What’s the connection between Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Nazi theft of European artifacts?
One person: his estranged wife Anne Sinclair.
There is an article in Wiki that reads like TV drama, short enough to be copied here in full:
“2011 Gurlitt discovery
In the 1930s, art dealer and collector Hildebrandt Gurlitt held a number of positions within the German art and museum establishment. But after the Nazi’s came to power, he was excluded from many of these through his Jewish grandmother. However, he was charged by Goebbels personally with “versilbern” – turning looted art works into cash – through use of his extensive network of German, European and worldwide art contacts. It is estimated that at its height, he had established a trading collection above 1,500 pieces through purchase from fleeing Jews. At the end of the war in 1945, he ordered the collection destroyed in light of the enclosing Allied forces. Under interrogation after capture, he told US Army authorities that in the February 1945 fire bombing of Dresden, his entire collection had been destroyed at his home Kaitzer Strasse. Assessed as a victim of Nazi persecution due to his Jewish heritage, he was released and continued trading art works until his death in a car crash in 1956.
In September 2010, German border guards undertook a routine search of passengers on a Switzerland-Munich train, and found his son Cornelius Gurlitt, who had Eur900 in cash in an envelope, plus a series of other empty envelopes suspected of carrying cash. Unemployed and with no obvious means of income, in Spring 2011 German tax authorities obtained a warrant to investigate his small Eur500(£600/$900)/month rented flat in Schwabing, Munich. Within the purposefully darkened premises, behind rotting food, they discovered 1,500 pieces of art, with a present estimated value of Eur1Bn (£846m; $1.35bn).
In 2013, magazine Focus reported the discovery. It stated that of the estimated 1,500 pieces, 200 are presently the subject of international warrants. Presently being held in a secure warehouse in Garching, the collection includes works by Beckmann, Chagall, Dix, Klee, Kokoschka, Liebermann, Ludwig Kirchner, Marc, Matisse, Nolde and Picasso. Art historians examining the collection stated to Focus that up to 300 pieces appeared in the Nazi art exhibition called Degenerate Art, displaying what they deemed to be poor. The investigators are presently trying to trace the original owners of the works, and their surviving relatives.
Pieces are said to be traceable to the collection of Paul Rosenberg, a French Jewish art dealer who represented Matisse and Picasso, who was forced to leave his collection behind when he fled Germany, including a portrait of a woman by Matisse. Rosenberg’s granddaughter, French TV presenter Anne Sinclair, who has been fighting for decades for the return of his pictures, when approached by Focus stated that she knew nothing of the existence of the painting.
Cornelius Gurlitt, who is presently being detained at a federal prison on tax evasion charges, had managed to survive his entire adult life without any official bank account. Checks by German federal police, customs and tax authorities found that he was not registered with the police, the tax authorities or social services; he drew no pension and had no health insurance.One of the last pieces that Gurlitt sold prior to his arrest and detention was The Lion Tamer by Max Beckmann, which Gurlitt had sold via the Lempertz auction house in Cologne for nearly £750,000.”
But strange things do not end here: in 1944 400 painting s from P. Rosenberg’ collection were discovered on a Nazi train by his son, Alexander Rosenberg:
“In June 1940, via the Dunkirk evacuation, his son Alexandre Rosenberg had escaped to England. There he was commissioned as a Lieutenant into the Free French Forces. After being part of the D-Day Invasion, in August 1944 north of Paris a troop under the command of Lt. Rosenberg seized Nazi train No. 40,044, as it was attempting to transfer looted treasures to Germany. Upon his soldiers opening the train’s boxcars doors, Alexandre viewed many plundered pieces of art that had once been displayed in the home of his father. The seizure saved about 400 pieces of his father’s art from being lost, including many masterpieces. Alexandre was demobalized in 1946, and left immediately for his family in New York to join his fathers business. The train’s interception was the inspiration for the 1964 film The Train, starring Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau and Michel Simon.
His granddaughter is Anne Sinclair, host of political shows and the former wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn from whom she is separated. In October 1997, Rosenberg’s heirs filed suit in United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Seattle, to recover the painting Odalisque (1927 or 1928) by Matisse, the first lawsuit against an American museum concerning ownership of art looted by Nazis during World War II. In 2013, they demanded that Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter return Woman in Blue in Front of Fireplace (1937), a Matisse painting that was confiscated by the Nazis in 1941 in Paris.”