Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Watch Boston College Law School Video! Nazi Art Looting - Stolen Art in US Museums and How It Got There

Girl With Black Hair -  Stolen From Fritz Grunbaum, Now At Oberlin College 

Here is a link to my lecture at the Boston College School of Law on April 22, 2010.  The URL is

Assoc. Dean Filippa Anzalone and her terrific Art Law students gave me a great welcome and asked lots of tough questions.  Dean Anzalone wrote me a lovely letter and kindly gave me permission to reprint:

Dear Ray:

Thank you again for your wonderful presentation for the Art Law Seminar on April 22nd. The students and other attendees were literally on the edge of their seats as they listened to your lawyerly and thorough discussion. Your excellent lecture, coupled with your slides made the presentation on Bakalar v. Vavra and Egon Schiele’s Dead City: Stolen art from Europe (1933-1945) in American museums and how it got there one of the most memorable classes of the semester. In fact, we discussed your presentation at the following week’s class and it was difficult to turn the discussion back to the topic scheduled for that week!

The thoroughness with which you presented the diabolically methodical process that the Third Reich used to despoil Jews of their property kept the class riveted during your lecture. The horror of the Nazi art looting came to life for the audience as you presented the evidentiary issues and the legal problems associated with restitution litigation for holocaust victims and families.

Since your presentation, many of the attendees have contacted me and commented on how astonished they were after your lecture. It is chilling to realize how methodical and relentless the Third Reich was in their pillaging operations. The cold, non-violent theft of Jewish property, including land, art and household objects, and even life insurance policies , by the Nazis is harrowing to say the least. Many of the attendees have told me that they appreciated understanding the issues of the Nazi thefts from your very carefully articulated legal perspective.

Your program was a real success; superseded only by your generosity of time and energy. We thank you for the printed copies of your slides, and your great kindness in talking with students and answering questions. We want you to know how very much your work was appreciated by me, my class, and the Boston College Law community. Thank you so much, Ray. May your good work continue and prosper.


Filippa Marullo Anzalone
Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Library & Technology Services

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