Rose Valland Institute – Kassel
The Rose Valland Institute, an independent interdisciplinary project initiated by artist Maria Eichhorn within the context of documenta 14 (the art project held once every five years in Kassel, Germany), hosted a lecture and workshop on the fate of European property during the years 1933 to 1949. The Institute researches and documents the expropriation of Europe’s Jewish community and the ongoing impact of those confiscations.
And I was there speaking about “Stolen Legacy.”
Based in Kassel’s Neue Galerie, the Institute is named after art historian Rose Valland, who secretly recorded details of Nazi plundering of state-owned French and private Jewish-owned art from France during the German occupation of Paris. After the war, she worked for the Commission de Récupération Artistique (Commission for the Recovery of Works of Art) and played a decisive role in the restitution of Nazi-looted artworks.
The Rose Valland Institute investigates fundamental issues connected with ownership of artworks, property, real estate, assets, companies, moveable objects, libraries as well as scientific works and patents that were acquired by illegal means from Jewish citizens in Germany and the occupied countries during the Nazi era and have still not been returned.
The Institute is appealing to the public to research Nazi loot that may exist in their own inherited property and to submit their findings. The ultimate aim is to return that property to its rightful owners or their heirs.
Marla Allard, host of Maryland Public TV program “Relatively Speaking,” interviewed me about “Stolen Legacy.”
Here we are on set during the recording.
Stolen Legacy in Florida
It was a wonderful trip with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to three different cities in southern Florida – Sarasota, North Miami Beach and Boca Raton.
Two USHMM experts – Suzanne Brown-Fleming and Diane Afoumado – were with me speaking about the archives held at both the Museum in Washington DC and the International Tracing Service at Bad Arolson.
There was intense interest in the subject, with audiences keen to learn how to research their own family histories and seek information which might help them register claims on their own families’ Nazi stolen property across eastern Europe.
NPR recorded an interview with Diane Afoumado, Chief of Research and Reference at the Museum about resources available to help. There is still so much work to be done – about 80% of Jewish assets stolen by the Nazis and their collaborators during WWII have not been recovered.
After giving a presentation to a large crowd at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, it was then time to relax!
Here with J. Edward Wright, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism, Director of the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona.
Fashioning a Nation
Atlanta, GA. Speaking this evening on a panel at the launch of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust’s traveling exhibit “Fashioning a Nation: German Identity and Industry, 1914-1945.” This new exhibition explores the powerful history of German fashion from its international impact to its destruction by the Nazi regime. It honors the legacy of the Jewish Germans who contributed to its rise and commemorates the great cultural and economic loss resulting from its demise. The exhibition will be on display at the Goethe-Centrum, Plaza Level of Colony Square Mall, Atlanta from January 9 – 23, 2017 and then moves on to the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust’s permanent exhibit Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945 in Sandy Springs.