Author(s): Simon Goodman
In the bestselling tradition of Monuments Men and The Hare with Amber Eyes comes the passionate account of a man reclaiming his family art collection, stolen by the Nazis in World War II. Simon Goodman's grandparents came from German-Jewish banking dynasties and died in concentration camps. Originally he knew little about them - his father never spoke of their history or heritage. But when Goodman received his late father's old papers, a remarkable story began to emerge. From a Bohemian hamlet, the Gutmanns had risen to become one of Germany's most powerful banking families. They had also built a magnificent art collection. When Hitler took power in January 1933, the Gutmanns became prime targets, and eventually everything they had worked to build was taken from them: their art, their wealth, their standing, and their lives. While their son secretly worked to find and recover their prized possessions, their grandson, Simon Goodman, was living in London without any knowledge of his father's pursuit. Once Goodman learned about his family's stolen legacy, he began to track the art across two continents, learning that much of the collection had gone to top Nazis, including Hitler; other works had been smuggled through Switzerland, and some were now in famous museums. The first of the Goodman family paintings found was by Edgar Degas, in the collection of a Chicago billionaire. The ensuing legal case became the first of its kind in the US. Since then, the Goodman family has uncovered not only hundreds of lost pieces, but also an invaluable sense of their ancestry.
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