Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2006

In Osteuropa 1-2/2006

Scattered East and West
The Three Stories of the Hatvany Collection

Anja Heuß

Deutsche Fassung


The Hungarian Ferenc von Hatvany collected French and Hungarian 19th-century paintings. After the Second World War, his collection disappeared. In 1958, Hatvany’s heirs demanded compensation from the Federal Republic of Germany. Their lawyer, Hans Deutsch, was arrested for attempted fraud. From this evolved the “Deutsch case”, which came to overshadow the original case of the Hatvany collection. Speculation whirled around the question whether German or Soviet troops had stolen the collection. Today, it is clear that part of it was taken by SS formations. Top works remained at first undiscovered in banks and were then confiscated by Soviet authorities. Several paintings appeared on the black market, others were taken to the Soviet Union. To this day, works from Hatvany’s collection remain in Russia.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2006, pp. 85–110)