Holocaust Memorial Center organizes program featuring Holocaust survivors

Holocaust survivors have so many memories, but one survivor wanted to give back.

The Holocaust Museum approached nearly 90-year-old Clara Garbon Radnoti 10 years ago to review papers given to the museum that documented what the Hungarian government stole from the Jews living in Hungary, before they were deported to concentration camps. 

“I found a complete inventory of my aunts who was deported with her little daughter and never made it back, they died,” Clara said. 

But she also found papers that documented for the first time- detailed artwork that was stolen. 

“Some of them had paintings that said Rambrandt,” Clara said. “When I saw those names listed my eyes got this big and I started to yell to my boss and I said ‘come here really fast and look what I found’.” 

A very rare find. 

“Twenty percent of the artwork in Europe was looted,” said attorney Jonathan Schwartz. 

Schwartz is currently trying to find the lawful owners of the stolen art. New laws only give heirs to 2027 to make a claim. However, it’s difficult since many museums have the artwork, but make excuses not to give it back. 

“Claiming they don’t have the artwork, changing titles of artwork, artwork goes missing and saying that there is no proof that they belong to Jewish people,” Schwartz said. 

About 150 people attended a live presentation at the Holocaust Museum in Farmington Hills. The point - to find the owners of artwork, but to also preserve history. 

“Mind you, we’re talking about tens of thousands of pieces of artwork and we’re talking about a half of million people that were slaughtered and displaced around the world,” Schwartz said.  

And there was a lesson taken from the event. 

“I hate what they have done to my life. But I have no hate in me, I just love people,” said Holocaust survivor, Paula Marks-Bolton.