Poster Collection Stolen by Nazis To Be Sold

A collection of thousands of rare posters stolen from a Jew by the Nazis will go on sale shortly. Some date to the 1800s.

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Chana Ya'ar,

Auschwitz concentration camp
Auschwitz concentration camp
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A collection of rare posters stolen by the Nazis in 1938, including 19th century advertisements and propaganda, is being sold by the owner's son.

Peter Sachs won a battle in a German court last March to retrieve his father's collection of some 4,000 posters from the German Historical Museum.

Berlin’s Federal Court of Justice ruled at the time that Sachs, who now lives in the U.S., is the rightful owner of the posters. The judges said that not returning the posters “would perpetuate Nazi injustice.”

Hans Sachs, who managed to escape to the U.S. after being held in a concentration camp, is thought to have collected up to 12,500 posters. But only 4,529 have been identified, according to media reports.

The German Historical Museum displayed a few posters at any one time, after they became part of its collection following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Now, Sachs says he is willing to sell the collection, whose worth is estimated between 4.5 million to 16 million euros ($5.75 to $20.44 million).

Prior to the sale, Sachs has said he will donate approximately 800 pieces to various universities and museums.

Attorney Gary Olsen, who represented Sachs in his legal battle over the collection, said he will also arrange the sale, which will take place at auction if a single buyer is not found.