Family of Holocaust Survivor Ordered to Return Artifact
A Brooklyn court has ordered the family of a Holocaust survivor to return a 3,200-year-old artifact to a German museum.
The Assyrian artifact is a golden tablet about the size of a passport photo that was looted from the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin during World War II, according to court papers.
The tablet was discovered in 1913 by a group of German archeologists in Iraq, court papers read. It was placed in the Berlin museum in 1926, but when an inventory was conducted in 1939, the tablet was missing.
The looter has been pegged as Auschwitz survivor Riven Flamenbaum.
Flamenbaum left Auschwitz in 1945, when he was sent to a camp in Germany.
It was not clear how he obtained the tablet, but when he and his wife immigrated to the United States four years later, the tablet was one of his most prized possessions.
Dowd, who represented the museum and has served family members of Holocaust survivors in the past, said having the tablet returned to Germany is a "victory for the museums of the world".
"This a public treasure for scholars of the world", Dowd said. "Itís a rare artifact, and the world scholars deserve to study it. It doesnít belong in private hands".