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  • Torah Reading: Naso
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Nazi Loot Discovery

The astonishing, controversial story of the biggest find of stolen WWII art.

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Visitor Comments: 14

(12) Kalman Moshe, November 13, 2013 11:40 PM

Counterpoint to Sidney, Re: halacha

We are not dealing with halacha here; your parents did not receive restitution because of halacha. They were entitled to restitution because in civilized societies injured parties are entitled to be made whole - not that money could actually do that for your parents. And although Germany could hardly have been called civilized, there were and are other countries watching and demanding.

If we were living in a world where halacha were the enforceable law, those bound by the Seven Noachides would face, after theft, stiffer penalties than simple restitution. Finally, my rabbi used to say that a human being is born with a basic sense of right and wrong. (Whether he abides by that conscience is another story.) My point is that the corollary of the fundamental knowledge that stealing is wrong, is that the return of stolen property is correct. Thus our damaged Jews certainly have a right to expect their property back, even without the halachah.

(11) Sidney, November 12, 2013 9:57 PM

Reply to Kalman Moshe (re Halachah)

Of course it would be in order if the Germans returned them. (My father received restitution money for his pension contributions (plus interest, etc.) which the Nazis confiscated and my mother for her interrupted education). My point was that Halachic Jews have no divine privilege to demand stolen property back..

(10) Dorene Schwartz-Weitz, November 11, 2013 11:23 PM

In cases where the owners or descendent are no longer living

In cases where the owners of the paintings or descendents are no longer living, the paintings can be housed in a museum where revenues can be used to support Holocaust and Yeshiva Education, so desperately needed and unaffordable.
Not only would an art museum be of tremendous value, it would stand as attestment to the levels of cultural awareness prevalent amongst the Jews who were victims, for the generations that followed and the world that perceived them as one dimensional.

(9) Richard Carter, November 11, 2013 7:53 PM

I don't know ... the LAW or spirit of the LAW?

I agree in as much it can be accomplished. Tzedakah - Charity and Justice as much as I understand. For many I am sure it will be a blessing to finally see it returned if they knew. Others might consider it a windfall or a blessing at just the right time and too many other thoughts run through my mind. Yes it would seem ownership transfer was unjust and should be set right! After that ... when we cannot find a link or ownership too many are already starving in fact in Israel as in other parts of the world though many might disagree. I think those that are now in heaven would echo feed my brothers and sisters. If one cannot take care of himself or herself then we are not of use to others. Then perhaps they can finally beging to help others in the community and bless them and discover even greater Joy! Giving once our needs are met gives so much more Joy than could ever be purchased by any amount of money! Just a thought ... I would love to hear how this works out and the great blessings it will porvide! Thank you for reading. Rick =)

(8) HarryWag, November 11, 2013 6:57 PM

Find the rightful owners

As soon as the provenance of each painting is discovered that painting shoiuld bre returned to its rightful owner or descendant. If there is no clear provenance then one readers's suggestion makes sense. Establish a museum in Germany and display the paintings there. Money collected from this exhibition should be used to support the Jewish community that is rising out of the ashes in 21st Century Germany.

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