A Son Seeks Art Looted by the East Germans

durer albrecht Adriann Cooeted
Still Life with Chestnuts by Adriann Coorte

Just after sunrise on a March morning in 1982, the secret police pounded on the door of Helmuth Meissner, a Dresden art collector known for his refined taste.

Inside, 2,000 works of art that Mr. Meissner had assembled over a lifetime — delicate porcelains, Asian carvings, dozens of paintings — lined the walls and shelves. Outside, four unmarked trucks stood ready to be stuffed with Mr. Meissner’s prized possessions.

Mr. Meissner’s wife, Johanna, would later recall the police barging past her into the kitchen, hauling typewriters, measuring tapes, even their own coffee makers. It was going to be a long day.

While the loss and anguish of Nazi art looting is well known, a second series of German art seizures occurred.

Share the postShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Facebook