The Orpheus Clock : the search for my family's art treasures stolen by the Nazis / Simon Goodman
- New York : Scribner, 2015
Includes bibliographical references (pages -332) and index
- First Scribner hardcover edition
The passionate, true story of one man's quest to reclaim what the Nazis stole from his family--their beloved art collection--and to restore their legacy. Simon Goodman's grandparents came from German Jewish banking dynasties and perished in concentration camps. And that's almost all he knew--his father rarely spoke of their family history or heritage. But when he passed away, and Simon received his father's papers, a story began to emerge. The Gutmanns, as they were known then, rose from a small Bohemian hamlet to become one of Germany's most powerful banking families. They also amassed a world-class art collection that included works by Degas, Renoir, Botticelli, and many others, including a Renaissance clock engraved with scenes from the legend of Orpheus. The Nazi regime snatched everything the Gutmanns had labored to build: their art, their wealth, their social standing, and their very lives. Simon grew up in London with little knowledge of his father's efforts to recover their family's possessions. It was only after his father's death that Simon began to piece together the clues about the stolen legacy and the Nazi looting machine. He learned much of the collection had gone to Hitler and Goring; other works had been smuggled through Switzerland, sold and resold, with many pieces now in famous museums. More still had been recovered by Allied forces only to be stolen again by bureaucrats-- European governments quietly absorbed thousands of works of art into their own collections. Through painstaking detective work across two continents, Simon proved that many pieces belonged to his family, and successfully secured their return-- the first Nazi looting case to be settled in the United States. Goodman's dramatic story reveals a rich family history almost obliterated by the Nazis. It is not only the account of a twenty-year long detective hunt for family treasure, but an unforgettable tale of redemption and restoration. --Adapted from book jacket.
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