BERLIN, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Rare posters seized by Nazi secret police and valued at $6 million belong to the son of a Jewish collector, not to a German museum, a German court ruled.
The German Historical Museum must return some 4,200 posters of exhibitions, cabarets, films and products -- including works by French artists Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Jules Cheret -- to Peter Sachs, a retired airline pilot from Sarasota, Fla., Berlin's administrative court ruled.
The Gestapo seized the posters, collected by Sachs's father, Hans Sachs, a Jewish German dentist, in 1938.
Hans Sachs was arrested shortly afterward in a coordinated Nazi attack against Jews and their property known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, Nov. 9, 1938, The Washington Post reported. Sachs was deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp before managing to flee Germany with his wife and son, then an infant, the Post said.
The museum, which said it plans to appeal the court ruling, had argued Hans Sachs had relinquished his rights to the stolen collection when he accepted $50,000 in compensation from the government of West Germany in 1961.
But his son and his lawyers said Hans Sachs had been told the posters were destroyed during World War II, when they were actually held by the East German government.
Hans Sachs died in 1974 and his collection was given to the museum in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall.