Painting, Antique Kettle Looted by Nazis Returned to Jewish Descendants in US
A 19th-century painting and a 16th-century kettle looted by the Nazis from Jewish victims have been returned to the descendants of their original owners now residents in the US.
The painting — “Winter” by the American artist Gari Melchers, which shows a man and a women skating on ice — was discovered at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, NY, in October last year.
This week, the painting was returned to its original owners — the Mosse family, prominent Jews from Berlin who were among the early targets of Nazi persecution.
The painting was recovered as a result of research carried out by the Mosse Art Restitution Project, a project begun in 2011 to trace works of art stolen by the Nazi regime. Over 50 items from public and private museums as well as private individuals in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Israel and the United States have been recovered by the project.
“The Mosse family lost nearly everything because they were Jews. But they did not lose hope,” Antoinette Bacon –acting US Attorney for the Northern District of New York — said at a ceremony to return the painting at the Albany FBI office.
“While this certainly does not take away the pain the that the Mosses endured, I hope it provides the family with some measure of justice,” Bacon said.
The return of the painting to the Mosse family came a few days after a kettle dating from the 16th century was returned to Maryland resident Martin Goldsmith — the grandson of its original owners, Jews from the German city of Oldenberg.
Goldsmith, who has visited Oldenberg several times, told The Washington Post that the kettle was the only tangible reminder of his family.
“The house is no longer in the family. The paintings and various other art objects in the house are all gone,” he said. “Traces of my family are gone. Except for this little kettle.”