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March 8

A contingent with the Royal Norwegian Air force travelled from NATO headquarters in Virginia to bestow the Norwegian World War Participation Medal on first generation United States Citizen and World War II veteran Trygve Peterson. Petersen was a member of the 99th Battalion – the Viking Battalion – which comprised Americans of Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish descent. Originally the battalion was assigned to serve in Norway but Omaha Beach, just two days after D-Day, had a higher priority. Petersen was repatriated home from Europe with wounds that resulted in his loss of hearing.

 March 7

MOSCOW (RAPSI, Ingrid Burke)

The great nephew of a holocaust survivor has turned to the US courts in hopes of compelling Germany to return a painting allegedly looted by Nazis.

David Toren, 88, asserts that in February 2012, German law enforcement officers raided the small apartment of an 81-year-old recluse in Munich named Cornelius Gurlitt and confiscated about 1,400 classic works of art, including paintings and drawings by Picasso, Chagall, and Matisse..

Gurlitt’s father Hildebrand “art dealer to the Fuhrer,” made his living by trading in looted works of art. When the war ended, Hildebrand allegedly kept quiet about an art collection worth more than 1 billion euros.

Toren claims that Germany and Bavaria only unveiled the discovery when forced by a whistleblower to do so, nearly two years after the fact in November 2013.

Among the discoveries exhibited during the announcement was “Two Riders on the Beach,” a Max Liebermann oil painting that Toren claims was looted from the villa of his great uncle David Friedman. Friedman and his family died during the war and their entire art collection had disappeared

. Toren presented a letter written by a Nazi official cataloguing the works of art discovered in Friedmann’s villa. The extensive list included Liebermann’s “Two Riders.”

German and Bavarian authorities were not convinced and Toren’s request was denied without explanation.

Now it is up to a US court.



March 1

February is a ‘lost’ month as far as writing about WWII is concerned. We have been in Zimbabwe since Jan 29th and mostly busy with family, friends, and making notes about the wonderful country that has ended in such dire straits. There was one interesting item that we came across in a book but I have to do some research before it can be posted. The notes about Zimbabwe will appear in a separate blog in the near future.

  2014  /  Blog  /  Last Updated March 12, 2014 by Geoffrey Ward  / 


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