Prominent Jewish Leaders Say ‘Woman In Gold’ Brings Light to Forgotten Story of Nazi Art Theft that Still Haunts Survivors and their Families

April 17, 2015              


Officials say film could be catalyst in forcing museums and governments to finally bring justice the victims of Nazi theft


In a joint statement, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, said that “Woman In Gold” brings attention to a forgotten story of the Holocaust.


“At the end of World War II, the Allies found plundered artwork in more than 1,000 repositories across Germany and Austria,” said Hier and Foxman, adding, “Under the direction of the U.S. Army, nearly 700,000 pieces were identified and restituted to the countries from which they were taken, whose governments were then supposed to locate the original owners and return the art.”


The return of the Gustav Klimt paintings to Maria Altman as told in the film was success, but thousands of artworks were held by governments and prominent museums who did everything they could to stall the return of these works to their rightful owners.


“By focusing attention on this story, “Woman in Gold”, can act as a catalyst in forcing museums and governments to finally bring justice the victims of the Holocaust,” concluded Rabbi Hier and Mr. Foxman.


To see the full statement, go to:



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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).