web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Germany: Greatest Double Robbery in the History of Art?

"I find it shocking they won't list everything they've found." — Lawrence Kaye, Art Lawyer, New York.
Italien, Überführung von Kunstschätzen

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Others warn that legal ambiguity surrounding German property laws could make it difficult for heirs to the original owners to reclaim seized or looted works anytime soon. Even in the case of looted art, German law stipulates that the burden of proof is on the individual who files the claim to provide evidence that the artworks were acquired under duress.

According to an opinion essay published by the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Cornelius Gurlitt may be entitled to keep much of the artwork, regardless of how it came into his possession:

Adolf Hitler’s law on the confiscation of so-called degenerate art was the sovereign act of a sovereign state, hence all works that Hildebrand Gurlitt acquired as ‘degenerate’ are considered to be legally valid purchases. Therefore, Cornelius is not obliged to return at least 300 of the 1,500 artworks if he does not want to. Furthermore, the ‘Washington Declaration’ of 1998, in which over 40 countries committed themselves to search for Nazi-confiscated art in museums and archives and to negotiate fair solutions with the heirs, does not obligate Cornelius Gurlitt to do anything because the Washington Declaration does not involve privately owned artworks. We will have to wait and see what pressure German justice decides to use against him.

Germany is now facing pressure to amend its laws to make it easier to restore stolen art. For example, the U.S. government reportedly plans to press Germany to change its 30-year statute of limitations for filing claims in cases where the artwork is found to have been held by a private individual.

Pressure is also building from within Germany itself. In a front-page commentary published on November 5, the German newspaper Die Welt called on the German parliament to revoke the statute of limitations involving looted art and to declare that all sales contracts involving such works, even after 1945, to be null and void. “The greatest robbery in the history of art would, as far as possible, be completely reversed. It would be an overdue return to justice,” the commentary said.

The Nazis confiscated about 16,000 pieces of art during World War II, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. An estimated 10,000 pieces are still missing and many families around the world are still searching, but maybe not for much longer.

Art experts expect much more Nazi-confiscated art to surface over the coming years. “This is not the end of it,” according to Robert Edsel, author of the book The Monuments Men, an account of the taskforce assigned to rescue European cultural artifacts during World War II. (Edsel’s book has been made into a film by George Clooney, to be released in February 2014.)

“As the World War II generation passes over the next five years, we’re going to see more of this stuff coming out: paintings on walls, in attics from World War II veterans of all sides. We’re going to find more of these. I don’t know necessarily of this sort of scale, but we’re going to see more of it,” according to Edsel.

About the Author: The writer is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Germany: Greatest Double Robbery in the History of Art?”

  1. In this last two years how artworks were stolen?, from the bavarian authorities.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest Indepth Stories
Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

ISIS terrorist carries the group's black flag.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Cliff Rieders

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Mr. Obama himself inelegantly cautioned members of the Senate to be careful not to “screw up” the negotiations by seeking to have input into the future of the sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Understanding the process described in Dayenu reveals deep relevance for us today.

For Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the tanks, planes, and uniforms of the IDF were implements of mitzvot

The only way to become humble is honesty about our experiences; it’s the only path to true humility

Obama’s approach to evildoers echoes Gandhi’s fatuous and muddleheaded pleas to his “friend” Hitler

More Articles from Soeren Kern
One of the schools found to be indoctrinating students with radical Islam in Birmingham, England.

Inspectors: pupils in some English schools are systematically exposed to radical Islamic propaganda.

Muslim young woman wearing hijab in Paris.

In Paris, the Union of Islamic Organizations congress was turned into a platform for Muslim anti-Semitism.

Instead of integration, “parallel societies are forming that continuously distance themselves from each other.”

Adebolajo said there was an ongoing “war between Muslims and the British people” and he was a “soldier of Allah.”

” All this new law does is create a raft of civil servants being paid to move mountains of papers round all day.”

“I find it shocking they won’t list everything they’ve found.” — Lawrence Kaye, Art Lawyer, New York.

“I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.” — David Cameron, Prime Minister, Great Britain.

In a separate but related matter, the Al-Madinah School is being investigated by the government over alleged financial irregularities.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/germany-greatest-double-robbery-in-the-history-of-art/2013/11/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: