Hans Sachs Poster Collection
Peter Sachs is the heir of Dr. Hans Sachs, a dentist who formed the greatest pre-war collection of posters, obtained a decision by the Berlin Administrative Court in February 2009 declaring that he owned one of the 4,000 posters that long had been in a museum in East Berlin (now the Deutsches Historisches Museum).
There was no dispute that the Gestapo had seized the collection in the summer of 1938 on the orders of Josef Goebbels, or that Hans Sachs, having survived the war, received some compensation for his collection from the German Government.
An earlier attempt by Peter Sachs to recover the posters had been rejected by a government mediation panel which decided that, since Hans Sachs had received some compensation, his son should not recover the posters even though his father had believed the collection was destroyed and, living in the United States, never would have been able to obtain information about the collection from the Democratic Republic of Germany.
The Decree of the Administrative Court was appealed. In late January 2010, the Berlin Court of Appeals found that Sachs had good title to the poster but that he no longer had a remedy for its recovery because restitution claims could no longer be made under a special restitution law.
In March 2012, the German Federal Court of Justice ruled that Peter Sachs, as the rightful owner of the poster, could obtain its return under generally applicable German civil law.
Wassily Kandinsky Phalanx Exhibition (1901)
- Nazi Looted Art: German Historical Museum must return the Sachs Poster Collection to the Heirs, Federal Supreme Court Press Release, March 16, 2012 (German version)
- Nazi Looted Art: German Historical Museum must return the Sachs Poster Collection to the Heirs, Federal Supreme Court Press Release, March 16, 2012 (English version)
- Sachs Decision of the Federal Court of Justice, March 16, 2012
- Decision of the Federal Court of Justice, March 16, 2012, English Translation
Press & Scholarly
- Kerstin Kohlenberg, Die Zeit, January 15, 2009 “Looted Art-- In the name of my father” (English translation)
- Catherine Hickley, Bloomberg.com, February 10, 2009 “Berlin Court Rules in favor of Heir in Nazi-Looted Poster Suit”
- David Charter, Times Online, February 12, 2009 “Peter Sachs wins Battle for £4 million poster collection seized by the Nazis”
- Peter Raue, Tagesspiegel, February 24, 2009 “Legal venue where there was no legal venue” (English translation)
- Gunnar Schnabel, Tagesspiegel, February 27, 2009 “Sachs Poster Collection -- Injustice remains injustice”
- Gunnar Schnabel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 3, 2009 “Jewish Heirs are left with the law”
- What's Another Word for Injustice?" Marilyn Henry, The Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2010
- Catherine Hickley, Bloomberg.com, Jan. 28, 2010 "Nazi-Looted Posters Should Stay in Berlin, Court Says"
- "Einstein's Dentist, Goebbels, and Me -- His Great-grand-daughter Reports" Suzanne Glass, The Times, Jan. 28, 2010
- "Eigentum ist nicht gleich Besitz" by Patrick Bahners, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Feb. 19, 2010, p. 35
- "Ownership is not Possession" (English translation of article) by Patrick Bahners in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Feb. 19, 2010, p. 35
- Bernd Naumann, German Government Press Release, March 13, 2009 (in original German)
- Bernd Naumann, German Government Press Release, March 13, 2009 (English translation)
- Museum Appeals the Court Decision Affirming Sachs's Claim, May 11, 2009 (English Translation June 29, 2009)
- Press Release from Attorneys Representing Peter Sachs, Feb. 18, 2010