The Surprising Rediscovery of a Prewar Jewish Artist’s Collected Works

Born in Prague in 1883 to a German-speaking Jewish family, Gertrud Kauders was a talented painter and a graduate of that city’s Academy of Fine Arts. Although most of her family had left Czechoslovakia by the time Hitler seized the country in 1939, Kauders remained. She died in the Majdanek death camp, most likely in 1942. But a trove of her works were recently discovered, as Amos Chapple and Dana Vaskova write.

Fearful that the occupying Nazi forces in Prague could confiscate a lifetime’s worth of artwork, . . . Kauders decided in 1939 to hide her vast array of paintings and drawings. Nearly 80 years later, in the summer of 2018, Michal Ulvr was leading a demolition team tearing down a decrepit house south of Prague when “about 30 paintings tumbled out and fell onto my head.”

As the day wore on, the crew turned up more stashes of strikingly beautiful artwork as they dismantled the house—some were under floorboards, others behind walls. By the end of the day some 700 paintings and sketches lay out in the open on the worksite as summer rain clouds gathered over Prague.

When Jakub Sedlacek, the owner of the house, was alerted to the strange discovery, he realized immediately what had been uncovered. Sedlacek had been raised on stories of exquisite art hidden inside the family home he recently inherited. A close inspection of the canvases confirmed the family legend was real—many of the paintings were signed “Gertrud Kauders.”

Photos of some of Kauders’s works can be viewed at the link below.

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Read more at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

More about: Art, Czechoslovakia, Holocaust

The New Iran Deal Will Reward Terrorism, Help Russia, and Get Nothing in Return

After many months of negotiations, Washington and Tehran—thanks to Russian mediation—appear close to renewing the 2015 agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. Richard Goldberg comments:

Under a new deal, Iran would receive $275 billion of sanctions relief in the first year and $1 trillion by 2030. [Moreover], Tehran would face no changes in the old deal’s sunset clauses—that is, expiration dates on key restrictions—and would be allowed to keep its newly deployed arsenal of advanced uranium centrifuges in storage, guaranteeing the regime the ability to cross the nuclear threshold at any time of its choosing. . . . And worst of all, Iran would win all these concessions while actively plotting to assassinate former U.S. officials like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and [his] adviser Brian Hook, and trying to kidnap and kill the Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on U.S. soil.

Moscow, meanwhile, would receive billions of dollars to construct additional nuclear power plants in Iran, and potentially more for storage of nuclear material. . . . Following a visit by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to Tehran last month, Iran reportedly started transferring armed drones for Russian use against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Putin launched an Iranian satellite into orbit reportedly on the condition that Moscow can task it to support Russian operations in Ukraine.

With American and European sanctions on Russia escalating, particularly with respect to Russian energy sales, Putin may finally see net value in the U.S. lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial and commercial sectors. While the return of Iranian crude to the global market could lead to a modest reduction in oil prices, thereby reducing Putin’s revenue, Russia may be able to head off U.S. secondary sanctions by routing key transactions through Tehran. After all, what would the Biden administration do if Iran allowed Russia to use its major banks and companies to bypass Western sanctions?

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy