In Montreal Concordia University has managed to have five paintings owned by Max Stern and stolen by the Nazis returned to their rightful heirs. When Stern was in Nazi Germany before he could flee, the Nazis forced him to sell some of his art to an “Aryan” dealer and then confiscated the rest after he escaped to Montréal.
The director of the Montreal restitution project explained in the Globe and Mail:
“One of the challenges we have is that, unlike the United States, which recognizes a forced sale as being equivalent to a theft, here in Germany and in other countries, they haven’t yet developed an art law position that is as clear as the Americans.”
Europeans have dragged their feet for decades about returning goods stolen by the Nazis. They have been reluctant to make even that small compensation to the victims of the Holocaust and their families. European museums are full of works stolen from murdered Jews, just as Swiss banks profited from the accounts of Holocaust victims.
It is always easy to tolerate injustices done to others.