David Toren, a 90 year old, blind man, is the son of Holocaust victims. For decades, Torren has been in search of what he had left, when all else, including family, was taken from him by Nazis.
Toren is in search of gaining a failed bid by the storied Monumental Men, the Allied forces team that has tried to help with rescuing Nazi-stolen and sold art, during World War II. It is a dedicated. With teamwork, Torren and others are trying to take back paintings that were confiscated by Hitler and his aggressors.
Toren, a former attorney who worked on the Upper East Side will not back down from recovering the paintings. In fact, he is suing the New York Branch of the German auction house Grisenbach in a dedicated, effort to gain information (regarding the identity) of who bought two paintings that were his great Uncles’.
One of the paintings “Basket Weavers” by Max Lieberman, is in the possession of Grienbach. He received the art work from one of Hitler’s major art dealers, who scammed the Monuments men by telling them that his art work was destroyed in the war, according to the Manhattan civil suit.
Court papers have revealed that In 2000 “Basket Weavers” was sold to an unidentified buyer for $160,000
Along with “Basket Weavers” was another masterpiece “Nach House” by Frank Skarbiner, that was sold in 1995.
Toren was made aware that the paintings had belonged to his great-uncle, a Breslau-based industrialist, David Friedman, following his effort to sue Germany for stealing another Lieberman painting.
Toren learned that the pieces belonged to his great-uncle, the Breslau-based industrialist David Friedman, after suing Germany to recover another stolen Liebermann painting.
The painting titled “Two Riders on a Beach,” was sold for $2.5 million at Sothebys in London in 2015. The proceeds of the sale went to Toren and his family.
Toren is now in a lawsuit which he is “suing the auction house for $5 million,” his attorney, Martin Bienstock said.
Much attention has been brought to the Natzis who stole art from the 2014 staring George Clooney “Monuments of Men.” The movie highlights the confiscation of elaborate Jewish Art that occurred during the War in Europe.
The movie came to be after an art scholar, Lynn H. Nicholas, working in Brussels, read an obituary about a French woman who spied on the Nazis’ looting operation for years and singlehandedly saved 60,000 works of art. That spurred Nicholas to spend a decade researching her 1995 book, The Rape of Europa, which began the resurrection of their story culminating with the movie, The Monuments Men, based upon Robert Edsel’s 2009 book of the same name. The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art holds the personal papers and oral history interviews of a number of the Monuments Men as well as photographs and manuscripts from their time in Europe.
Toren’s suit says the real-life Monuments Men missed their goal with Gurlitt, who led them to believe he was actually a victim due to the fact that he was a quarter Jewish.
Tragically, Toren and his brother grew up as orphans after their parents were placedin gas chambers at the Auschwitz death camp in 1943.
Toren, a man with a will to survive, somehow made it to the US with only $100 and worked to out himself through law school where he gained his credentials and became an attorney.