The Wall Street Journal puts flesh and a personal story upon some of the claimants to works discovered in the Munich Hoard. David Toren received a call from Lothar Fremy, a Berlin restitution lawyer who has worked on previous objects from the David Friedmann collection:
Mr. Toren said he was one of the only living relatives of David Friedmann, who records say once owned the painting, and plans to file a claim for it. “Two Riders on the Beach” was one of a handful of works revealed by the German authorities last week at a news conference about the Munich collection.
“It’s mine. Who else should get it?” Mr. Toren told The Wall Street Journal on Monday in a phone interview from his home on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “It’s the only picture I remember from my uncle.”
Mr. Friedmann, a well-to-do Jewish art collector, owned about 10 paintings that were targeted for seizure by the Nazis, including another Liebermann piece, “The Basket Weaver,” and paintings by Camille Pissarro and Henri Rousseau, according to a letter from the Gestapo that Mr. Toren said he has. […]
He can still picture Mr. Friedmann’s home—”the whole house was like a museum,” he said—and described a trove of paintings, porcelain, pottery, Persian rugs and antique furniture.
Mr. Toren learned to ride horses on his great uncle’s 10,000 acres of land about an hour from Breslau in the province of Silesia. Mr. Friedmann made his fortune as a landowner, leasing acreage for farmers to grow sugar beets. The property included a sugar factory, a distillery and a hunting lodge, Mr. Toren said.
Mr. Friedmann, who died peacefully in his sleep in the early 1940s, had a daughter who committed suicide after being briefly imprisoned by the Nazis, Mr. Toren said.