BERLIN (JTA) — A federal German cultural organization has returned a 16th-century sculpture to the heirs of its pre-war Jewish owner who faced Nazi persecution.
The Berlin-based Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, or SPK (for Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz), announced today that the “Maria Lactans” statuette depicting Mary nursing an infant Jesus would be given back to the family of German Jewish banker and entrepreneur Jakob Goldschmidt, who fled Nazi Germany soon after Hitler came to power.
Even in exile, Goldschmidt was persecuted by the Nazis, who confiscated his citizenship and the property he had left behind, the foundation noted.
“There is no doubt that Jakob Goldschmidt was a victim of individual persecution at the very beginning of the Nazi era,” SPK President Hermann Parzinger said in announcing the restitution on Tuesday.
According to the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, an agreement on Holocaust era assets negotiated between Germany and the United States in 1998, works of art must be returned to their rightful owners or heirs upon proof that they were confiscated by the Nazis or sold under duress.
Speaking for the heirs, Berlin-based attorney Sabine Rudolph said they were grateful that the foundation had recognized the “special circumstances of this complex case and acknowledged it in the appropriate manner.” In a 2020 article about the case, Rudolph had argued that “no other Jewish banker was subjected to such malicious anti-Semitic hostility as Jakob Goldschmidt.”
Jakob Goldschmidt (1882-1955) was a prominent businessman in the interwar period in Germany and was targeted by the Nazis early on in their rise. He fled to Switzerland in April 1933, soon after Hitler came to power, and emigrated to New York in 1936. Four years later, the German government stripped him of his citizenship in absentia and then confiscated his remaining assets in Germany.
Goldschmidt had amassed an extensive art collection after World War I. After emigrating, he was able to export some objects via the Netherlands, but much of the collection remained in Berlin as security for loans and was sold at various auctions. The “Maria Lactans” statuette — attributed only to Circle of the Master of the Biberach Holy Clan — had been in Goldschmidt’s Berlin home, along with numerous other Renaissance works. When the house was sold in July 1933, three months after his departure, the artworks were taken to his office.
On June 23, 1936, around 300 works from the collection, including the “Maria Lactans” statuette, were sold off anonymously at the Hugo Helbing auction house. Art dealer Johannes Hinrichsen bought the statuette for 8,000 Reichsmarks and sold it to the Berlin State Museums that same year. The Berlin museum complex loaned it to the Ulm Museum in 1993.
According to the Prussian foundation, which oversees more than 20 museums and other cultural institutions in the Berlin area, the 1936 auction qualifies as a persecution-related property loss under the Washington Principles.
Deidre Berger, chair of the board of the Berlin-based Jewish Digital Cultural Recovery Project, called the restitution “an encouraging development. It is based on growing recognition by public institutions of the injustice of forced sales or sales under duress by Jewish families forced into financial ruin by Nazi antisemitic policies.”
The JDCRP was founded in 2019 by the Claims Conference and the New York-based Commission for Art Recovery to research and document the history of Nazi-era looted art and create a central database.
“In the 1950s, German courts continued to use antisemitic arguments to deny attempts by the Goldschmidt family to retrieve at least part of their collection, by claiming that the Jewish banker contributed to German financial problems,” Berger added. Focusing on such cases brings “overdue public attention to the long-neglected chapter of the vast amounts of cultural plunder by the Nazis and their allies.”
The post Germany returns 16th-century sculpture to heirs of Jewish owner appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
The post Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.