Brief Amicus Curiae

Brief Amicus Curiae on Behalf of The American Jewish Committee, Omer Bartov, Michael Bazyler, Haim Beliak, Michael Berenbaum, Donald Burris, Judy Chicago, Richard Falk, Hector Feliciano, Eugene Fisher, Irving Greenberg, Peter Hayes, Douglas and Marjorie Kinsey, Douglas Kmiec, Marcia Sachs Littell, Hubert Locke, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Bruce Pauley, John Pawlikowski, Carol Rittner, John Roth, Randol Schoenberg, William Shulman, Stephen Smith, Alan Steinweis, Melvyn Weiss, Donald Woodman, and Jonathan Zatlin, in Support of Plaintiffs-Respondents.

On December 16, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016 (the “HEAR Act”), which passed both the House and Senate unanimously. Amici have particular interests implicated by the HEAR Act, which are set forth in Appendix A. None of the Amici has any financial or economic interest in the outcome of this appeal.
Amici underscore one specific way in which Nazis victimized Jews: robbery on a grand scale. The grand larceny should not be overlooked merely because mass murder was the foulest crime perpetrated by the Nazi conspirators…

…In Part I of the brief, we suggest that the HEAR Act does exactly what the Washington Principles and the Terezín Declaration failed to accomplish: provide binding legal language enabling fair and just resolution of conflicts over Recovery of Holocaust Expropriated Art. In Part II, we explain how the HEAR Act intersects with various technical defenses in this case focused on two pieces of art that were indisputably the property of Fritz Grunbaum.

Full Amicus Brief

Terezin Declaration

Upon the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic we the representatives of 46 states listed below met this day, June 30, 2009 in Terezin, where thousands of European Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution died or were sent to death camps during World War II. We participated in the Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference organized by the Czech Republic and its partners in Prague and Terezin from 26-30 June 2009, discussed together with experts and non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives important issues such as Welfare of Holocaust (Shoah) Survivors and other Victims of Nazi Persecution, Immovable Property, Jewish Cemeteries and Burial Sites, Nazi-Confiscated and Looted Art, Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property, Archival Materials, and Education, Remembrance, Research and Memorial Sites.

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2009 07 08 Terezin Declaration

Nazi Looted Art in U.S. Museums: Amb. Stuart Eizenstat’s Call for a US Commission

This article is cross-posted (see  Copyright Litigation Blog by Raymond Dowd)

eizenstatAmbassador Stuart E. Eizenstat was appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to lead a delegation to the Prague Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets. Eizenstat was the principle architect of the 1999 Washington Conference on the same topic. He authored the book Imperfect Justice and has been instrumental in achieving international solutions that afford restitution to Holocaust victims.
In the PBS video linked to below, Eizenstat calls for the U.S. to create a commission of experts to rule on ownership issues and decries U.S. museums that are asserting “technical defenses” such as statutes of limitations against Holocaust victims and their heirs.
Check out http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/blog/2009/07/conversation-stuart-eizenstat.html

For the full text of what came out of the Prague Conference, known as the Terezin Declaration, click here