The Post-war Restitution of Property Rights in Europe

Comparative Perspectives

Wouter Veraart

Laurens Winkel

Written by prominent historical and legal experts in the field, a common thread running throughout the different chapters is the impact of the passage of time on restitution issues. On the one hand, the principle of non-retroactivity of laws and statutes of limitation can prevent restitution from taking place. On the other hand, the demand for restitution may become so strong that statutes of limitation may be suspended and past court decisions subject to review if, according to new insights, they are currently considered “unfair” in the light of the extreme injustice of the past. Special attention has been paid to two “looted art” cases: the Austrian Alma Mahler-Werfel Case, concerning the restitution of the Munch painting Summer Night on the Beach, and the Dutch Goudstikker Case.


Follow this link for Thom Lehrer's take on the life of Alma Mahler-Werfel.

Detail of the list Goudstikker has made of
his belongings, mentioning a painting by
S. van Ruisdael.


Wouter Veraart & Laurens Winkel (eds.)

With contributions by Claire Andrieu (Paris), Georg Graf (Salzburg), Jürgen Lillteicher (Lübeck), Franz-Stefan Meissel (Vienna), Herman Schoordijk (Tilburg/Amsterdam), Arend Soeteman (Amsterdam), Veerle Vanden Daelen (Antwerp), Wouter Veraart (Amsterdam), and Laurens Winkel (Rotterdam).