Author: Research team

NY Appeals Court Explains Why Nazi-Stolen Paintings Belong With Gruenbaum’s Heirs

In a deeply researched opinion that it appears could embolden legal efforts by Jewish heirs to reclaim Nazi-stolen art worldwide, a state appeals court Tuesday ruled that two highly valued early 20th century paintings looted by the Nazis belong to the heirs of the Austrian Jewish entertainer who first collected them.

NY Appeals Court Explains Why Nazi-Stolen Paintings Belong With Jewish Collector's Heirs _ New York Law Journal

Austria – Great shift of paradigm in Restitution

It is extraordinarily gratifying that the Advisory Board of the Commission for Provenance Research in the Gertrude Felsoevanyi case has come up with a paradigm shift in the return of looted art which is in possession of the Republic of Austria.

Until now, a formal confiscation had to be proved, but now the German view of restitution is shared, namely that the loss due to persecution is decisive for restitution.

This view is taken with a delay of 25 years, but nevertheless …Chapeau!

It is also noteworthy that the decision is a revision of an earlier decision and that this revision is not based on previously unknown evidence, but on a different view from that taken 18 years ago.

It now remains to be seen to what extent the Commission for Provenance Research will revise and, if necessary, correct its own earlier decisions.

As there is no right of application, the Commission for Provenance Research must take action of its own – hopefully it will!

English Translation is added in the end of the document
Felsoevanyi_Gertrude_2019-04-12 EN und Deutsch


Event in NY: ART RESTITUTION – Fair and Just Solutions?


Fair and Just Solutions?

Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 6:30 PM

—Free Admission & Open to the Public—

New York City Bar Association
42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10003

Register Now!

This program brings together Hon. John M. Walker Jr. as panel moderator with prominent attorneys in the field of art restitution to discuss the direction of court decisions. We are also pleased to have the Executive Director of the International Foundation for Art Research and the International Director of Restitution at Christie’s look back to the Nazi stolen art era and forward on the broadening of the definition of looted and stolen art.


Hon. John M. Walker, Jr., Panel Moderator
U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Raymond J. Dowd, Esq.
Partner, Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP

Monica Dugot
International Director of Restitution, Christie’s

Dr. Sharon Flescher
Executive Director, International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR)

Lawrence M. Kaye, Esq.
Partner, Herrick Feinstein LLP

William Pearlstein, Esq.
Partner, Pearlstein McCullough & Lederman LLP

Press Release regarding the JUST Act

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 “” 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