Steven Lieberman Quoted in Article Concerning Upcoming Auction of Jewelry Purchased with Nazi Funded Fortune at Christie’s Auction House
Partner Steven Lieberman is quoted in an article dated May 2, 2023, by Ken Kurson on Fine Art Globe regarding the upcoming auction of Heidi Horten’s jewelry collection, a collection funded by her late husband’s practice of purchasing businesses owned by Jewish families at deep discounts during the Nazi era.
“Did Christie’s think no one would notice what it was doing?” Steven told Fine Art Globe. “It is truly shocking that Christie’s feels it can sell such jewelry with impunity and without consequences.”
It is well known that Helmut Horten, Mrs. Horten’s husband, amassed his wealth from the purchase of businesses owned by Jews who were coerced into selling them by Nazis, many at a discounted price. The connection between the Nazis and the upcoming sale at Christie’s is covered in an article in The New York Times dated April 27, 2023, titled “Nazi Cloud Hangs Over One of the Largest Jewelry Sales in History” by Zachary Small.
Steven told Fine Art Globe, “This is tainted jewelry, acquired with a fortune that, according to the New York Times, seems to have been built by acquiring businesses from Jews at fire sale prices who had no option but to sell. The jewelry is blood jewelry, and we hope that there will be claims made against the Heidi Horten estate by the heirs of those whose business were extorted by Helmut Horten. Perhaps the jewelry itself will be recoverable in such suits since it was acquired with tainted funds.”
Steven and Rabbi Avi Weiss, the founder of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale and YCT Rabbinical School, are hoping to find those heirs and issued a press release on Monday, seeking “any heirs of those looted Jewish businesses to contact us about possible claims against the estate of Heidi Horten.” Steven has a history of successfully representing clients pro bono, including his representation of journalist Kurt Eichenwald, a known epileptic, in a suit against a white supremacist after an attack through Twitter. Mr. Eichenwald won his civil claims and was awarded a $100,000 judgment. The case is being taught in major law schools across the country. Steven is currently representing the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition and the Macedonia Baptist Church in a lawsuit seeking to block the sale of an abandoned African American burial ground to a developer. The burial ground has been paved over and is currently used as a parking lot.
To read the full article from Fine Art Globe, “Exclusive: Lawyer, Rabbi Team Up to Confront Christie’s,” please visit the Fine Art Globe website.