Jewish offspring welcome reports encouraging the return of looted art

Bildmit Häusern in Kandinsky: Owned by the Amsterdam or Lewenstein family?

Jewish heirs who lost their art collections while fleeing the Nazis welcomed reviews that the Dutch needed to show more “humanity and goodwill” in the return of looted art. ..

Yesterday, the Cultural Council released a long-awaited report on the Dutch return policy. This has been criticized in recent years for some notable decisions not to return art.

The review “Striving for Justice” acknowledged that while some serious criticisms of the Dutch Return Commission seemed valid, the work met “general approval”. The Netherlands’ reputation as a role model for other nations was “damaged by a limited number of demands rejected in recent years,” but the government actively studied looted art and handed it to heirs. I have an obligation to reach out. It should not “balance the interests” of a contemporary museum where art is over.

Heirs struggling to return works of art once owned by families and people in the Jewish community welcomed with a report and pledge by Minister of Culture Ingrid van Engelshoven to “work for justice.” He said.

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Rob Lowenstein and his family’s request for the return of the € 20 million Wassily Kandinsky work “Painting with Houses” from the Stedelijk Museum is one of the recent controversies. The request was rejected by the Return Commission, partly because it “heaviered” the interests of its current owner, the city of Amsterdam, than their interests. Next week, the family is hoping for the outcome of a civil lawsuit seeking the return of the painting.

Lewenstein, an American whose Dutch grandparents were the first owners of the painting, told that the review, chaired by former liberal politician Jacob Kohnstamm, was very encouraging.

“It has to be positive in our case, and for everyone else trying to bring the artwork back home,” he said. “They didn’t really care, as things were going on: they wanted to maintain value [of the works] However, I think that all these processing methods will change in the future.

“My family had an extensive collection of art. Art has great implications for us. When something is stolen, it’s like slap your face. Especially in the Nazi regime, things When robbed of you, you feel very violated.

In the proceedings, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam auctioned in 1940 when his family stated that Dutch guidelines should treat the sale of all works of art as compulsory “unless there is clear evidence of opposition”. Insisted that he bought the painting dishonestly. The Stedelijk Museum and the city of Amsterdam compete strongly.


I believe there is conclusive evidence that her ancestor Johanna Margarete Stern Lippemann now owned the Kandinsky painting “View of Murnau” at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. Hester Bergen was also “happy” with the review.

“The Kohnstamm Commission really worked on everything we experienced in the last three years, across bureaucracy and procedures,” she said. “I am very happy because it was a solid report.

“Our biggest criticism of the Return Commission is the bureaucratic and non-sympathetic environment. Every time they try to find some. [reason] In order not to return, we are dispatched between ministers, committees, expert centers and no one is responsible. I hope this will finally change.


“According to what’s new in this report, I’m going to get Kandinsky back: I can prove that it was the will of my great-grandmother, [the title] Written on the back of the painting, it can prove that she owned it in 1942 and that she hid and went to Auschwitz.

She added that the monetary value of the painting was not her motive. “I don’t think this discussion should be about money,” she said. “The reason they slow things down is because it’s about money. [for them], But it shouldn’t. It’s about justice. My great-grandmother was murdered, my grandparents were murdered, and all their property was robbed.

“While examining this painting, I found a lot of information about my grandparents, so I never met them, but the whole family started living again. For me, it’s a lot to regain this history. I am very happy to be able to achieve this justice for my family. “


The report also revealed that there are approximately 3,750 objects in the “NK” national collection that the Allies found in Nazi property and returned to the Netherlands. The government has stated that it will need to invest € 3 million in a four-year project to continue a systematic investigation of ownership, but the review committee will put the work and relics in a special collection. I also considered.

Dr. Emile Schreiber, general director of the Jewish Historical Museum and Jewish Cultural District in Amsterdam, told that an exhibition at the National Holocaust Museum, which will open in 2022, may be an option. ‘I am a member of culture. It’s a committee, part of the debate, and there is a strong desire from within the Jewish community to resolve this ownership issue, “he said.

“We were able to play an active role as guardian of the collection. We could imagine an arrangement to handle these items, but someone said,” This is my grandfather’s painting. Until I said, “It was.” Then you need to put it back.

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Jewish offspring welcome reports encouraging the return of looted art

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