German court orders museum to return poster collection to Jewish heir

(JTA) — Germany’s top appeals court ruled that the Deutsches Historisches Museum must return a collection of more than 4,000 posters to the son of Hans Sachs, a Jewish dentist who fled Nazi Germany.

In a statement Friday, the court said that "the owner of art lost due to Nazi injustices must be able to demand it back from the person who possesses it now, in a case where the work was missing after the war, and therefore couldn’t be returned according to Allied restitution laws."

The son, Peter Sachs, is a retired airline pilot from Sarasota, Fla.

Gestapo officials seized the posters from the senior Sachs in 1938, saying that Joseph Goebbels wanted them for a new museum. The government-run Berlin museum has estimated that the posters are worth $5.9 million, according to Bloomberg News.

"I can’t describe what this means to me on a personal level,” Sachs reportedly said in a statement distributed by his attorney. “It feels like vindication for my father, a final recognition of the life he lost and never got back."

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