March 16, 2012
German court orders museum to return poster collection to Jewish heir
Germany’s top appeals court ruled Friday that Deutsches Historisches Museum must return a collection of more than 4,000 posters to the son of Hans Sachs, a Jewish dentist who fled Nazi Germany.
The son, Peter Sachs, is a retired airline pilot from Sarasota, Fla.
Gestapo officials seized the posters from the senior Sachs in 1938, saying that Joseph Goebbels wanted them for a new museum.
The government-run Berlin museum has estimated that the posters are worth $5.9 million, according to Bloomberg News. The court issued a statement saying that “the owner of art lost due to Nazi injustices must be able to demand it back from the person who possesses it now, in a case where the work was missing after the war, and therefore couldn’t be returned according to Allied restitution laws.”
“I can’t describe what this means to me on a personal level,” Sachs reportedly said in a statement distributed by his attorney. “It feels like vindication for my father, a final recognition of the life he lost and never got back.”