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The Demise of the World of the Gutnajers: The Warsaw Art Market in World War II


Nawojka Cieslinska-Lobkowicz


January 2020



A substantial number of Jewish art and antiques dealers operated in pre-World War II Warsaw. Particularly respected were the salons of the brothers Bernard and Abe Gutnajer. Virtually everyone in their milieu perished in the Warsaw ghetto or Treblinka. Taking their place were new “Aryan” dealers and a clientele of “new” money. The Warsaw art market under the German occupation experienced a particular growth between the start of the Jewish ghetto’s liquidation in mid-1942 and the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944, as “abandoned” property flooded the market. After decades of subsequent turbulent history, researchers can hardly hope to document the provenance of more than a fraction of tens of thousands of surviving works of art and valuable antiques.

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Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Volume 33, Issue 3, Winter 2019, Pages 333–350,
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