The Leon Fischer Trust for the Life and Work of Fritz Grünbaum calls on the U.S. State Department to report the lack of progress made by Austria and Germany on returning Holocaust-era assets taken from Nazi persecutees under the JUST ACT.
New York, November 21st, 2018 – The Leon Fischer Trust for the Life and Work of Fritz Grünbaum, represented by Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP, calls upon the United States Department of State, as required by the authority of the JUST (Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today) Act, signed into law by President Trump on May 9, 2018, to report to Congress the lack of progress the nations of Austria and Germany have made on returning Holocaust-era assets taken from Nazi persecutees.
The countries of Austria and Germany are in violation of The Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, which were endorsed by 44 countries and many U.S. museums at the 1998 Washington Conference on Holocaust-era Assets. The Principles commit signatories to publicizing looted art, resolving the merits of Nazi-era ownership disputes and encouraging owners to come forward by providing legal mechanisms or alternative dispute resolution to achieve “just and fair solutions.”
Austria’s continued possession of Fritz Grünbaum’s Dead City III, by the artist Egon Schiele, and Austria’s refusal to agree to a legal or alternative dispute resolution should be spotlighted in the State Department’s report to Congress. In the wake of the Washington Conference, Austria decided not to endorse the principle and instead to pass a restitution law that fails to provide even the most fundamental due process rights by denying claimants the basic right to participate as parties and by failing to provide review by an independent judiciary.
Germany for its part took the wonderful step of creating the publicly-available “lostart.de” database to permit Holocaust victims and their descendants from around the world to report claims for free. Incredibly, the German Lost Art Foundation recently removed not only Dead City III but also 62 other claims by the Fischer-Grünbaum Trust and Family of Fritz Grünbaum, who was a victim of the Dachau Concentration Camp, at the request of art dealers.
The Leon Fischer Trust for the Life and Work of Fritz Grünbaum is hopeful that the efforts of the State Department and the JUST Act will help finally to liberate works of art that have been called “the last prisoners of World War II”.
The Fischer-Grünbaum Trust is represented by Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP. Partner Raymond Dowd will be attending the upcoming 20th anniversary conference in Berlin.
For more Information, contact Kieren Weisert, PR Associate at (606) 304-9278 or email Mr. Weisert at firstname.lastname@example.org