HildebrandGurlitt

Blind, 90-year-old son of Holocaust victims sues to find his family’s art

David Toren, the 90-year-old blind son of Holocaust victims, is suing the Berlin auction house Villa Grisebach in the US to track down paintings from his family’s art collection that were sold there in the past 20 years. One of those paintings was consigned by the daughter of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a dealer who worked with the Nazi regime.

Toren is a retired lawyer in New York whose entire family was killed in Poland, during the Second World War. A young David—then named Klaus Günther Tarnowski—escaped with his brother on a Kindertransport to Sweden in August 1939.

Survivor sues to locate family's looted art

Retired New York attorney David Toren—blind and almost 90—whose entire family was killed by the Nazis, has petitioned German auction house Villa Grisebach to reveal the identities of the buyers of two paintings that were looted from his great uncle’s home around 1940, the New York Daily News reports.

Toren’s great uncle, industrialist David Friedmann, had 54 pieces of museum quality art in his Breslau mansion, all of which were seized by the Nazis in 1940. Toren, who escaped as a child on the Kindertransport in 1939, recently discovered that three works from his family’s collection were in the trove of Cornelius Gurlitt, son of Hitler’s art dealer, Hildebrand Gurlitt. Two of the works discovered in the Gurlitt trove were by Max Liebermann, and the third by Franz Skarbina.