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.

Hans Sachs Poster Collection

Wassily Kandinsky Phalanx Exhibition (1901)
Claimed

Legal Papers

Press & Scholarly

Background Information