|The historian Dr. Monika Tatzkow and the Berlin attorney Gunnar Schnabel, authors of the well known art restitution treatise “Nazi Looted Art – Worldwide Art Restitution,” were asked by the heir of Hans Hess to prepare an independent historical and legal expert opinion regarding the historical facts and legal analysis of the Kirchner “Berlin Street Scene” painting restitution. This study was prompted by numerous press articles in which crucial historic facts were omitted, facts were taken out of context, or which simply presented completely false accounts where authors failed to recognize the actual conditions prevailing during the Nazi era. As experts, Dr. Tatzkow and attorney Schnabel have painstakingly reconstructed the historical facts, on the basis of proven facts, and explain the chronology of the events leading to the restitution of the Kirchner painting. The expert opinion therefore distinguishes the unproven allegations cited in some accounts in the media and the actual facts proven on the basis of historical documentation.
On May 25, 2007, Dr. Tatzkow and attorney Schnabel presented the results of their independent investigation to the members of the special committee of Berlin’s house of representatives.