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Rare Nazi-Seized Posters to Auction in New York

A trove of about 4,300 rare vintage advertising posters that were seized by the Nazis in 1938 will go to auction in New York.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 1/17/2013, 8:14 PM

auction (illustrative)
auction (illustrative)
Flash 90

A trove of about 4,300 rare vintage advertising posters that were seized, and feared to have been destroyed, by the Nazis in 1938 will go to auction in New York on Friday.

The collection, which originally belonged to Hans Sachs, a Jewish dentist in Berlin, has been recovered by his son Peter and will be sold at Guernsey's Auction House.

The artists of the works, which depict everything from art to opera and propaganda to sports, include Alphonse Mucha, Jules Cheret, Gustav Klimt, Toulouse-Lautrec, Kathe Kollwitz, Max Slevogt and Max Klinger, AFP reported.

The original Sachs collection reportedly numbered up to 12,500 posters.

The family received compensation from the German government in 1961 for about the equivalent of 500,000 euros.

However, Peter Sachs discovered that a third of the posters were actually at the German Historical Museum in Berlin.

After a legal battle, the Sachs family was given ownership.

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."

"The collection dates back to the early 19th century and is estimated to be worth (between) $5.75 and $20.44 million," said Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's auction house, according to AFP.

The auction will run through the weekend.