Generally, it is hard to determine when sales of artworks by art dealers during the war were voluntary or involuntary. The fact that decades have passed and the information can now only be obtained from people who were not actually present at the time makes it necessary to in any case make optimum use of that which those involved or their immediate surviving relatives recorded immediately after the war. The principal sources of information are the declaration forms submitted to the SNK which recorded sales to Germans.

A good point of departure is to consider the qualification binding in cases in which the art dealer himself, his heirs or an immediate representative appointed by him or his heirs filled in ‘voluntary sale’, unless very clear clues are submitted which make it probable that a mistake was made when filling in the form or that filling the form in took place under disproportionately burdening circumstances.

If ‘voluntary sale’ was only filled in on an internal declaration form, without a supporting document explaining that the qualification voluntary sale was made on the basis of a declaration by the interested party, this statement should be considered worthless.

Recommendation 5:

The committee recommends viewing the qualification binding in all cases in which the art dealer himself, his heirs or an immediate representative appointed by him or his heirs has filled in ‘voluntary sale’, unless very clear clues are submitted which make it probable that a mistake was made when the form was filled in or that the filling in of the form took place under disproportionately burdening circumstances.