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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Berlin museum ordered to return posters worth millions of dollars seized by Nazis to the son of Jewish collector

A Berlin museum must return thousands of rare posters to an American, part of his Jewish father's unique collection that had been seized by the Nazis, Germany's top federal appeals court ruled Friday.
The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe said Peter Sachs, 74, was the rightful owner of the posters owned by his father Hans, ending seven years of legal battles over a vast collection dating back to the late 19th century.
Sachs can now demand their return from the German Historical Museum, the court ruled, saying if the institution kept them that would be perpetuating the crimes of the Nazis.

Peter Sachs, pictured with a book with some of his father, Hans Sachs' favorite posters, has won a seven year legal battle with a German museum and can now have the originals returned to him in Florida
Peter Sachs, pictured with a book with some of his father, Hans Sachs' favorite posters, has won a seven year legal battle with a German museum and can now have the originals returned to him in Florida

Posters, including this one, have been exhibited at the German Historical Museum in Berlin, Germany. Thousands of the rare posters, which date back to the 1800s, were seized by the Nazis from Hans Sachs
Posters, including this one, have been exhibited at the German Historical Museum in Berlin, Germany. Thousands of the rare posters, which date back to the 1800s, were seized by the Nazis from Hans Sachs
The collection is now believed to be worth between (euro) 4.5million and (euro) 16million ($6million and $2 million).
'I can't describe what this means to me on a personal level,' Peter Sachs, who recently moved to Nevada from Sarasota, Florida, told The Associated Press in an email. 'It feels like vindication for my father, a final recognition of the life he lost and never got back.'
The case ended up with the Karlsruhe court because of the posters' unique and tumultuous journey through more than 70 years of German history.

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