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Jewish Artifacts Stolen by the Nazis in Holocaust Seized in Brooklyn | Ron Benvenisti

According to American Military News, Jewish artifacts illegally confiscated by the Nazis during World War II and thought to be lost forever have been found and seized by the Department of Homeland Security according an affidavit received by the Department of Justice.

Seventeen artifacts including funeral scrolls, communal records and other manuscripts, from Jewish communities in Romania, Hungary, Ukraine and Slovakia were found at a Brooklyn auction house that was selling them, according to a statement from the Department of Justice. The auction house, Kestenbaum and Company, has been cooperating with authorities, according to the affidavit.

Scrolls and manuscripts from the mid-19th century to World War II that were stolen from many notable Jewish Europe during the Holocaust. Three additional artifacts are thought to be in Israel and upstate New York, according to the statement.

“The Scrolls and Manuscripts that were illegally confiscated during the Holocaust contain priceless historical information that belongs to the descendants of families that lived and flourished in Jewish communities before the Holocaust,” Jacquelyn Kasulis, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in the statement. “This Office hopes that today’s seizure will contribute to the restoration of pre-Holocaust history in Eastern Europe.”

Law enforcement learned that the auction house was selling the manuscripts originating from the Jewish communities whose members were “gathered in ghettos, robbed of their property and deported to Nazi death camps, where the majority of them were killed,” according to the statement.

Surviving community members returned after the war only “to find their homes ransacked and buildings emptied of property,” the statement said. Among the stolen items were the scrolls and manuscripts that contained information about the Jewish communities from as early as 1840 through the Holocaust.

Photo Credit: Irving Katz

Under the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947, all unclaimed Jewish property was to be returned to survivors’ communities, according to the affidavit.

“The Manuscripts and Scrolls were confiscated by individuals who had no right to do so during and after the Holocaust,” the statement said.

The manuscripts contained prayers for the dead, memorial pages, names of deceased community members, society regulations, names of religious leaders, and in some cases, names of community members who were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

“We are fortunate to be part of the team that is able to return these artifacts to their rightful Jewish communities,” Peter Fitzhugh, a Homeland Security Investigations special agent, said in the statement. “…(We) will continue to bring to justice the individuals and transnational criminal organizations who profit from the trafficking of these cultural treasures.”

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There are 1 Comments to "Jewish Artifacts Stolen by the Nazis in Holocaust Seized in Brooklyn | Ron Benvenisti"

  • A. Ponderer says:

    The Biden administration recently helped Iran pay off some it’s UN debts, and thereby regain its voting rights in the UN, by unfreezing some Iranian assets in South Korea, thereby enabling the Mullahs to use some of the unfrozen moolah to pay off their UN debts.
    Question: Do you think the Biden administration will mandate that these artifacts be sold off at a government auction, so that the profits can be used to pay off Iran’s remaining debts to the UN? I’ll log off and listen to your response.