Elnaz Zarrini


Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act


In November 1938, Walter Westfield, a renowned Jewish art dealer in Germany, was arrested, beaten, and imprisoned by the Nazis for an alleged violation of currency exchange laws.1 The true purpose of the arrest was to seize Westfield’s art collection for private resale, “a typical practice of the Nazi government.”2 On December 12 and 13 of the following year, a portion of Westfield’s art collection was seized and auctioned off through an order of the District Attorney’s Office Dusseldorf.3 In 1943, three years after Westfield was fined for the alleged violation and later sent to the Auschwitz death camp and “exterminated,” the Nazi government sold other works from his art collection.4



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