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August 24, 1984 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-08-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, August 24, 1984 37

NEWS

Disputed deal at Sotheby's
put on hold by state judge

New York (JTA) — A
State Supreme Court judge
last week ordered tha
Sotheby's auction house
withhold the transfer of all
funds and properties it has
in its possession from the
auction last June of a rare
collection of Judaica books
and manuscripts whose
ownership has been the
source of a running dispute
for two months. The auction
house said it would comply
with the court's decision.
The order was issued by
Judge David White and it
seeks to retain as the status
quo the dispute over the
Judaica items which were
sold for some $1.45 million,
according to the office of the
Attorney General which
brought the suit against
Sotheby's, charging it with
"persistent fraud and illeg-
ality" in the sale.
Furthermore, it was re-
vealed that the purported

owners of the books and
manuscripts are Dr. and
Mrs. Alexander Guttmann,
who claimed in an affidavit
filed earlier to have been
given the materials to take
out of a Berlin seminary.
At the heart of the dispute
is whether the alleged own-
ers are in fact legal owners
of the 59 rare books and
manuscripts, initially
blieved to have been de-
stroyed by Nazis during
World War II, that went on
sale June 26 in New York.
They included items dating
from the 13th to 19th Cen-
turies.
A spokesman for the At-
torney Ggneral's office last
week said Judge White
indicated that he thought
the possibility that
Guttmann had received the
books and owned them out-
right was "implausible."
Guttmann said the books
were given to him while

others, including a source in
the affidavit provided by the
Attorney General, said the
books were only given to
Guttmann for safekeeping.
In an affidavit submitted
last Wednesday, Herbert
Strauss, who was a student
at the seminary, the College
for the Scientific Study of
Jewish Culture, said that
after the infamous Crystal
Night pillage in 1938, a
meeting was held to discuss
ways of smuggling semi-
nary books out of Germany.
While some books, ac-
cording Strauss, had been
given for safekeeping to
Ismar Elbogen, a professor,
plans were made to give
some other books for
safekeeping to Prof.
Guttmann. Strauss claimed
that the books were merely
for safekeeping and not for
ownership.
Another court date has
not been scheduled but it is
expected to take place in
two weeks. The Attorney
General seeks to have the
sale nullified, the buyers
reimbursed and that the
books be returned to an in-
before the workers received stitution where they would
be available to the public.
it.

Histadrut, finance ministry
clash on income tax query

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Fi-
nance Minister Yigal
Cohen-Orgad and the His-
tadrut, Israel's powerful
labor federation, appeared
this week to be on a collision
course after Cohen-Orgad
rejected a Histadrut request
to consider amending pre-
sent income tax brackets for
more protection for workers
against inflation and in-
creasing children's
allowances.
Yisrael Kessar, Histad-
rut secretary-general, told a
meeting of the Histadrut
central committee that he
was demanding a special
meeting of the Knesset to
discuss Cohen-Orgad's re-
fusal.
Kessar argued that re-
taining present tax brac-
kets would mean that the
9.9 percent cost-of-living in-
crease, due to be paid with
August salaries on Sept. 1,
following the 12.5 percent
July price index rise, would
be almost completely eroded

Timerman takes
post with
Argentine paper

Buenos Aires — Jacobo
Timerman, the journalist
and best-selling author who
was jailed, tortured and ex-
pelled by Argentinia's
former military regime in
,1977, announced last week
that he is taking over the
position of editor . of the
Buenos Aires daily La Ra-
zon.
Timerman has also said
that he plans to restart La
Opinion, the newspaper he
owned and operated until
its seizure by the military
regime at the time of his ar-
rest.

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