Berlin / Karlsruhe (dpa) - An oil painting by the expressionist Erich Heckel (1883-1970) is to be returned from the state of Baden-Württemberg to the heirs of the previous Jewish owner from the point of view of the advisory commission on Nazi looted property.
According to a statement from Tuesday in Berlin, it can be assumed that there was a withdrawal from Nazi persecution.
The decision of the committee set up by the federal, state and municipal umbrella organizations was unanimous.
It is about the picture “Geschwister” painted by Heckel in 1913, which is currently part of the holdings of the State Art Gallery in Karlsruhe.
According to the commission, the painting was owned by the historian Max Fischer until 1934.
Because of his Jewish descent, he was persecuted individually and collectively by the National Socialists.
Fischer left Germany in 1935 and emigrated to the USA a year later.
The painting was in the basement of Heckel's house in Berlin in 1944.
He himself donated it to the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in 1967.
“It could not be clarified when and under what conditions Erich Heckel came into possession of the painting or even received ownership of it between January 1934 and January 1944,” said the commission, which is organizationally connected to the German Center for Cultural Property Losses in Magdeburg .
It can therefore be assumed that there was a withdrawal due to Nazi persecution.
Hence the decision of the commission to «recommend the restitution of the« siblings »to the heirs of Max Fischer».
According to the announcement, the heirs have announced that they will donate the painting to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
"The Commission appreciates this as a special gesture."
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210202-99-271730 / 2
Communication from the Commission