Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Perhaps "Chutzpah" Isn't the Best Word to Use

The summary of an article from the April issue of Art News:

In a decision upholding a longstanding German law, the federal court in Leipzig recently ruled that heirs of a Nazi doctor were not entitled to claim restitution of artworks impounded by the Soviets following World War II. The suit had been filed by six heirs of Gustav Schuster, a gynecologist and Nazi Party member from Chemnitz, in an effort to prove that they were eligible to reclaim the confiscated paintings, drawings, and etchings. Although German law prohibits the return of property to the descendants of Nazi criminals, the heirs argued that because Schuster, as an individual, constituted only a fraction of the overall number of Nazis in Germany at the time, he could only be blamed for 0.006 percent of the country's war crimes. In court, however, the city of Chemnitz was able to demonstrate that Schuster not only joined the Nazi Party and storm troopers early on—in 1930—but also that he headed the local Nazi medical association, ordered the sterilization of schizophrenics, and even carried out some procedures himself in the name of the Nazi "superrace" ideology.

No comments: