Nazi Theft of Art and the HolocaustAuthor: Kathleen Chester
Every year Holocaust Memorial Day is marked on 27 January as an occasion for Jews to remind the world how their families were terrorized and butchered by the Nazis during the World War II. The brutality of the Nazis was not confined to the persecution of Jews but as a part of bigger conspiracy they also wanted to spoil the art of European countries.
They took possession of the artworks from prominent Jewish collectors and confiscated the galleries of the dealers. The common man too lost their art treasures while fleeing from home in a bid to save their life. Those who were left were sent to concentration camp by the Nazis. This went on from 1933 till the end of World War II. However most of the art works were recovered by the Allies right after they won the war by defeating Nazis of Germany but they are still unable to trace several priceless Jewish works of art.
Moreover while the war was still going on, several confiscated art works, by prominent artists were gladly taken by museums, no questions asked and others fell into dealers' hands and were sold around the world.
At present there are several authors and journalists who are trying to identify the missing Jewish art works with the sole aim of returning the priceless possessions to the families of their rightful owners. Thanks to persistent efforts of the authors who revealed the unscrupulous activities carried out by some of the museums and galleries in France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and Africa. These museums held works that had been seized from Jewish victims during the war by the Germans and never tried to find the rightful owners for thousands of unclaimed art works. And nowadays, families whose art collections were confiscated by the Nazis are regaining the priceless art that have been found hanging in museums all over the world. Auction houses too do not want to deal in art with unclear titles because their postwar sellers may have been thieves.
There are several books available in the market that provides comprehensive overviews of the Nazi theft of art and holocaust victims. A quick search online will display the name of the books, browse through the sites, read the reviews and choose the one that can truly engross you and capture your imagination completely.
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