Hitler, Semi Rosenberg, Officer discussed on PBS NewsHour


Has become small 4.5 years after the U. K voted to leave Europe Still don't know what's coming. Next time is running out for the PBS news hour. I'm Ryan Chilcote in London. When Supreme Court justices decide cases they often rely on a document from the 18th century. U S constitution is John Yang reports Today they heard a case about a collection of art dating back to the 11th century. The report is part of our ongoing arts and culture Syriza canvas. For a musician Jed Lieber. It's a family story that centers around a game of strategy for me. The men of four from my grandfather's story and mine. His chest as a young boy. He learned the game from his German born Jewish grandfather, art dealer Semi Rosenberg. The lesson was always play to win. To play fair and to think three moves ahead. Rosenberg, who died in 1971 was a decorated World war. One German army officer. The journey, I was told, began with my grandfather playing chess against an officer who eventually became Member of the Nazi party. The officer one day told my grandfather to take a vacation. And my grandfather knew exactly what that meant. And he left his home and his gallery in his art and he took my mother and grandmother and fled to Holland. Rosenberg and two other Jewish art dealers own the wealth treasure 82 pieces of medieval religious art that date back to the 11th century in 1935 42 of the pieces were sold two agents of Herman Gehring, Hitler's second in command. After inflation today the transaction would be worth about $20 million. The dealers. Descendants say the sale was coerced. Goering was building you know, a palace museum. For a Hitler. To impress him. And all of the art dealers and all of the businessman that were Jewish at the time, were traumatized and were persecuted, and it's just inconceivable that any fair transaction Could have transpired during this period of time. Today. Those pieces are on exhibit in a Berlin museum. They're estimated current value at least a quarter of a billion dollars more than 12 times the value of the sale. Each artwork, which was produced before 1945. And came into a museum collection after 1933 is suspicious. Dr Herman par Zinger is president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. We have so many effects to prove it was not a forced sale because the artworks were not even in Germany. They have been located in Amsterdam when the DDT negotiations started. And to purchase price was fair and appropriate. This was a rumor that it was given as a birthday gift from going to Hitler over the last two decades. The foundation is investigated more than 50 claims of four sales in the Nazi era. Effects till most of the cases a clear story that the cases have been looted in the Nazi period. But in this case is the wealth treasure. It did effect tell clearly a different story that this case is no marriage. Today. The case was before the U. S. Supreme Court. Question. Who's courts should settle the dispute America's or Germany's the dealers descendants argue U. S law gives US court's jurisdiction Their attorney, Nicholas O'Donnell, Nazi government set out explicitly to destroy the German Jewish people by taking their property and Congress has specifically identified the Nazis, looting of art from the Jewish people as genocidal. But the U. S government says American court should defer to German authorities chief just just John Roberts pressed Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler on that point. That's the main policy. A ZAY gather of the United States is simply tomkat courage, other countries to provide mechanisms for compensation and if that fails Then that's just too bad..

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