THE QUEST TO RECOVER ART LOST DURING THE HOLOCAUST
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Stay tuned for information on the next webinar. Coming soon.
WJRO invites you to watch the critically acclaimed movie “Chasing Portraits” by Elizabeth Rynecki, followed by a webinar discussion on July 12. Join us as we delve into the emotional journey of the filmmaker, as she seeks to recover the paintings of her Polish-Jewish great-grandfather lost during the Holocaust. Experience this powerful story and engage in a thought-provoking conversation about art, heritage, and the pursuit of truth and connection. Don’t miss this opportunity to be inspired and join us for an impactful webinar discussion.
The webinar series seeks to elevate the personal stories of Holocaust survivors and their families as part of the #MyPropertyStory social media campaign.
Live virtual panel discussion
12 pm EDT | 6 pm (CEST) | 7 pm (Israel)
The film will be available to stream for free until July 12
(the link will be sent to you after registering to the webinar)
The webinar will focus on the movie and also examine art looted from Poland during the Holocaust. Hosted by Mark Weitzman, Chief Operating Officer, WJRO, featuring a presentation by Dr. Wesley Fisher, Director of Research, Claims Conference and WJRO, and a Q & A with filmmaker Elizabeth Rynecki.
Mark Weitzman is the Chief Operating Officer of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), leading their advocacy and negotiation efforts for the recovery of Jewish properties in Europe, fostering Holocaust education and memory, and fighting Holocaust distortion. Previously, he served as the Director of Government Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He plays a key role in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), where he chaired the Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial and the Museums and Memorials Working Group. He spearheaded the adoption of the IHRA’s Working Definition of Antisemitism and was the lead author of the Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion. His latest book, The Routledge History of Antisemitism will be published in July 2023.
Dr. Wesley A. Fisher is the Director of Research for the Claims Conference and WJRO, leading their efforts particularly in the restitution of movable property plundered in the Holocaust. He spearheads the Looted Art and Cultural Property Initiative, working globally to promote provenance research and claims processes in all countries. He was deputy director of the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Related Assets that resulted in the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art. He has specialized in making the archival records of the cultural looting by the Nazis and their allies accessible. With extensive experience, he played key roles in establishing the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). He holds degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities.
Elizabeth Rynecki is the great-granddaughter of the Polish-Jewish artist, Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943). She grew up with his paintings prominently displayed on the walls of her family home and understood from an early age that the art connected her to a legacy from “the old country,” Poland. In 2016, Penguin Random House published “Chasing Portraits: A Great-Granddaughter’s Quest for Her Lost Art Legacy,” about her efforts to rescue her great-grandfather’s lost paintings. In 2018, she completed a documentary film of the same name. It is distributed by First Run Features. Elizabeth earned a BA in Rhetoric from Bates College (’91) and an MA in Rhetoric and Communication from UC Davis (’94). Elizabeth resides in Oakland with her husband, two sons, and three black cats.
Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943) was a prolific Warsaw based artist who painted scenes of the Polish-Jewish community in the interwar years. Sadly, he was murdered at Majdanek. After the Holocaust, Moshe’s wife was only able to recover a small fraction of his work, but unbeknownst to the family, many other pieces survived. For more than a decade his great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Rynecki, has searched for the missing art, with remarkable and unexpected success. Spanning three generations, this documentary is a deeply moving narrative of the richness of one man’s art, the devastation of war, and one woman’s unexpected path to healing.