Gerard (Gerry) Arnoth Weiss ’34 was a skilled lawyer specializing in corporate law who investigated the war crimes of German chemical conglomerate IG Farben. He passed away on December 2, 2013, at the age of 100.
Weiss grew up in Irvington and North Tarrytown, N.Y. By 1934, he had graduated from both Columbia College and Columbia Law School. That same year, at the age of 21, Weiss became one of the youngest lawyers ever admitted to the New York State bar. He then began private practice in Westchester County, N.Y.
Beginning in 1945, Weiss spent two years in Berlin as chief of the Alien Property Custodian Mission in the Office of the Military Government of the U.S. The department administered the restitution of property belonging to America’s wartime enemies. As head of the investigation that uncovered the chemical cartel IG Farben’s involvement in war crimes, Weiss questioned Nazi war criminals such as architect Albert Speer, who had overseen the Third Reich’s production of weapons and war supplies, and IG Farben CEO Hermann Schmitz.
Following his return to the U.S., Weiss divided his time between government work in Washington, D.C., and his private practice in Tarrytown, N.Y.
Predeceased by Emily, his wife of 68 years, Weiss is survived by his daughters, Star, Emily, and Bonnie; his sons, John and Rod; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.