The wealthy Berlin family initially spoke out against the Nazi uprising in their newspaper “Berlin Decaplat”. Moses received the negative attention of the Nazis’ anger, he publicly criticized the family and then plundered their extensive works of art.
“The Moses family lost almost everything because they were Jews, but they did not lose faith,” said U.S. Attorney Antonette D. Bacon told a news conference. “While it certainly does not remove the pain that Moses endured, I believe it does bring some justice to the family.”
Rudolph Moss is a prominent publisher from a well-known family. In 1900 he purchased a painting called “Skaters” and “Snow” directly from the artist at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition.
According to federal court documents, Moss died in 1920 and when his wife died in 1924 the family’s art collection and publications were sent to his daughter.
When the Nazis came to power, the family moved to the United States. They don’t even know “winter,” Bacon said.
This painting went from the Nazis to many in 1934 before businessman Bartlett Arkel bought it from a major gallery. There was no evidence that Arkel knew the painting had been stolen, Bacon said.
When the museum learned that the painting had been taken illegally, it was reported to the FBI in 2019.
The painting is now with the Moses Foundation, representing the remaining heirs of Felicia Lachmann-Mos, Rudolph’s only daughter.
“It was one of the first major acquisitions by the Nazis and, unfortunately, turned into a well-oiled machine,” Rudolf Moss’ step-grandson Strach said Thursday.
“Winter” has an estimated value of hundreds of thousands, but that number will be determined at auction, Strach said. The painting is expected to be auctioned off by Sotheby’s.
So far, Strach said, more than 50 dozen pieces of moss have been successfully recovered by three dozen. But there is still work to be done, he said.
There are eight restructuring in Poland, Sweden, Germany, Israel and the United States, he said.
“Despite the belief that there are hundreds of thousands of pieces of art stolen by the Nazis, our office is very proud to help correct even one mistake made during this evil period of world history,” Assistant FBI Special Officer Peter Magneto told a news conference.
“We may have had a small role in a massive effort, but we will always acknowledge the scale of this work and we are truly proud to be able to return this painting to its owners,” he said.
“Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover.”