Hitler ‘theft’ probe in Spain

The Olive Press 5 November 2012

Hitler ‘theft’ probe in Spain

• Malaga's German consul Hans Hoffman is reported to have been a Gestapo member

A JEWISH family has asked the Prado Museum for help in tracing a set of paintings it claims were stolen by a ‘Hitler collaborator’.

The collection, which is highly valuable and contains works by Goya, Rubens and Tintoreto, was lent by Ambrosius Wolfgang Bauml to the Madrid museum – but never seen again.

The heirs to the art claim it was stolen by Hans Hoffman, who was German consul in Malaga until his death in 1998.

El Mundo later published a report which found Hoffman to have been a prominent member of the Gestapo, Germany’s secret police during Nazi times.

“We need the museum to help us find the paintings. We have been looking for 19 years,” said Giselheide Sutor, one of the heirs to the collection and also a descendant of the Wertheims, who founded a famous German department store.

The heirs travelled to Madrid to meet Prado bosses, accompanied by a lawyer specialising in cases relating to the Holocaust.

Their aim is to find out whether the paintings are stored at the museum or have been transferred to other galleries.
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