November 20, 2018
Joel Androphy represents an heir to the Dutch Jewish art galley Firma D. Katz, who seeks restitution of artworks sold under duress to Nazi agents during WWII.
Joel M. Androphy of the Berg & Androphy law firm represented an heir to Firma D. Katz, a former Jewish art gallery partnership in the Netherlands which was forced to sell over one hundred forty valuable paintings to the Nazis and their agents during World War II.
Plaintiff Bruce Berg, heir to a partner in Firma D. Katz, seeks restitution of the paintings, which are currently in the wrongful possession of the Dutch government and a number of private and public museums in the Netherlands.
The paintings were sold or traded under duress by Firma D. Katz to representatives of the Nazi regime between mid-1940 and 1942, during the occupation of the Netherlands.
The paintings were destined for Adolf Hitler’s future “Führermuseum” in Linz, Austria, or for the massive art collection of Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering. Goering himself even paid a terrifying visit to Firma D. Katz, accompanied by armed guards, to inspect and select the paintings.
A considerable portion of the money paid for the art by Hitler, Goering and their agents was used by the Katz family to keep their relatives and families from being transported to concentration and death camps, and to facilitate the Katz family’s escape from the occupied Netherlands.