Skip to comments.Billionaire who didn't exist: Recluse, 80, who hid £1billion Nazi art haul from the world ...
Posted on 11/04/2013 4:48:51 PM PST by Uncle Chip
The reclusive pensioner behind the secret trove of paintings worth nearly £1billion, seized by the Nazis in the 1930s, and revealed this weekend, was a man of mystery in many aspects of his life.
Cornelius Gurlitt, 80, son of art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, did not have an official bank account, pension or insurance - he simply lived off the extensive collection, selling them when his money dipped.
The pensioner, who had never worked, was not even registered with the police - mandatory in Germany - and was not known to the tax authorities or social services.
The story which begins one evening in September 2010 aboard a German Intercity Express train from Zurich in Switzerland to Munich.
Customs officials were carrying out a routine check on passengers many wealthy Germans deposit money illegally in Switzerland to evade high tax rates at home and asked for the papers of a white-haired man.
He proffered an Austrian passport in the name of Rolf Nikolaus Cornelius Gurlitt, born December 28, 1933, in Hamburg and currently residing in Salzburg.
He appeared nervous, said customs officials.
He said he had travelled to Switzerland for business at the Galerie Kornfeld in Bern.
He then he pulled out an envelope with 9,000 euros in 500 euro notes inside 1,000 euros under the legal limit which must declared to officials when crossing borders in Europe.
Gurlitt was allowed to go on his way, but the officials remained suspicious.
Extensive checks soon disclosed that he did not live in Salzburg but in Schwabing, and he was not registered with the police.
He was a man who didnt exist, one official told Germanys Focus magazine, which broke the story.....
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
What does “registered with the police” mean? For those of us who still aren’t sure about our local tyranny.
To think a German wouldn’t register with the Police!
No shock...the media hype over this is because of George Clooney’s movie about the same thing...
“Most of the paintings involved in this find will have been recorded in catalogues and sale records. Most original owners will be identifiable.
But there will be relatively few descendants around to come forward and plead their case.
And if all the heirs fail to materialise, Cornelius Gurlitt, in a bitter twist of fate, could be legally entitled to keep some these paintings - once denigrated as abominations by Hitler, but now declared almost beyond price.”
I remember a lot of German art in the Pentagon being shipped back to Germany. They could of at least run them thru the U.S. museum system first. Kinda like Whats-her-names shoes from the P.I.
>> “What does registered with the police mean? For those of us who still aren’t sure about our local tyranny.” <<
He had not taken the mark of the Beast.
Yes. They could have done so.
And I believe it was Imelda Marcos.
Hey, I think a couple of those belonged to my grandmother and I want them back.
He kind of “went Galt” in his own unique way.
Isn’t the purchase of these works art by old Gurlitt kind of like imminent domain?
imminent or eminent — I don’t understand your point
It’s fairly common outside the USA. It means you must report your current address to the police each time you move. When you visit somewhere for a certain number of days you have to give them your hotel or host’s info. Normally there is a harsh penalty for failing to do so. There is also a penalty for letting someone unregistered stay in your home.
What the H***....? Come again?!
Seems like a transfer of title to me. There could well be a recision claim by the original owners, who sold under duress, but there is usually a statute of limitations for such claims. Also, the law is applied as it existed at the time, or else it is an ex post facto law. That is all under US law of course. Who knows what German law provides. It does create some interesting issues, though, as to works that were legally purchased by a private German citizen from Jews who were fleeing Hitler and selling at rock bottom prices. As for art stolen by the Nazis from Jews who were being sent to the camps, those should be returned, no issues.
Actually we have the same thing here but NSA takes care of all the reporting requirements for us.
GERMANY? What IS it with those people? LOL, I just stared at this, and... looked at the year on the calendar, and... I don't know, I just went and got a beer and started laughing... not in a good way, you know? Not laughing in a good way at all.
I had actually flattered myself when I moved there that I was something of a cosmopolitan but in fact what I learned was just how very American I am in assumptions, attitudes, and convictions about the relationship between the individual and the state. Sometimes it takes living in an foreign country to pound that lesson home. Never forgot it, either.
You know how we make sex offenders register? Well, over there, everyone has to do that apparently.
In about 1993, I knew a man who was very wealthy and we were good friends. One day he said he had to tell me something because he needed to do something about it. Let me say here that he wouldn't pay his bills like utility because he just didn't. Then the power would get shut off and he'd go to town and give the utility company a bunch of money and ignore the bills until the power went off again. He did the same thing with his phone bill.
You see, he was raised in a family with big money, bell at the dining table and servants to serve the food, big money. He had never really run his life and now he was the last adult alive in that original family. So, he just didn't run his life, he let whatever happened, happen.
What he told me was he had not sent in an Income Tax Return in many years. Here he was with all that money and he didn't send in a return and no one did anything about it. He went to the family lawyer and told him he had not filed in all those years.
Here is the kicker: the IRS HAD LOST HIM. No one was EVER coming after him. I thought that was this man's luck and if I had done that, they would have caught me the first year I didn't send it in.
He was like this recluse lost in the population. Yes, both the rich man and this guy with the art, had gone Galt.
And you thought that the Third Reich ended in May, 1945. No, it did not. It was replaced by the Federal Republic of Germany which continued to operate on the same basis. People must register their residence with the police. You must pay your television tax. The government assigns you to a profession and job and you are not allowed to relocate without government permission.
Does this sound like the Obama Administration? No, it does not. They aren’t there yet, but they are working in that direction. You will only do and you will only be what the government permits you to be. This guy and his dad were criminals, but he was caught by state who keeps a close eye on everyone, at all times. Lois Lerner is not an innovator, she is just following the Nazi handbook.
I am just wondering how long before we officially have a Cheka, I think it’s pretty close.
Like the Russian Revolution
The Czar is bad, down with the Czar
The Provisional Government is bad, now with the Provisional Government
The Communists are.... *bang*
That piece was in my late aunt’s basement!!! We want it back. LOL!
Is that because they were drinking Budweiser??
My mom loved that piece so much she had a copy put in her dining room! Both mom and dad loved to play cards with their friends. It was a big deal at our house.
I think it’s similar to Obamacare.
HA! I just posted my mom had it in her dining room where she and her friends use to play cards! Seems there were many who thought fondly of that piece...lol
Now that so many have been recovered, there will surely be a feeding frenzy on an unprecedented scale as the heirs of the original owners, real or imaginary, call in lawyers in an attempt to recover such spectacular treasures.
Who can blame them? A single Picasso can be worth up to £60million. A Matisse £30million.
The list of German painters alone reads like the roll-call of a lost generation.
I believe the authorities are determining ownership...and they know many of these were Jewish Owned property and are currently trying to establish that ownership......but you do wonder how many died in the camps whose families may not have a clue about them....These were actually found in 2011...so already a couple years into this.
You would be surprised or not by the records that every city and municipality and county in the US has on its residents.
In many if not most cities occupancy permits listing the names of the occupants are required before moving into a house or apartment.
The address on your drivers' license has to be up to date.
A simple formality, but it "registers you with the police".
yeppers — when stopped it’s the first question asked.
Yes. 100% serious. It’s very typical outside the US for non-tourists.
Can you flesh that out a bit? What is the law? Who has to abide by it?
In Russia there are Federal Migration Service and you have to inform it every time you are moving somewhere for any prolonged period of time. Technically, you may have issues with authorities if they fond you registered in one district and living in another but it is estimates about 30% of population are simply ignoring the rules as their official and factual residences aren’t match.
Most of the European countries has similar rules and unlike Russia they are enforcing it with fines and imprisonment.
It is even worse in China. Not only you have to inform the government if you are moving, in some cases you need permit from authorities.