I’ve written a number of stories about Holocaust survivors or their families trying to reclaim valuables stolen from them during World War II, but this case is unusual because it reverses the claims: a Berlin museum seeking to reclaim an ancient artifact that ended up in the hands of a survivor of Auschwitz. A Brooklyn appellate court ruled this week that the family should return the item, but they will appeal this to the state’s Court of Appeals. The museum’s lawyer, who has frequently represented Holocaust families seeking the return of art stolen from them during the war makes the point that stolen goods, no matter their origins, should be returned to the owner. What do you think?
You can read the whole story in the Times:
“It is not clear how the survivor, Riven Flamenbaum, came into possession of the tablet after his liberation from Auschwitz in 1945, when he was sent to a displaced persons camp in southeastern Germany.
But when Mr. Flamenbaum immigrated to the United States four years later, he arrived in New York with a wife he had met at the camp and the inscribed gold tablet, which is about the size of a passport photo.
Only after Mr. Flamenbaum’s death in 2003 did his children discover that the thin golden square had been stolen from the museum.”