Secretary General of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism personally brings to Israel a painting restituted by the City of Vienna

In accordance with the recommendation of the Viennese Restitution Commission, the decision was made to restitute the painting “The Love Letter” by Johann Nepomuck Schödlberger to the heirs of the owners from whom it was unlawfully seized, Ignaz and Clothilde Schachter. The spouses managed to flee the Nazis to Palestine.

Hannah Lessing, Secretary General of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, will personally present the painting to the legal successors, today living in Haifa, on 12 May 2009 during her visit to Israel.

The restitution will finally achieve a piece of justice for the aggrieved, decades after the painting’s seizure. The City of Vienna and the National Fund are therefore especially pleased that the painting can be returned in person, sending a clear signal of respect and acknowledgement of the injustice suffered. Experience has shown that for many survivors, this emotional aspect often has much greater significance than the material reparation of the loss.

Provenienzforscher Dr. Michael Wladika (links) und Stadtrat Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny (rechts) übergeben Generalsekretärin Hannah Lessing das restituierte Gemälde 'Der Liebesbrief' von Johann Nepomuk Schödlberger.
Provenance researcher Dr. Michael Wladika (left) and Municipal Councilor Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny (right) present the restituted painting 'The Love Letter' by Johann Nepomuck Schödlberger to Secretary General Hannah Lessing.
Photo: Didi Sattmann