Albert Speer's daughter blockssale of father's desk

2nd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 November 2004 , RUDOLSTADT - A daughter of Nazi arms industry minister Albert Speer has blocked the auction sale of an antique desk that her father once owned. In a statement via her lawyer, Hilde Schramm, 68, said that though she had claimed the classicist-style secretaire, she was not seeking possession but would prefer it to go to a museum. She called for an inquiry without time pressure into who was its rightful owner. She said that if there were any living heirs of the desk's earlier Jewish owner, W

3 November 2004

RUDOLSTADT - A daughter of Nazi arms industry minister Albert Speer has blocked the auction sale of an antique desk that her father once owned.

In a statement via her lawyer, Hilde Schramm, 68, said that though she had claimed the classicist-style secretaire, she was not seeking possession but would prefer it to go to a museum. She called for an inquiry without time pressure into who was its rightful owner.

She said that if there were any living heirs of the desk's earlier Jewish owner, Wilhelm Dosquet, who died in 1938, their claims would have to be reviewed too. Dosquet was a senior Berlin public health official before the Nazis took over.

Martin Wendl, an auctioneer in the town of Rudolstadt, confirmed that he had to withdraw the mahogany desk from a sale Saturday.

At the auction rooms, Anke Wendl said the reserve price had been EUR 3,300 and it had not been realized that the much-altered desk was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the painter and architect, making it far more valuable.

Schramm's Berlin lawyer, Ulrich von Heinz, said his client told him Speer (1905-1981) had bought the desk in a 1941 Berlin auction and believed it had been destroyed or lost in the 1945 fall of Berlin.

The daughter hoped it could be placed in one of Berlin's old royal palaces open to the public. Von Heinz said its restoration would probably cost more than its current market value.

Schramm is a Berlin-area sociologist and educationist who long ago left her notorious father's shadow, devoting herself to Holocaust reparation work, including a foundation that grants scholarships to Jewish women artists and scholars.

At the start of this year she became chairperson of an association that has helped hundreds of former slave and forced labourers.

When she was awarded the city of Berlin's Moses Mendelssohn Prize for promoting intercultural and interfaith tolerance this year, the city's Jewish community asked that the ceremony not take place in a synagogue.

Her father was dictator Adolf Hitler's chief architect and then ran the wartime arms factories. He was sent to 20 years in prison at the Nuremberg war crimes trials but claimed in many later interviews that he been a man of honour.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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