Louis Löwenthal, an avid art collector, was forced to sell his art collection in 1940 for a very small sum. His collection ended up in the hands of Wolfgang Gurlitt, a Third Reich propaganda ministry minion charged with acquiring nationalistic art for Adolf Hitler's planned Fuhrermuseum.
In July 1950, Loewenthal's son, Fritz, who had escaped Germany at the outbreak of the war and was a judge in Israel, wrote to Gurlitt and requested a return of the art collection or fair payment. In his reply, Gurlitt insisted the paintings had been destroyed in an air raid.
Since 1947, the heirs of Louis Loewenthal have been seeking their art collection and hoping for restitution. Michael Loewenthal was born in Ramat Hadar, Israel on February 12, 1942. He is the son of Dr. Fritz Loewenthal and Lotte Bennigson. Mr. Loewenthal arrived in the U.S. with his parents in 1957.