A Painting Looted by the Nazis Returns to Its Rightful Inheritors

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.

Read more at Barron’s

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

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus