography students took a journey to discover the legacy of Larry Cerf of Edina, who in 1992 learned intriguing details about his grandfather’s European family after the death of an aunt in Geneva, Switzerland. Larry Cerf of Edina’s German properties had still been confiscated by the Nazis. Turns out, the family had owned castles, huge swaths of farmland and forests, Impressionist art and multiple businesses.
After World War II ended, property in West Germany was returned to its rightful owners. Cerf’s aunt had begun the process of reclaiming the estate before she died, when the work fell to Cerf.
The students created multiple GIS maps for Cerf with area calculations and overlays of the deeds on satellite imagery to help him recover his lost fortune. The maps will help Cerf to be more organized in recovering his property.
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Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC