Final tally? Only 14 of 1500 “looted” artworks discovered and returned

Published by carolyn on Fri, 2020-05-29 16:17

"Two Riders on a Beach" by Jewish-German "impressionist" Max Liebermann is considered a "masterpiece" that brought his great nephew $1.9 million at auction at Southeby's, New York, after winning it because it was a treasured family heirloom. This is one of two of the same subject, and is the preliminary painting or sketch for the final, more finished product. In my opinion it's pretty average, even boring, with the one horse's backside awkwardly rendered.

By Carolyn Yeager

REMEMBER THE DISCOVERY OF THE GURLITT COLLECTION? Fifteen hundred artworks found in the possession of Cornelius Gurlitt in 2012 in Munich, that were acclaimed with a lot of hulabaloo and world press attention as “Nazi-looted art”? Well, a special commission was set up to investigate, with the aim of returning the “stolen artworks” to their rightful (Jewish) owners. In 2016, the newly created German Lost Art Foundation (Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste) in Magdeburg took over the research, which has now ended.

The finding (disappointing to some) is that only 14 works have been officially identified as 'looted art,' 13 of which were able to be returned to the heirs of their former owners. Fourteen out of 1500! So much for nazi looting. It must be remembered that artworks believed to have been purchased under duress from Jews are considered 'looted.'

Cornelius Gurlitt, who died in 2014, was the son of art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt. It's said that the elder man was one of those dealers/experts engaged in seeking for and acquiring artworks for Adolf Hitler's planned museum in Linz. An odd twist of the story that was billed to the public as a 'Nazi-looted art' discovery is that so much of Gurlitt's collection was comprised of paintings and drawings by artists--for example Camille Pissarro, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso--considered degenerate by Hitler and National Socialism. Not paintings he would have wanted. Clearly, most of Gurlitt's art was not intended for Nazis, and, as could have been predicted, was not looted, but purchased honestly.

Among the 14 that were returned to the previous owner's heirs were works by Max Liebermann (above), Henri Matisse, Thomas Couture and Adolph von Menzel.


Then the real question is: who has these famous pieces of art?  A good guess would be many people that have not one thing to do with Hitler or the Nazis.

The so-called Gurlitt collection now belongs to an art museum in Bern, Switzerland. Cornelius Gurlitt's wife/widow bequethed it to them.

The bulk of this art never had anything to do with the 'Nazis'. It's another Jewish hoax to fan the flames of the Big Lie that all Hitler's art was stolen, not purchased, and there was such a thing as Nazi looting. It's as usual the opposite - Jewish looting via sometimes "legal" schemes.

Friend James Sanchez sent the following email in response to this article:

I don't know if I ever told you my Huntington Library story. You may know it is stuffed with Geman medieval manuscripts. The question has always been, where did they come from? 

My bibliography professor in Library school submitted an FOIA request and got a 5000 page (or so) answer: everything, evey line, every page number, everything was blacked out.

For those of you who are unsure of the meaning of this - it was 'stolen art' by the USA, most probably after the war in 1945.

I get tired of the 'Nazi art' foisted on us over and over.  A major example was Gustav Klimt's Adele Bloch Bauer, one of his excellent portraits. She was Jewish, and in her will, she asked the painting be given to the Austrian museums. She died before the Anschluss, and the Nazis insisted her husband give up the painting and others by Klimt, which he did. The Nazis didn't quite know what to do with Klimt's works, but Austria put it in their museum, retitling it 'The Lady in Gold' (Klimt made gold mosaic much of the background, as he was trained in this by his father). The remains of the Bloch-Bauer family kept suing the Austrian government, and finally, some years ago, one of the daughters used a New York (!!) court to award them the painting. She immediately sold it to Lauder (of Estee Lauder- a Jew),
for hundreds of millions of dollars, and other Klimts were likewise taken out of the Austrian collection...into private collector's hands, where they will never be seen again. The Austrians were furious and depressed. When this came up, it was all about 'the poor, suffering Jews and their work stolen', but soon as the daughter got the paintings, she sold them for a bundle. Typical of's just money and revenge.  There was a movie made about this, showing the daughter as this kindly, wisecracking old Yente, who never did anyone any harm...yuck.
Again, Adele Bloch-Bauer WANTED those paintings to stay in the Austrian museums. I get so tired of this Jewish pretension to just wanting justice, when they really want money. The 1990's were a field day for this, when they went sniffing for it anywhere. Remember the Swiss bank accounts they looted?

Yes, it's a total scam. The Klimt story is the same as the one above, only worth a lot more money. With "Two Riders on a Beach," the great nephew of the artist vied for years with other relatives to be the one awarded the painting, talking always about how much it meant to the family. He was 90 years old and legally blind when he won it. He then said since he couldn't enjoy it because of his poor eyesight, he would sell it, and got almost $2 million for it. Crazy? He can't take it with him, either the painting or the money, but greed does things like that to a person.

On the bright side for me -- I don't like Klimts or this Liebermann painting. They're both way overrated and overpriced. Klimt is more like a decorative artist to me.

I like Klimt's works, but I will agree with his being a decorative artist. Much of the Viennese culture at the end...Klimt, Schoenberg, Schnitzler, Mahler, etc., seems kind of stale to me. Of course, compared to what came after, they look like the Renaissance.
But I remember very well the end of the Cold War. It seemed soon as it ended, the Jews came out of the woodwork wanting reparations from everyone...even the damned Swedes, who defended them. It's like a lock was smashed open, and they all came flying out of a cage with lawsuits.
There was one good story, though, about art. A precious, jeweled sculpture of an eagle belonging to Charlemagne's court was missing, and in the early 1990's, it was found a GI from Texas stole it while he was in the occupation army and kept it, and his ex-wife or someone ratted on him. The German government demanded it back, and 'negotiations' were suggested by that lousy GI's attorney, but the eagle was returned where it belonged. So some time, the good guys win.