“The Nazis murdered more than 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children under the age of 12, and including 105 members of my family. How on God’s Earth can Spain fight so hard to deny a Jewish family its precious legacy that was looted by the Nazis?” David Schaecter, Holocaust Survivor and HSF-USA President told the LA Times in 2020.
The case itself is not directly about ownership of the painting but about how to decide the case, which has been going on since 2005. Lower courts had sided with the museum.
On the other side is San Diego resident David Cassirer. His great-grandmother Lilly Cassirer Neubauer, a German Jew, at one time owned the Pissarro oil painting. The 1897 piece, whose title translates to “Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon, Effect of Rain,” is one of a series of 15 that Pissarro painted of a Paris street as seen from his hotel window.
In 1939, in order to get visas for herself and her husband to leave Germany, Neubauer was forced to surrender the piece to a Nazi art appraiser. She was paid about $360, well below the painting’s value, and the money went into an account she was blocked from accessing.
The painting changed hands a number of times since then but is now in the collection of a Spanish museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum in Madrid, which has fought to retain it. It has been said to be worth more than $30 million.
Lower courts found the museum to be the lawful owner of the painting while also criticizing Spain for not living up to commitments to return Nazi-looted art.
We are stricken with sadness on the passing of Herbert Karliner, one of the last living survivors of Kristallnacht and the SS St. Louis, on the evening of June 1, 2021. Herb was 94.
Herbert Karliner was a beloved member of the Miami community, widely known and respected for his decades of engagement with community groups, schools, churches, and synagogues, discussing his extraordinary life experiences. He was also a ubiquitous presence as teacher and docent at the Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach, helping educate generations of school children and other visitors about the Holocaust.
Leo Rechter, a widely loved and respected Holocaust survivor leader, passed away in New York on Friday at the age of 93. Leo was the founding Secretary of the Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA (HSF), and served on its board of directors and executive committee since the group’s founding. Leo also served as the long-time President of the National Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors (NAHOS), and publisher of the NAHOS Newsletter, the authoritative voice of grass roots Holocaust survivors in the United States. At its peak, the NAHOS Newsletter had thousands of subscribers among survivors, community leaders, and public officials in 20 states.
“Leo Rechter was a quintessential survivor. He was determined to rebuild the Jewish world, and show the Nazis who remained, and others who stood by silently, that we were going to fill the void with Jewish children, and fully live the values and traditions of the Jewish people. The survivors and the Jewish community have lost a giant.”
Today in the Forward, Herbert Karliner tells Stewart Ain “it is shameful for anyone to compare anything to Kristallnacht.”
“On Kristallnacht, my father, Joseph Karliner, had his store set on fire and destroyed. Within hours, the Gestapo arrived and took him to the Buchenwald concentration camp. It was a time of absolute terror for Jewish people. My father returned a few weeks later, and we thought we were lucky to be escaping Germany on the SS St. Louis. Well, as most people should know, we were turned away from this great country, dooming my father, my mother, my two sisters, and hundreds of others to their deaths in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camps.”
“My brother and I were very, very lucky to survive, and I was privileged to emigrate to the United States. I served in the U.S. Army and raised a family here. I believe in the strength and virtue of the American people to overcome the political differences of today, and pray for President Biden and all of our elected leaders to help heal us. But analogies to Kristallnacht or Nazism reflect a very serious misunderstanding of the vast scope of Nazi Germany’s crimes, and the crimes of its collaborators. They also denigrate the memory of 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.”
Read the rest of the interview with Herbert Karliner, who also serves on the HSF-USA executive committee, today in the Forward.
What a Kristallnacht survivor says about Kristallnacht comparisons
The comparison of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol to Kristallnacht may be well-intentioned but grossly diminishes the magnitude of th
HSF-USA Statement on Riots at the United States Capitol January 10, 2021
As Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors, we are profoundly saddened and angered by the violent attack on the United States Capitol and Congress to prevent our Nation’s sacred peaceful transition of power. It was an insurrection, an effort to overturn the people’s will in the November 3 election. For shame! We abhor the violence that threatens our ability to live together in the diverse, free, and democratic United States that we so deeply love.
It is also painful, in the year 2021, to see so many people brandishing symbols of anti-Semitism and racial bigotry, such as shirts glorifying the Holocaust, a gallows and noose, and the Confederate flag, as they attacked our Democracy. We appreciate President-Elect Biden’s clear denunciation of the anti-democratic riots, and his recognition of their anti-Semitic and racist elements.
Dangerous anti-Semitic conspiracies once confined to dark corners of the internet are gaining traction in “respectable” quarters, without clear condemnation by all who call themselves leaders. We have previously spoken out about the painful rise of anti-Jewish rhetoric and violence including murders at religious gatherings in Pittsburgh, Poway, Monsey, and in Europe as well.
We, the remaining voices for six million Jews who were murdered because of the “normalization” of these tactics in Nazi Germany and Europe, are speaking out to sound the alarm loud and clear. The poisonous political rhetoric from government leaders and media designed to arouse hateful passions, fan the flames of anger and violence, must be condemned by our leaders at every level, and by all of us in our families, businesses, religious institutions, and communities.
Civil Rights leader John Lewis stood up for his family and all Black Americans to demand desegregation of white supremacist institutions and address systemic injustice through nonviolence and direct action. HSF-USA recognizes the importance of Representative Lewis’s voice, from the Freedom Riders to the House of Representatives, in advancing the cause of freedom, justice, equality and dignity for all people.
Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is occurring in 2020 during the very uncertain and dangerous coronavirus pandemic, with its terrible toll in human lives and suffering. Our hearts go out to all who have lost loved ones.
We are compelled to speak out about continuing injustices and at the same time, reflect on our survival, and the survival of the Jewish people, and share a common message of hope. It is our belief that the only way forward is to help each other, to rely on ourselves.
I remember there was a plaque on our in house that said there was insurance, by Generali. My father was a careful businessman, so naturally he would have had insurance to protect his business and his family. Many survivors also remember those plaques, or an agent coming around every two weeks to collect premiums, but most of us 3were too young to know the name of the insurance company. Of course we have no documents for obvious reasons. In 1998, we worked closely with our Florida Insurance Commissioner, Bill Nelson, for a State law to make the companies publish all the names and allow survivors to go to court if they wouldn’t settle. That is when the companies came up with the idea of the ICHEIC commission – because of pressure from the states. Still, everyone told us ICHEIC was voluntary and not binding unless you agreed to a settlement. So, with all those promises, I applied to ICHEIC. They said they could not find my father’s name. They sent a check for $1000 as a“humanitarian payment.”ICHEIC sent out 34,000 of those $1000 checks. Survivors deeply resent the idea of a ‘humanitarian payment’ instead of the funds we know our parents set aside in case of a disaster. The whole thing was an insult to survivors, and it still is.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Holocaust-era insurance claims. The committee was considering whether legislation might be necessary to process Holocaust-era insurance claims that were not adequately addressed by the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC…
Senate Committee on the Judiciary September 17, 2019
Mr. Baird Webel Specialist in Financial Economics Congressional Research Service Washington , DC
Mr. David Mermelstein President Holocaust Survivors of Miami-Dade County, FL Miami , FL
Ms. Anna B. Rubin Director Holocaust Claims Processing Office New York State Department of Financial Services New York, NY
Mr. Samuel Dubbin Counsel to Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA Coral Gables , FL
Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat Former U.S. Ambassador and Special Advisor on Holocaust Issues United States Department of State Washington , DC
On Tuesday, September 17, at 10:00 am, the United States Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the subject of unpaid Holocaust Era Insurance Claims. Further info and a stream of the hearing are available at the Senate Judiciary Committee website. HSF submitted the materials attached in the document below to Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham on Friday, September 13.