3. The Facts
The Committee established the facts on the grounds of the overview of the facts and the responses to it that were received. The following summary is sufficient here.
3.1 Emma Ranette Budge (1852-1937) was of Jewish descent and was born in Hamburg. She was married to Henry Budge, who in 1866 went to the United States, where he acted as a financial specialist in the financing of the construction of the American railways. Henry Budge became an American citizen on 12 July 1882 and on 12 October 1889 Emma also acquired American citizenship as a result of their marriage. The couple had no children. The couple returned with their wealth to Germany in 1903. They settled in a big house at Harvestehuderweg 12 in Hamburg, which became known as Budge Palace. In Hamburg the couple undertook charitable activities and, among other things, contributed to the establishment of Goethe University Frankfurt. They also built up an extensive art collection. Henry Budge died in 1928. Emma Budge died in Hamburg on 14 February 1937.
3.2 Initially Budge intended to leave her art collection to the city of Hamburg. That changed after the Nazi regime came to power in January 1933. Budge had her last wishes recorded in a will dated 5 October 1933, which was supplemented over the years by five codicils, the last of which was registered in 1936. It can be deduced from the documentation that in her will and testament Budge took into account the rise of the Nazi regime and the possible consequences. The first paragraph of her will of 5 October 1933 contains the following passage.
Gezwungen sehe ich mich zu dieser Aufhebung und zur Neuordnung durch die Veränderung meiner eigenen finanziellen Verhältnisse und der allgemeinen wirtschaftlichen und auch politischen Verhältnisse in Deutschland, welche Veränderungen es mir widersinnig entscheinen lassen, eine von mir früher zu Günsten der Stadt Hamburg angeordnete Verfügung weiter bestehen zu lassen.
Budge had provisions concerning her art collection spelled out in the sixth paragraph of the will. They include the following.
Die in meinem Hause Harvestehuderweg 12 befindlichen Sammlungen an Kunstgegenständen oder kunstgewerblichen Gegenständen gebe und vermache ich meinen Testamentsvollstreckern mit der Auflage, diese Gegestände “sei es in geschlossenen Sammlungen oder in einzelnen Stücken” an ihnen geeignet erschneinende Museen, Gewerbemuseeen oder ähnliche Institutionen in Deutschland oder in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika oder auch in anderen Ländern zu verteilen. Für die Auswahl derjenigen Museen, Gewerbemuseen oder sonstigen Institutionen, denen sie solche Zuwendungen machen wollen, sollen meine Testamentsvollstrecker sich des Beirates von ihnen auszuwählender, ihnen geeignet erscheinender Sachverständiger bedienen.
In a codicil dated 11 June 1934 Budge changed the paragraph about her art collection and stipulated that the executors were authorized, after consulting Albert Rothbart of New York, to donate individual items to museums or other institutions as they saw fit on the condition that the organizations concerned were prepared to exhibit the objects.
Ich hebe den Abschnitt VI meines Testaments vom 5. Oktober 1933 auf und bestimme stattdessen hinsichtlich der in meinem Hause Harvestehuderweg 12 befindlichen Sammlungen von Kunstgegenständen und Kunstgewerblichen Gegenständen das Folgende. Ich beabsichtige, über diese Gegenstände oder einzelne von ihnen noch besondere Verfügungen zu treffen. Soweit ich solche Verfügungen nicht getroffen habe, sollen die Testamentsvollstrecker berechtigt sein, nach ihren freien Ermessen und nach Beratung mit Herrn Albert Rothbart, New York, einzelne Kunst- oder kunstgewerbliche Gegenstände an Museen oder ähnliche Institutionen, zum Beispiel an das Metropolitan Museum in New York, zu verschenken, vorausgesetzt, dass diese Institutionen bereit sind die Gegenstände auszustellen.
The artworks that remained after this then had to be sold. Budge wrote as follows about how such selling had to take place.
Die dann noch übrigen Kunst- und kunstgewerblichen Gegenstände sollen meine Testamentsvollstrecker nach ihrem besten Ermessen in würdiger Weise realisieren, und hinsichtlich dieser Gegenstände nach ihren Ermessen den Zeitpunkt der Realisierung wählen können, und auch die Art und Weise, in welcher sie zu den von ihnen gewählten Zeitpunkten und an den von ihnen zu wählenden Orten zu solcher Realisierung schreiten wollen. Die Testamentsvollstrecker sollen sich dabei sachverständlich beraten lassen, zum Beispiel von einen der Inhaber der Firma Rosenbaum in Frankfurt am Main.
Eine öffentliche Verwertung der Gegenstände in Hamburg soll ausgeschlossen sein.
3.3 On 14 September 1935 the Nazi regime promulgated the Nuremberg Race Laws, which provided a formal basis for the measures against Jews that the Nazis had already widely put into practice. One of the consequences of these laws was that German Jews were deprived of their civil rights.
Budge made substantial changes to her will shortly after the promulgation of the anti-Jewish legislation in the form of a fourth codicil, dated 21 November 1935. In this codicil Budge repeated that Mr Max M. Warburg, Dr Hermann Samson, Mr Max Kronheimer and Mr Ludwig Bernstein were appointed executors. In view of the measures taken shortly beforehand against German Jews (which Budge referred to later in the document as ‘den heutigen Verhältnissen’), Budge stipulated that all executors had to be Jewish.
Für den Fall, dass nach Eintritt des Herrn Rudolf Samson als Testamentsvollstrecker sich die Zahl der Testamentsvollstrecker auf weniger als drei vermindern sollte, sollen die verbliebenen Testamentsvollstrecker Ersatzmänner ernennen, sodass immer drei Testamentsvollstrecker sich im Amte befinden. Notfalls bitte ich das zuständige Gericht um Ernennung so viel Ersatzmänner, dass drei Testamentsvollstrecker im Amt sind. Alle Testamentsvollstrecker sollen den jüdischen Religionsbekenntnis angehören.
In the fourth codicil she also announced the following four new provisions concerning her art collection.
Ich werde in besonderen Verfügungen Bestimmungen über Gegenstände meiner Hauseinrichtung und auch über Kunst- und Wertgegenstände treffen. Insoweit solche besonderen Verfügungen nicht vorhanden sein werden, bleibt die Verwertung Sache meiner Testamentsvollstrecker nach Massgabe der früher darüber getroffenen Bestimmungen. Bei der Verwertung meiner Sammlungen empfehle ich ihnen, sich nicht nur des Rates der Firma Rosenbaum, jetzt nur in Amsterdam, für die Porzellansammlung zu bedienen, sondern auch des Rates des Herrn Börner in Leipzig, insbesondere wegen der Gemälde und Stiche.
She furthermore added the following about the location of any sale.
Eine veräusserung all dieser Gegenstände innerhalb des Deutschen Reiches wird voraussichtlich nicht ratsam sein.
3.4 Emma Budge died on 14 February 1937. Aside from a few charitable institutions that she had helped to set up, as far as we know she bequeathed thirteen Jewish beneficiaries. By the time Budge died, a number of these beneficiaries had fled to foreign countries or had made preparations to do so. It emerges from a list of the component parts of the Budge estate that securities represented by far the biggest part of the assets (over 5.4 million reichsmarks), with the art holdings a long way behind in second place (716,650 reichsmarks). Most of these securities were held in the Schweizer Kreditbank in Zurich, so they were beyond the reach of the German authorities.
The four Jewish executors, the banker Max Warburg, the lawyer Dr Hermann Samson and two nephews of Budge, Max Kronheimer and Ludwig Bernstein, put Budge’s house up for sale immediately. On 11 December 1937 Budge Palace and two other buildings were acquired by the city of Hamburg. Despite the fact that Budge had stated in a codicil to her will in 1935 that it would probably not be prudent to sell her possessions inside Germany, her art collection went under the hammer in 1937 at Berlin auctioneers Paul Graupe, one of the most important auction houses to stage sales of Jewish assets in the nineteen-thirties. A pragmatic attitude was adopted by the Nazis because some art dealers were able, through their trading activities, to obtain foreign currencies, which the German regime badly needed. The Jewish Paul Graupe was an example. However, he also made plans to flee Germany because of his Jewish descent. Initially he was involved in organizing the Budge sale, but in September 1937, before the sale could actually take place, he fled to Paris, where he continued to trade in art.
The actual sale of Budge’s art collection took place on 4-6 October and 6-7 December 1937 under the supervision of Hans W. Lange, who had ‘Aryanized’ the Graupe auction house. It is stated on a ‘Versteigerungs-Niederschrift’ of 20 October 1937 that the executors Max M. Warburg, Dr Herman Samson, Ludwig Bernstein and Max Kronheimer issued instructions for the sale on 14 June 1937. During the sale, which attracted substantial international interest, 1,020 lots went under the hammer. The catalogue compiled on the occasion of the sale titled ‘Die Sammlung Frau Emma Budge † Hamburg’ describes an object under number 124 that corresponds to the currently claimed work.
124 Moses, aufrecht stehend, in weitfaltigem Gewand mit darüber hängendem, auf der rechten Schulter mit einem Knopf gehaltenen Mantel, hält mit der Linken die beiden Gesetzetafeln, die er gegen die Hüfte stemmt. Die Rechte hat er vor die Brust erhoben. Das Gewand ist über der Brust geöffnet; an den Füßen trägt er Sandalen. Einzelheiten, wie die rechte Hand und der Bart, verraten das Vorbild Michelangelos. Auf mitgegossenem achteckigem Sockel. Statuette. Bronze. H. 47,5cm. Rom, 17. Jahrh. Aus dem Einflußbereich des Alessandro Algardi (1602–1654). Tafel 33.
The catalogue also contains an image. On its website the Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste states that the work listed as lot number 124 was purchased at the sale by ‘Stavenhagen’ for 340 reichsmarks. The exact identity of this buyer called ‘Stavenhagen’ is not known. It is not possible, based on the available documentation, to establish what happened to the proceeds of the sale. The Applicant stated that the proceeds were put into a frozen account and that the Budge beneficiaries never had access to them.
3.5 As stated above, the lion’s share of the Budge estate consisted of securities and currency, which were beyond the reach of the Nazi regime in an account with the Swiss Kreditanstalt. The German authorities pushed for the transfer of foreign assets to Germany. This involved exerting pressure on the beneficiaries and executors remaining in Germany by means of withdrawing passports, arrest and seizure of the personal assets of the individual beneficiaries. After Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) the position of the beneficiaries remaining in Germany became more and more perilous. One of the beneficiaries and the spouse of another beneficiary were detained in Buchenwald concentration camp. Their release was linked to willingness to cooperate with the authorities. Furthermore the domestic assets of the beneficiaries were seized. Pressure was also exerted on the Jewish executors. The Oberfinanzpräsident of the Amtsgericht Hamburg issued instructions to have executors Kronheimer and Bernstein, who remained outside Germany, replaced by two other Jewish executors, Dr Rudolf Warburg and Dr Manfred Zadik, who were in Germany and therefore within the Nazi’s sphere of influence. In the end Zadik and Warburg were to be replaced in the autumn of 1938 by the lawyer Dr Ernst Blum of Lucerne and Gottfried Francke of Hamburg, accountant and former tax advisor to Emma Budge. Neither was Jewish. With Francke’s help in the end the Nazis were to succeed in getting two-thirds of the assets transferred from Switzerland to Germany. Allegedly none of the assets were transferred to the Budge beneficiaries.
After the Second World War Gottfried Francke was to remain an executor of the Budge estate until his death in 1956. Attempts by individual Budge beneficiaries to obtain compensation from the German state or attempts to get artworks restituted got nowhere thanks in part to his efforts.
3.6 The claimed work is a cast bronze sculpture with a dark brown patina, representing ‘Moses’. The work is 47.5 cm high, dated 1525 to 1608, and attributed to Alessandro Vittoria (1525-1608). In 1964 the work was donated to the Museum by Dirk Hannema, who established the Stichting Hannema de Stuers Fundatie in 1957. On 21 January 1964 Hannema donated his entire art collection of approximately 3,200 objects to the Museum. The Museum has stated that no provenance research was conducted at the time.
Hannema had acquired the work during the 1948-1952 period from his cousin Dr Charles Hubert ridder de Stuers of Brussels. It is not known how Hannema acquired the work. It is similarly not known how and when the work came into the possession of De Stuers. The work is illustrated and described in ‘Kunst in Oude Sfeer. Oude en moderne kunst in het kasteel Weldam, Twente’ by Dirk Hannema, published in 1952. The books states about the provenance that the sculpture, ‘… was vroeger in de verzameling Emma Budge te Hamburg (veiling Sept. 1937, Graupe Berlijn cat. No 124 met afb.) en Ch. de Stuers’ [‘… was formerly in the collection of Emma Budge of Hamburg (sale Sept. 1937, Graupe Berlin cat. No 124 with fig.) and C. de Stuers’].
In 1997 the object was valued at NLG 350,000 subject to authenticity.