Skip to comments.Berlin museum seeks return of ancient gold tablet
Posted on 10/16/2013 7:27:03 AM PDT by Theoria
Berlin antiquities museum wants Holocaust survivor's family to return ancient gold tablet
A Holocaust survivor's family urged New York's highest court Tuesday to let them keep an ancient gold tablet that their late father somehow obtained in Germany after World War II.
Attorney Steven Schlesinger argued that the estate of Riven Flamenbaum has a legal claim, whether the native of Poland bought the relic from a Russian soldier or simply took it to compensate for losing his family at Auschwitz, the concentration camp where he spent several years.
"Under the Soviet rules at the time, there was permission to pillage and plunder," Schlesinger said. "My client could have taken it in retribution."
The tablet was in the collection of the Vorderasiatisches Museum, a branch of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, before the war. The family argued that the museum's failure to reclaim the tablet for 60 years was an unreasonable delay, undercutting its claim. Schlesinger said Flamenbaum had been told by Christie's in 1954 that the small tablet was a fake and kept it at home. It's now in a safety deposit box on Long Island.
Museum attorney Raymond Dowd said the absence of the 3,200-year-old relic was quickly noted by the museum, later reported by scholars and widely known.
"There's no such thing as a right of pillage," Dowd said. "Reparation has nothing to do with this case."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
So the Germans want it back because they nabbed it fair and square.
It is sort of ironic. Like the descendants of slaves voting for a descendant of a family who made their fortune selling them into slavery.
If he truly considered it reparations (but obviously he did not) then his heirs would be asking for the tablet to be given to Yad Vashem or another worthy charity.
Quietly humming...Where have all the editors gone...?
If everything that has been looted, bought, or otherwise obtained by museums over the years was returned to the original settings there would be practically nothing to exhibit. And in the case of items from the Middle East the chances of the items being destroyed by Islamic fanatics argue against their return. In this case, considering the mass looting of art treasures done by the Nazis during the war, the Germans ought to be a embarrassed to ask.
The Germans pulled it out of the ground with the permission of the Ottoman government in charge at the time. Whoever took it from a German museum did so with the permission of the Russian government who was in charge at the time. If the Germans have a beef they should take it up with the ruskies but I guess it is just easier to get the shyster lawyers in the US to try and steal it back.
Best go get it, that's no place to keep something valuable.
I believe that was for forced labor and stolen property of persons that became Israelis.
Non-Israeli Jewish victims of the Nazis were not part of the settlement.
One of my grandparents had a lovely house in France stolen by the French -— the Nazis gave it to a collaborator; he attempted to return in 1947 and was run out of town by policemen he knew by name and had gone to school with. Lawsuit went nowhere -— the Nazi transfer for no money was “legal at the time.”
The article contains one of my pet peeves, an error you see everywhere: It is “SAFE DEPOSIT” box, not “SAFETY DEPOSIT” box. Thanks. I feel better.
Nazis locked him in a camp and murdered his family, so he keeps some of their stuff. Totally fair. If they don’t like it in Berlin, then they can call it a lesson learned.
And it makes no difference what Israel did or didn’t negotiate. Israeli negotiations commenced and proceeded without this man’s consent or assent.
And that’s some pretty neat legalistic BS. A Polish mans justice, negotiated away by a settlement between Germany and a nation that didn’t exist as a nation state when the tort occurred. The Nazis always a legalistic bunch.
I believe emperor Hussein I is about to issue an Executive Order giving HIM first claim, should he chose.
Break into my house, murder my loved ones, attack me. When you are driven out by greater force, I get to keep your rolex you dropped on the floor.
The world is rough, leave people alone. That’s way you get keep your own stuff. That or be badass enough to keep anyone from taking it. It’s a rough lesson, thought they understood it.
Are you really calling me a Nazi?
Lol, no, don’t know how you got that from what I said. It’s two separate observations.
1) I’m just saying that settlement couldn’t possibly settle a Polish man’s claim that occurred at least 3 years before Israel was even a nation.
2) I’m simply noting the historical fact that’s Nazis were HIGHLY legalistic. Roland Freisler would have approved of such a settlement. Everything Hitler did was 100% legal under Nazi law. So it’s high comedy, or at least irony, that legal sophistry would be used to support a Berlinese claim to the tablet.
I say this nice man gets to keep the tablets.
Here's how I got it:
thats some pretty neat legalistic BS
in reference to my post.
Then you said:
The Nazis always a legalistic bunch.
As to your other points:
(1) The Israeli reparations agreement concerns only claims that existed prior to Israel's existence, by definition. If Israel's reparations claims are legitimate - and they are - clearly the date of its sovereign existence is immaterial to those claims.
(2) The Nazis were not "legalistic" - they routinely broke laws, violated treaties, etc. The central tenet of their political ideology was the Fuehrerprinzip - whatever the leader wanted at the moment was law.
This was essential to their purpose: to always keep the population guessing as to what the police or the government would decide to do today. The Nazis were arbitrary and did not follow laws and their arbitrariness kept the population in perpetual fear and dread of what the authorities might capriciously choose to do tomorrow.
Freisler was actually a perfect example of this: he made the law up as he went along, improvising from the bench so he could punish people he thought needed punishing. He was famous for just inventing new crimes on the spot to justify his sentences.
(3) The nice man is dead. His son wants to return the tablet and his daughter wants to keep the tablet.
Two separate concepts guy.
1) Your post was legalistic and basically merely finding that the man had no right to that Nazi property he possessed.
2) And Nazis were indeed quite steeped in passing laws and creating legal frameworks to justify their acts as “legal”. Soviets were just as bad.
That doesn’t make you a Nazi. Nazis also likes BMWs, of which I have had one. I am also not a Nazi.
And no matter what settlement Germany reached with Israel, it cannot legally discharge some Polish mans claims. DId Israel take out a class action lawsuit notice in the Krakow times? Did Israel negotiate a treaty with the Russians or Poles, whereby they were the sole representatives of all Nazi Polish death camp claims? Did the Israelis ever distribute anything of value to this Polish man?
No law recognizes the “Israel settles everything” concept, unless we are all world citizens with no individual and personal rights. When did Poland allow all claims against its citizens to be settled by a 3rd party nation state?
It’s a legal fiction to claim the Israeli settlement settled HIS score. And you are quite wrong, the Nazis had a law for nearly everything, They have only been exceeded by the USA in the modern era.
As to his son and daughter, American probate law decides who gets it. And whoever wins THAT case can do with it as the please. His son can stab the family in the back and gift it to his dads tormenters, or his daughter can sell it and be wealthy. But that’s their personal business, under US law.