Extracts from the Jul 2004 Journal

The Fourth and Fourteenth of July (editorial)

The present issue appears in July, a month distinguished by two world-historical national days. This involves something of a paradox. July was named for Julius Caesar, model for all subsequent dictators, but the USA's Fourth of July and France's Quatorze Juillet denote red-letter days in mankind's progress towards democracy. [more...]

Landmark judgement on looted art restitution: Ambivalent implications for GSF claimants

The US Supreme Court has delivered a landmark ruling which opens the way for Americans to sue foreign governments when seeking to reclaim looted art and stolen property, or to receive compensation for war crimes dating back to the 1930s. The court handed down a majority verdict in favour of 88-year-old Los Angeles resident Maria Altman, confirming that she is entitled to take the Austrian government to court in the US for the return of a number of valuable art deco paintings by Gustav Klimt (see Newsround, AJR Journal, May 2004). [more...]

Filling in a blank on the map

The other day my son announced that he intended to take his family to Croatia for the summer holidays. It was obvious that to him, and them, Croatia was just another location offering sun, sea and sand on a par with Minorca and Corsica. [more...]

Music behind barbed wire (book review)

Hans Gál
Berne: Peter Lang, 2004, £29/SFr.69 [more...]

Letter from Israel

Spring is beautiful anywhere in the world, but in Israel it has a special poignancy. You know that the lush foliage and colourful flowers are going to be short-lived, whether because of the heat of the impending summer or the Hamsin heat-wave that afflicts Israel in its desperately short spring and autumn. [more...]

Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Erste Bank restitution

Austrian Holocaust survivors have been alerted to another possible compensation scheme by the Holocaust Victims' Information and Support Centre in Vienna: the restitution of accounts held at the Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG, a predecessor of Erste Bank. [more...]

Forgotten Music

While in Vienna earlier this year I met Dr Primavera Gruber, a lady of great personality and drive. Primavera Gruber is the director of the Orpheus Trust, an organisation she founded in May 1996 with the aim of restoring the memory of Austrian composers, conductors, musicians and musicologists who were persecuted by the Nazis. 'Austrian' includes the regions which were formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, musically a closely connected cultural community. [more...]