US Government Recommends that the Supreme Court Hear German Museums’ Appeal on Guelph Treasure Claim
Nick O'Donnell was quoted in the article, "US Government Recommends that the Supreme Court Hear German Museums’ Appeal on Guelph Treasure Claim," which was published by The Art Newspaper on June 2, 2020.
In the recommendation that the US Supreme Court hear the case related to the master trove of German medieval church reliquaries known as the Guelph Treasure, the US Justice Department’s Solicitor General argued that under the US foreign sovereign immunities statute, in order to sue a foreign government or state instrument such as the SPK, the heirs must make a case that property was taken “in violation of international law”. However, the US government maintains that the heirs have failed to do that, saying that any taking by the Nazi regime from German Jews was a domestic, rather than “international”, seizure.
In response, Nick, who represents the claimants, commented that “the solicitor general’s argument in favor of sovereign immunity requires accepting Germany’s offensive contention that Nazi persecution of German Jews in Germany in the 1930s, particularly forced sales of Jewish property, did not violate international law.” He called the position a “shocking” break in US policy.