Supreme court hears arguments in landmark cases over art stolen by Nazis during Holocaust

[From The Guardian]

Disputes will test the limits of the jurisdiction of US courts as judges weigh whether property stolen from Jews can be recovered.

The US supreme court is wrestling with the vexed question of whether art and other property stolen by the Nazis from Jews in Germany and Hungary can be recovered or recouped through the US courts.

On Monday, the nine justices heard oral arguments in two cases.

One case related to a group of 14 Holocaust survivors from Hungary, some of whom are now US citizens. The plaintiffs are seeking compensation from Hungary’s state railway company for property that was taken from them and their families as they were being transported to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

The other case has been brought by the heirs of a consortium of German Jewish art dealers who bought the Welfenschatz, the Guelph Treasure of medieval Christian art. About half of the collection of valuable crucifixes and altars was acquired by Prussia, with enthusiastic backing from Adolf Hitler, at a knocked-down price in 1935.

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