Intrigue in the World of Photography III: The Helene Anderson Collection

I’ve enjoyed the research that has so far culminated in issues I (Lewis Hine) and II (Man Ray) of this mini-series, Intrigue in the World of Photography within TFG. So, when I found some printouts whilst combing through the various papers on my desk I realised that I had one more story to add. 

In the two previous issues the question raised has been predominantly one of authenticity, with provenance taking a slight back seat to the proceedings. In the Helene Anderson Case (which sounds like a problem for Paul Temple) the problem really lies in the provenance of the entire collection which was discovered to have been a fabrication.

Sotheby’s Important Avant-Garde Photographs of the 1920s & 1930s; The Helene Anderson Collection catalogue cover

The Sale of the Century

The “Helene Anderson Collection” was sold at Sotheby’s London in May 1997. It contained a wealth of mostly modernist and early 20th century museum-quality prints: Man Ray, Florence Henri, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Alexander Rodchenko, Albert Renger-Patsch (but there were also several Calotypes by Hill and Adamson). Sotheby’s had run an aggressive marketing campaign in order to publicise the collection and the sale itself was well-attended by a host of dealers, collectors, and curators all eager to obtain these high-quality works. 

The collection hammered down for a total of £2,046,000 [1] which made it a record (at the time) for a single-owner sale. [2] 

The Helene Anderson Collection

The story itself starts, as ever, with a promising consignment. Sotheby’s Frankfurt was approached by an individual, an elderly man, who wanted to sell this treasure trove of modernist photography. According to him, the collection of photographs had come from his late mother, Helene Anderson, who had hidden the works during the rise of Nazism. He had only discovered the photographs after his mother had died, several decades after the end of the Second World War. 

Photostatic copies of the prints were sent to Philippe Garner, Sotheby’s London esteemed expert on photography (now retired). Garner examined them. They included important works by Edward Weston, Florence Henri, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy – these were not your average prints because these were not your average photographers. Even if you haven’t heard of Florence Henri and Moholy-Nagy, you have to have heard of Weston. He’s one of the most famous American photographers of the early-mid 20th century and I’m definitely going to write about his work! 

Even at this early point you’ve got to understand that seeing even copies of prints like these for a photography expert, enthusiast, collector, connoisseur, whatever you want to call it, is a little bit momentous. [3] Of course, Garner hadn’t seen the prints in the flesh at this point so he naturally reserved judgement. He needed to know several things before proceeding, most importantly dates and provenance. The Frankfurt Sotheby’s representatives came back to Garner with the news that all the material in the collection had belonged to the current owner’s mother, who had collected them prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. Garner decided to travel to Frankfurt to see the prints with his own eyes. 

The Frankfurt Connection

Garner arrived at Sotheby’s Frankfurt offices to examine the prints in person and meet the consignor. Through an interpreter, because the consignor didn’t speak sufficient English, Garner learned the story behind the collection. Anderson was born in 1891, in Silesia, a region that is a little bit in Germany, a little bit in Poland, and a little bit in the Czech Republic. [4] According the consignor, his mother was sent to Berlin to study and she remained there, at some point becoming interested in photography to a sufficient extent that she developed her eye for it and started to purchase works directly from the photographers themselves. 

But, as the Nazi fervor swept through Germany and artistic creativity and freedom was suppressed, Anderson stopped collecting. Upon the outbreak of war, in 1939, she decided to send her collection to her parents’ home in Silesia, with the intention to collect it. As the Russians advanced their front towards Silesia towards the end of the war, this box of photographs was sent away and ended up in Frankfurt, where Anderson settled. The box remained unopened until the consignor retired, which was a while after Anderson’s death in 1971. 

Sotheby’s Important Avant-Garde Photographs of the 1920s & 1930s; The Helene Anderson Collection catalogue

Why it took such a long time for the consignor to come forward with the box of photographs is curious but perhaps it took that long to decide what to do with it. In any case, Garner was satisfied with the history of the photographs and explained to the consignor that they represented a “time capsule” that would gather great interest from collectors and historians. [5] In spite of this, arriving at estimates for the prints was not simple. In Garner’s words, “There were no points of reference for much of the material and its exceptional provenance.” [6] Back at Sotheby’s London, Garner consulted with Denise Bethel, then vice-president of the photographs department in New York, and asked her to make an independent estimate on the value of these works. They both arrived at figures around $1 million. They met again with the consignor and agreed on a single-owner sale in London, with previews in Berlin and New York. 

The Plot Thickens

As it turned out, the character “Helene Anderson the Collector” never existed. She was a curious fiction designed to mislead the auction house into selling the works. But why?! Well, first, perhaps you’re wondering how this is possible; how could one old man (to put it crudely) fool an entire auction house, comprised of seasoned specialists and experts in the field of photography? You might also ask a more incisive question, however; since there was absolutely no documentation to back up this provenance, and since the works were apparently collected during the 1930s when the Nazis were known to violently dispossess certain people of their belongings, art especially, why did the auction house not aggressively research the history of these pieces? [7]

“… there were no invoices, letters, whatsoever…”

Philippe Garner [8]

The only documents handed over to Sotheby’s were photographs of the consignor’s supposed mother, Helene Anderson. Sotheby’s faithfully reproduced these in the auction catalogue, but wasn’t overly concerned with the lack of a paper-trail, or the fact that the consignor was anonymous. Philippe Garner, then Sotheby’s London senior department director and organiser of the sale, noted that, “The great majority of our consignors in day-to-day business remain anonymous,” so it wouldn’t have raised many eyebrows. [9]

While it’s easy for me (or indeed anyone) to be suspicious about the convenient presentation of these exemplary modernist prints, and while hindsight is always 20/20, the auction house doesn’t (and can’t) run on suspicious minds. As Garner put it, “In our business one always has to be on one’s guard, but it would simply not be possible to function on the basis of assuming everything is a lie until proved otherwise.” [10] It’s the way our criminal justice system works; the onus falls upon the prosecution to prove the defendant guilty. In this vein of thought it would be incumbent upon the auction house to verify every single consignment, which would amount to several hundred per year. This hazy estimation includes all consignments throughout all departments throughout the year, not just the important collections. Of course, it makes infinitely more sense to only count the large or important collections or works (for which provenance research is undertaken in any case) but it does make for more dramatic emphasis. 

The Catalogue

You might think it superfluous to the story but as we established way back the catalogue is an integral cog in the well-lubricated wheel that is The Auction. It comes out a month before the sale, it’s sent to every collector and client in the department’s roster, plus the V.I.Ps associated with the auction house itself, and it’s the tangible object that remains after all the excitement of the sale has dissolved (unless you actually bought something). After a little searching online I managed to find the catalogue for the sale. 

Frontispiece and backispiece 🙂

Okay so it has one page torn out about 85 lots in, which means that I don’t know what those 10 lots were, but aside from that minor aesthetic concern it’s in pretty tip-top condition. And I think the highest value lots are still intact in the catalogue so that’s the main thing. In total, there are 221 lots.

Something intriguing that I found inside the catalogue I’ll pick up in a separate issue because it’s that fascinating. You’ll know which one it is, even if it’s a mini-issue because it only concerns a couple of prints. 

The Consignor

The consignor was named Hans-Joachim Burdack. And his name meant absolutely nothing to anyone. It wasn’t even made public knowledge until early the following year, in 1998. It was revealed by a German art historian and expert on modernist photography: Dr Herbert Molderings. He had seen the Anderson Collection prints in Sotheby’s Cologne, in March 1997, where they were on tour in order to drum up interest. [11] It was here that his initial suspicions were raised. How could it be that in over 25 years in the field of modernist photography Molderings had never heard of Helene Anderson? [12]

Molderings wrote a short article that was printed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung just two days before the sale on May 2nd. Sotheby’s wasn’t concerned. And frankly with only two days to go before this monumental sale they were probably more than a little reluctant to call it off. But Molderings was curious and continued to research the history of the pieces within the collection. This research took him 8 months and led him into museum and city archives across Germany before he discovered the truth. 

Helene Anderson did, in fact, exist. Molderings demonstrated that she was born in the Lower Silesian region in 1891, and married a man by the name of Burdack. So her son was indeed Hans Joachim, the consignor. But this didn’t explain why or how Burdack had got his hands on such a remarkable collection of photographs, given that the name Helene Anderson drew a blank in the art world. 

The Original Collector

Molderings used the photographs as the basis for his research into their true provenance. He was able to show that the collection of photographs auctioned in London was not the entire collection; in fact it only constituted under half of the original collection. Molderings’ research proved that some of the photographs in the Sotheby’s sale had been purchased by the then-director of the King Albert Museum in Zwickau, Germany. The director hadn’t acquired these prints for himself, but for an industrialist friend, so the documentation said. [13] Molderings proved this industrialist to be Kurt Kirchbach. Kirchbach was already an art collector before he became interested in building a collection of photography, but it was in the summer of 1929, at the now-famous Film und Foto exhibition in Stuttgart that inspiration struck and he decided to build the first collection of international modernist photography. Prior to this, photography was collected as documentary evidence of architectural and artistic monuments, not as art in its own right. 

How did Kirchbach come to be in possession of such fine artworks, especially given the stark financial condition of a post-war Germany that was struggling to make reparations payments? Kirchbach owned an industrial company that manufactured brake and clutch pads in Coswig, between Dresden and Zwickau. He took it over with his twin brother, Ernst, after their father, Karl, passed away. But it was in a new invention that Kirchbach made his money; during the outbreak of World War One, Germany couldn’t provide brake pads for car or tank engines because the British manufacturer, Ferodo, was, well, British, and not trading with Germany. The brothers invented a new method of creating them from woven asbestos, using the local expertise in lace-making to help. They were able to deliver the first brake pads and seals ever made in Germany within a few months of the outbreak of war. By the time Gurlitt and Kirchbach met, the company was exporting into the rest of Europe, and Kirchbach’s company was the official supplier to the German army. Kirchbach had also demanded they be paid in foreign exchange wherever possible, in order to avoid hanging on to increasingly worthless German currency, which was a sly move, and something that the Nazi regime would soon implement in their imports. [14]

The book! And my pedantic post-it-ing!

Molderings highlights an interesting quirk in this story. For a wealthy industrialist such as Kirchbach, obtaining these modernist prints was not a question of money. For one painting by Christian Rohlfs, an artist already heavily featured in his collection, he could obtain Man Ray prints several times over (as unlikely as that seems today when we know how much moolah you have to fork out for a print by the master). So, you might reasonably conclude that Kirchbach had been motivated to build a collection of modernist photography for the simple reason that it hadn’t yet been done. A more cynical person might say that he wanted to have more easily liquefiable (definitely a word?) assets in the extreme case that money was not to hand. In any case he was in a position to acquire high-quality prints from the artists, he had an eye for building a collection, and he had the assistance of an art historian and curator whose name was Hildebrand Gurlitt. [15]

The Gurlitt Association

You’ll be remembering the Gurlitt name, or it’ll be ringing some bells, at least. His son, Cornelius, was discovered in possession of a huge trove of looted artworks back in 2013. Susan Ronald’s book, Hitler’s Art Thief, parallels the histories of Gurlitt and Hitler, with an obvious emphasis on Gurlitt as this is a work about him. Unlike Hitler’s unyielding hatred for Jews, Gurlitt’s paternal grandmother was herself Jewish (by the name of Lewald) and Hildebrand made a handful of Jewish acquaintances during his studies and work. Of course, the family had long since renounced their faith; part of assimilating into German society involved this disavowal of Judaism and acceptance of German values, culture, and state religion. Hildebrand’s Jewish heritage, albeit renounced, would prove useful to him in the immediate aftermath of the war and looting. He would claim to American investigators that his status as mischling, or something the Nazis invented as being a-bit-Jew-and-a-bit-not-Jew, and obviously racist, hindered his work and career. [16]

Gurlitt himself had a miserable youth, by all accounts. He was conscripted during the First World War, although he was invalided out before long, spending considerable time writing, occasionally to his brother, Wilibald. Hildebrand’s mental health was delicate, to say the least. Whether it was already fragile, or shattered further by the traumas of war, is unknown, but it’s safe to say that his younger years were fraught with social upheaval and familial tragedy: war, massive economic recession, riots, and his dear sister Cornelia’s suicide. 

His dream to become a museum director finally became reality, not in a well-regarded city like Dresden, or in a cosmopolitan city like Berlin; it was in Zwickau, a little backwater industrial town where Gurlitt became director of the Konig Albert Museum. Despite the prevailing sense that modernist and expressionist art were degenerate, Gurlitt was keen to build exhibitions on artwork from these fields. It’s unclear how or when Gurlitt and Kirchbach became known to each other, but Gurlitt had only been in Zwickau for a short period of time before the two became friendly and Kirchbach hired Gurlitt to help him acquire art for investment purposes. This professional relationship eventually grew closer, to the extent that Kirchbach was a substitute father for Gurlitt, whose own father, Cornelius, was clearly a man who expected a lot of his son. Cornelius had an illustrious career himself; he was the head of several architectural organisations and an authority on Baroque architecture. His son didn’t quite achieve the same fame, or at least, not in quite the same morally upright way. [17]

Gurlitt was a thief, stealing both from the Jews whose desperation he exploited, and from Hitler, surprisingly. He used a variety of methods to complete this thieving; from forging import/export papers, to claiming insider status as an art dealer, really nothing was off-limits for him. I don’t know if Hitler ever caught on, but certainly some of Gurlitt’s colleagues in this vast and disgusting business of plundering did, although instead of bringing him up on charges they simply let it be known to him and allowed that delicious hint of a threat to hang like a guillotine over his neck.

The Anderson/Kirchbach Collection

Molderings was able to prove a connection between Kurt Kirchbach’s widow, Hildegard, and the wife of the consignor, Hans Joachim Burdack. After an accident in her Basel apartment, Hildegard Kirchbach moved to the Sanapark senior residence. This was in December 1993. She died in July 1995. The director of the senior residence was Angelika Burdack, Hans Joachim’s wife. 

In July 1995, Hildegard Kirchbach died. Together, the Burdacks dispossessed her of the photography collection and had it declared a “gift” by shifty legal means. They also claimed (when it came to light) that Kirchbach had expressly asked to have her name kept quiet in connection with the collection. 

How they all link together, sort of

This sort of explains how Burdack got his hands on the collection, and rationalises his story: the gap of 20 years between his mother dying (in 1971) and the works coming to auction in 1997. 

The Legacy Dispute

10 years after the auction, Molderings wrote a further article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung which enumerated the story so far. In the final two pages he described how the legacy of the Kirchbach Collection is still mired in dispute. The Burdacks had taken that which did not belong to them, this much was evident. They were unable to provide any kind of written, legal document that named them as Hildegard Kirchbach’s beneficiaries of this alleged “gift” of the photography collection, but none of this was revealed before the sale took place. As a consequence, successful bidders in the “Helene Anderson Collection” sale became owners of the prints. 

There were ultimately two parties in dispute over the collection’s rightful heirs. One was a Zurich lawyer, Dr. Werner Stauffacher, who had been Hildegard Kirchbach’s legal advisor in the final three years of her life. He took possession of the Kirchbach’s art collection but this excluded the photography collection, which had presumably already been snaffled by the Burdacks. Stauffacher relied on a handwritten “last will and testament” that Hildegard Kirchbach apparently made in December 1993, the month in which she moved into the Sanapark residence. 

But it doesn’t end there. This 1993 handwritten will was contested by the Munich industrialist Eckbert von Bohlen und Halbach. The Kirchbach’s had known the von Bohlen und Halbach’s for years, and in 1953, Kurt Kirchbach sold the works he had stored in Dusseldorf to Berthold von Bohlen und Halbach. Over 30 years later, after Kurt had died, Eckbert was testamentarily substituted for his late father, Berthold, in Hildegard’s will. As the new heir to her estate he was legally obligated to carry out the legacies that were laid out in a separate legacy testament, and which required him to bequeath specific works to the Kunstmuseum Basel.

The Conclusion

It’s difficult to conclude this particular episode because as far as I can tell the court drama might be ongoing. In short, Stauffacher’s claim to Hildegard Kirchbach’s estate was declared illegitimate, and the handwritten will was deemed invalid. But the von Bohlen und Halbachs pursued the case and wanted to have the photographs sold in 1997 returned to the Kunstmuseum Basel. At the time Molderings was writing this last article, the Basel courts had yet to determine the question of Hildegard Kirchbach’s legal heir. Until that’s decided the whole question of returning the Sotheby’s photos (as I’m going to call them) is on hold. 

But, as Molderings points out, private collectors who had shelled out good money for these works would hardly be likely to voluntarily return their purchases for zero compensation. According to Molderings, some had already threatened to sue Sotheby’s if such a time came that they were forced to give up the pieces. And unless the courts reach a conclusion and the von Bohlen und Halbachs decide to make it public I don’t think I’ll ever know what happened to the collection. Molderings does mention that the search for the missing section of the Kurt Kirchbach photography collection did gain some traction when a mere 7 photographs were put up at the Villa Griesebach in November 2005, but it’s not possible to find out more information about that sale and the specific prints that were consigned. [18] 

“… the most significant wrong to be righted os often the mere acknowledgement of the initial crime which always led to desperation and often to murder… “

Markus Stoetzel, [19]

The case for restitution artwork continues to this day, unsurprisingly, and Gurlitt’s name is not far behind such stories. Earlier this year, Germany returned three paintings to the heirs of the French-Jewish collector from whom it had been looted by the Nazis. Of course, it passed through Hildebrand Gurlitt’s hands. [20]

So, the Helene Anderson Collection never existed. Hildebrand Gurlitt was a criminal who profited from the desperation and misery of a persecuted class, and did nothing to assist them. He was never held accountable for his crimes, and his son, rightly or wrongly, paid the price. It’s almost ironic, given Gurlitt’s dedication to relieving Jews of their possessions, that his own endeavours were echoed by the Burdacks 12 years later.

The Lion Tamer

I just want to close on this. Ronald makes a point when she’s talking about restitution. Could you make an itemised list of your grandparents artworks or belongings? It’s the Nazi’s gift that just keeps on giving. When the American Monuments Men started their recovery work in Germany, in 1945, The Lion Tamer, an Expressionist-style painting by the Jewish artist Max Beckmann, was named in the inventory that Gurlitt submitted to them. It had belonged to the art dealer Alfred Flechtheim. He was Jewish.

Forced out of Germany, he survived for a short time by selling off works from his collection through his soon-to-be former gallery partners. He died in abject poverty in Paris, while his so-called “friends” and former gallery partners plundered his vast art collection to sell off or “hold” on his behalf. One artwork from his collection was called The Lion Tamer.

Flechtheim wasn’t around to defend himself, or even restore his stolen collection, but he did have a nephew in London’s East End. Did the nephew know about his uncle’s art collection? No. So, no claim was made upon The Lion Tamer, and the AMM restored it to Gurlitt’s collection, where it fell into his son Cornelius’s hands after the elder Gurlitt died. [21]

Jump forward to the 21st century. Flechtheim’s heirs had engaged lawyers, based in New York and Marburg, Germany to locate their ancestor’s “exceptional collection.” [22] Stoetzel discovered The Lion Tamer almost entirely by chance; as a lawyer specialising in art looting, part of his research involved perusing the auction catalogues. In one catalogue he came across The Lion Tamer. It was only a few weeks before the sale, but Stoetzel contacted Karl Sax-Feddersen at Lempertz, the Cologne auction house, with the information. [23] Feddersen was put on schpilkes; he was informed by Stoetzel that the painting had belonged to Flechtheim’s collection since June 1931, and it had never been sold. This meant that the catalogue information was incorrect. It took a lot of back-and-forth, including Stoetzel’s inclusion of definitive proof of Flechtheim’s penury, but ultimately Gurlitt agreed to a 60/40 split on the auction proceeds. [24]

Stoetzel said, “In these cases, the most significant wrong to be righted is often the mere acknowledgement of the initial crime which always led to desperation and often to murder. We know Flecthheim was in effect murdered by the Nazis.” [25] It’s a partial victory.

I’m sorry to end on such a bum note. I finished reading Hitler’s Art Thief (finally) this weekend, and that was something that stuck with me. Anyway.

References

  1. Juliet Hacking, Photography and the Art Market (London: Sotheby’s Institute of Art/Lund Humphries, 2018) p. 52
  2. Where the auction contains consignments from only one individual as opposed to many, which would make it multiple or various owners (SO instead of VO).
  3. I remember the first time I saw an albumen print by Henry Peach-Robinson at the Science Museum in London. I’d only ever seen his work reproduced in books and seeing it in the flesh sent shivers across my skin. 
  4. See here: https://culture.pl/en/article/what-is-silesia
  5. Philippe Garner quoted by Judd Tully, “the Anderson Fairy Tale,” in American Photo, July/August 1998, (pp.54-56, 97) p.54: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2SkVdcAsOtUC&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=helene+anderson+sotheby%27s&source=bl&ots=7HEZ5CPLfG&sig=ACfU3U34x0pT853yKNywQs2cz2S99yPxVQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjk9Naa57rqAhXQiVwKHRDVB6YQ6AEwDnoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=helene%20anderson%20sotheby’s&f=false [last accessed 21/07/20].
  6. Philippe Garner, “Sale of the Century,” in American Photo, March/April 1997, (pp.32-36) p.36: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=g7r6WbPu1wEC&pg=PA36&lpg=PA36&dq=helene+anderson+sale&source=bl&ots=qqeXezNgFZ&sig=ACfU3U2gRj7YF42dz5IHhPohYnThk-JEPw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj2raDH4brqAhUzQkEAHZW2AKoQ6AEwCXoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=helene%20anderson%20sale&f=false [last accessed 21/07/20].
  7. And I have no answer. I think it’s an unspoken rule that any objects consigned to auction with a provenance hailing from the 1930s has to be thoroughly researched in order to be absolutely certain that it didn’t come from a Nazi-sanctioned looting. There’s a sprinkling of Jewish families taking institutions to court over restitution claims in recent years, and it probably won’t stop. 
  8. Garner, quoted by Tully, American Photo, July/August 1998, p.56.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Common practice for Very Important Sales, the tour serves a dual purpose: first, it’s used to get the would-be consignor to actually consign their Very Important Collection, using the allure of a cross-continent or cross-country tour; second, it gets the auction house and the sale a larger amount of exposure. For example, Christie’s sale including the “last/lost” Leonardo, Salvator Mundi, was sold at Christie’s New York but not before it had travelled across the globe, to Hong Kong and London, before finally arriving at the NY HQ. An international tour is a huge expenditure for the auction house (think about shipping, insurance, manpower) but they will weigh up the financial burden of this marketing outlay with the sale estimates and the press that it would bring. 
  12. This wasn’t arrogance on his part. Photography is like any other field, really, if you’re deeply entrenched within it then you know the key players, in this case the key collectors. The further inside photography’s various fields you go, the more niche they become and the fewer active participants exist. In the case of the modernist photography, Molderings would have come into contact with the major collectors, dealers, and museum curators who were active in that field. Even if new collectors became active his position as an expert in the field would have brought him into contact with them, if not personally then at least from a distance. 
  13. Herbert Molderings, “Neither a storage find, nor the ‘Helene Anderson Collection’…” in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 27 October 2005: https://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/fotokunst-weder-ein-speicherfund-noch-die-helene-anderson-collection-es-gab-einmal-eine-pionier-sammlung-mit-meisterlicher-fotografie-1277846.html [last accessed 21/07/20].
  14. Susan Ronald, Hitler’s Art Thief (New York: St Martin’s Press, 2015) p. 131.
  15. Here’s the thing. Either you say that Kirchbach was a collector ahead of his time, who created the first ever private collection of modernist photography purely for the purpose of platforming photography as art, rather than as an evidentiary tool, or you’re a pragmatist who says that he was clearly a very savvy businessman, he generated immense profit from a practical invention and wanted to have liquid assets. It’s one or the other, it can’t really be both. Can it?! 
  16. Ronald, Hitler’s Art Thief, p.115.
  17. Ibid., p.131.
  18. Herbert Molderings, “Neither a storage find, nor the ‘Helene Anderson Collection’…” in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 27 October 2005: https://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/fotokunst-weder-ein-speicherfund-noch-die-helene-anderson-collection-es-gab-einmal-eine-pionier-sammlung-mit-meisterlicher-fotografie-1277846.html [last accessed 21/07/20].
  19. Susan Ronald, quoted in Hitler’s Art Thief, p. 312.
  20. Artnet: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/restitution-german-lost-art-foundation-january-14-1752471 [last accessed 21/07/20].
  21. Gurlitt even died in a way that mirrored his own dubious activities. In 1956, the brakes on his car “failed” when he driving along a road in Dusseldorf, where Kirchbach, “King of Brakes” (a rewording of Ronald’s phrasing) had moved. Suspicious?
  22. Ronald, Hitler’s Art Thief, p. 311.
  23. Jeevan Vasagar and Elizabeth Paton, “Art: Lost and Found,” in The Financial Times, 8 November 2013: https://www.ft.com/content/b6c4c78e-4860-11e3-a3ef-00144feabdc0 [last accessed 31/08/20].
  24. Ronald, p.312. The proof was in a letter that Flechtheim had written to I.B. Neumann in New York: “Ich habe kein geld.”
  25. Ibid.
  26. Forbes, Simon Constable, “The Diabolical Tale of Hitler’s Art Thief,” 4 December 2015: https://www.forbes.com/sites/simonconstable/2015/12/04/the-diabolical-tale-of-hitlers-art-thief/#7ff435fc444d [last accessed 31/08/20].