Sunday, June 06, 2010

Holocaust Denial: William Randolph Hearst Was an "Innocent Purchaser" of Nazi Looted Art

Tintoretto - "Portrait of Alvise Vendramin"

HT to   A story of a Jewish family recovering three masterpieces looted by the Nazis from the castle of William Randolph Hearst in 2009.   The punch line?  William Randolph Hearst was an "innocent purchaser".

For a newspaper to claim that Hearst was innocent when headlines of Nazi spoliation of Jews had pounded the American public from March of 1933 is really disgusting.

But three generations of US art historians have watched hundreds of stolen artworks pop up in US collections.  Each time the charade is played: "the purchaser must have been innocent".   This propanganda is principally put out by the members of the American Association of Museums and the American Association of Museum Directors.

"We started to learn about the Holocaust in the 1990's" - is the false claim put out by Holocaust profiteers Sotheby's and Christie's - the principal - and continuing - beneficiaries of the traffic in artworks looted from Jews and other Nazi persecutees 1933-1945.

William Randolph Hearst and his fellow American collectors knew damned well that Germany' Jews were being spoliated and they enjoyed snapping up bargains.   American art collectors, dealers and museums were well aware of the potential to snap up treasures, and they knew damned well where their bargains came from.

In the three generations that have passed since the end of World War II, these profiteers avoided taxes by donating these stolen works to their cronies and patsies in US museums - at inflated values - making the US taxpayer foot the bill for their traffic in stolen artworks.  Even better, they created their own museums and donated things to themselves, giving lip service to "charity".

Stupidly, people who do this are today called "philanthropists" - "generous" and "patrons of the arts" by the oily acolytes who populate the structures these buccaneers left behind.

But this massive raid on the US Treasury has never been studied and never been quantified.  Between 1945 and 1962, almost 4,000 stolen artworks were recovered in the US.   Since then, it seems that every few weeks a newspaper "quietly" announces the "utter shock" of some director who is caught with stolen property.

After generations of ripping off US taxpayers, these museum directors now claim that it is their "fiduciary duty" to make the dead victims and their families prove where the looted art in their collections come from.  The most "ethical" among them have published thousands of provenances with question marks on their websites and simply wait for another generation to die, rather than enlisting researchers to help them find the truth.

Unfortunately, US journalists are complicit in this game.  Few have read Janet Flanner's 1947 New Yorker pieces describing in detail Nazi art looting practices.  Few have looked at newsreels from 1945 where the American public was educated on the complete spoliation of Jews and their artworks.  Few have read the 1946 articles in Atlantic Monthly and National Geographic about Hitler's art spoliation.

And even fewer understand that from the time Hitler came to power, as the New York Times reported in March 1933, "To Be a Jew is a Crime in Nazi Germany" and by April 1933 tens of thousands of refugees were desperately trying to escape Germany while Nazis were stealing everything they had.

And now these lying museum directors are claiming that William Randolph Hearst "innocently" made a purchase at a Nazi auction in 1935?   Shame on them.

And shame on whatever journalist and "art history" schools that are pumping out so many graduates who are completely ignorant of history.

3 Nazi-confiscated works found at Hearst Castle - SFGate

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