A Painting Looted by the Nazis Returns to Its Rightful Inheritors

April 5 2019

On Monday evening, the 1639 painting A Scholar Sharpening His Quill, by the Dutch master Salomon Koninck, will be returned to the family of Adolphe Schloss at the French consulate in New York. Fang Block tells its story:

Schloss assembled one of the most significant private collections of Dutch and Flemish paintings, which he passed on to his wife and children upon his death in 1910. The collection’s prominence and the Schloss family’s Jewish heritage made it a target for confiscation by the Nazis. A Scholar Sharpening His Quill was taken in 1943 from a chateau in France, where the Schloss family kept some of their artworks. . . .

After being taken from the Schloss family in 1943, the painting was earmarked for Adolf Hitler’s museum at Linz, but it never arrived there. . . . It was held in the Führerbau building in Munich, and in the days between the fall of the Third Reich and the arrival of Allied troops, the contents of the building were looted by German civilians. A Scholar Sharpening His Quill was among the many artworks that disappeared.

In 2017, Christie’s [auction house] was consigned to sell the painting from a private collector in Chile. After it was shipped to Christie’s New York, specialists . . . launched their standard due-diligence process for works of this time period [and] confirmed that the consigned painting was a match to one missing from the Schloss family collection for the last 75 years, halted the presale process, and notified both the consignor and the Schloss family. . . .

The Nazis looted approximately 600,000 paintings from Jews, at least 100,000 of which are still missing.

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More about: Adolf Hitler, Art, Holocaust, Holocaust restitution

The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media