Swiss museum returns Holocaust-era painting

An art museum in Swiss canton Graubünden has returned a 19th century painting to its rightful owner Gerta Silberberg, whose father was forced to sell the painting and was later killed by the Nazis.

This content was published on October 5, 1999 - 16:52

An art museum in Swiss canton Graubünden has returned a 19th century painting to its rightful owner Gerta Silberberg, whose father was forced to sell the painting and was later killed by the Nazis.

The head of the art museum in the town of Chur, Beat Stutzer (above), said the museum was following a request by Silberberg’s lawyer in London for the oil painting to be returned to the sole heir of art collector Max Silberberg.

Silberberg, a merchant and art collector, was forced to sell his famous art treasures in 1933 as Nazi persecution increased and his business -- in what is now Poland -- was ruined. Silberberg and his wife Johanna were murdered in the Nazi death camp of Theresienstadt.

The couple’s son and dauther Albert and Gerta Silberberg emigrated to Britain in 1939.

The painting by Max Liebermann (1847-1935), titled “Seamstresses at an Amsterdam orphanage,” was handed over to the Swiss museum as a donation by a family from Zurich, which in turn had bought it from an art dealer in St. Gallen.

From staff and wire reports.







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