Gosschalk II

Recommendation regarding Gosschalk II

Recommendation number: 
RC 1.156
Type: 
NK collection
Publishing date: 
16 October 2017
Period loss of possession: 
1940-1945
Private owner/art dealer: 
Private individual
Location of loss: 
The Netherlands

In a letter dated 8 May 2015 the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (hereinafter referred to as the Minister) asked the Restitutions Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) for advice about the application of 19 March 2015 from AA for the restitution of the following seven paintings, which are part of the Netherlands Art Property Collection (hereinafter referred to as the NK collection).

NK 1477 – A. van Beijeren, Ships near a River Mouth in Stormy Weather
NK 2825 – M. van Cleve I, Landscape with Peasants Milking Cows
NK 2070 – J. de Momper II, Rocky Landscape with Figures
NK 2532 – M. van Wttenbroeck, Forest Pool with Hermaphroditus and Salmacis
NK 2841 – P.F. Mola, Reading Monk in a Rocky Landscape
NK 2935 – G. Schalcken, A Young Draughtsman Sitting at a Table
NK 3052 – T. Verhaecht, Landscape with Moses and the Burning Bush

According to the Applicant the seven paintings were formerly owned by his great uncle J.H. Gosschalk (1875-1952), who lost possession of them during the Second World War involuntarily and as the result of the Nazi regime.

Assessment framework

Pursuant to article 2, paragraph 1, of the Decree Establishing the Advisory Committee on the Assessment of Restitution Applications for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War, there is a Committee that is tasked with advising the Minister at the Minister's request about decisions to be taken regarding applications for the restitution of items of cultural value whose original owner involuntarily lost possession due to circumstances directly related to the Nazi regime and which are:
a. part of the NK collection or
b. among the other holdings of the Dutch State.
Pursuant to paragraph 4, the Committee advises about applications as referred to in paragraph 1, under a, submitted to the Minister before 30 June 2015 with due regard for government policy in this respect.

The procedure

The Committee conducted an investigation into the facts in response to the Minister's request for advice. The results of the investigation are recorded in a draft investigation report dated 10 October 2016. This report was sent to the Applicant with a letter dated 6 March 2017. The Applicant responded in an e-mail of 27 March 2017. The draft report, together with a letter dated 6 March 2017, was also sent to the Minister for additional information. The Minister responded to this in an e-mail of 14 March 2017 informing the Committee that she did not wish to bring any additional information to the Committee's attention.
The Committee then had further research conducted. The Committee sent an amended draft investigation report to the Applicant with a letter of 7 September 2017. The Applicant responded to it in a letter dated 3 October 2017. The Committee subsequently adopted the investigation report and the recommendation on 16 October 2017.

Considerations

1.  The relevant facts have been described in the investigation report of 16 October 2017. A summary is sufficient in the following considerations.

Gosschalk

2.  Joseph Henri Gosschalk (hereinafter referred to as Gosschalk) was born in Zwolle on 12 May 1875 to the merchant Henri J. Gosschalk and Seline (Sellie) Polak. He had four younger sisters: Elise Josephine (1876-1961), Margaretha Christina (1877-1953), Betsie Martha (1878-1932) and Martha (1880-1960). The family was of Jewish descent. Gosschalk was registered as living at Obrechtstraat 227 in The Hague from 1913. From 7 August 1945 he was registered as living at Wassenaarse Slag 1B in Wassenaar. Gosschalk did not marry and had no children. He had two foster daughters: Jeanne Marcelle Courboulay and Gerardina Clasina Hijst.

3.  Gosschalk worked in the art world in various capacities. For example he was an artist, and from around 1912 he worked as a professional painter and draughtsman. His work was regularly on view in solo and group exhibitions in the Netherlands. A number of Dutch museums have work by Gosschalk in their collections. Gosschalk was also well known for his great efforts on behalf of artists' organizations. He was one of the founders and leading individuals in the artists' organization De Onafhankelijken.
Gosschalk was an ardent collector of old and modern art. There is no catalogue or other comprehensive overview of Gosschalk's collection, but it can be deduced from scattered sources that he must have owned many dozens of paintings, drawings and objets d'art. In post-war correspondence with the Netherlands Art Property Foundation (SNK) Gosschalk referred to himself as ‘speciaal De Momper-collectioneur’ [‘a special De Momper collector’] and he was well known for lending works from his collection.
He also donated a number of works to museums, among them the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
Gosschalk was not just a collector. He also dealt in art. A 1953 newspaper article stated the following about Gosschalk's development in this field. ‘Hij was als kunstenaar autodidact, zoals hij zich alles in dit leven zelf scheen te leren: het vak van kunsthandelaar, van bankier, van werker voor betere sociale en organisatorische omstandigheden voor de kunstenaar’. [‘He taught himself how to be an artist, as he appeared to have taught himself everything in this life; how to be an art dealer, a banker, and a worker for better social and organizational conditions for artists.…’] On 24 February 1933 Gosschalk registered the establishment of the ‘Bureau voor Grafische Kunst’ ['Graphic Art Bureau'] with effect from 1 March 1933 at Chamber of Commerce and Industry in The Hague. The business was located at Obrechtstraat 227 in The Hague, which was also Gosschalk's home address, and it concentrated on Bemiddeling bij opdrachten, uitgave, koop en verkoop van werken van beeldende, speciaal grafische, kunst, en hetzelfde voor eigen rekening. / (Commissiehandel en handel voor zijn rekening) [‘Mediation with regard to commissions for, publications about, purchase and sale of works of fine art, especially graphic art, also for the proprietor's own account. / (Commission trading and trading on his own behalf)’]. Gosschalk was the sole owner of the business. On 29 November 1940 he notified the Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the business had been wound up with effect from March 1940.

The German invasion

4.  Little is known about Gosschalk during the early years of the occupation. Later on Gosschalk and his sister Elise would be part of the group that was interned from the end of 1942 in Barneveld, which was referred to as the Barneveld group. This group comprised people with an important position in society and influential contacts who were exempted from transportation to camps. Between December 1942 and February 1943 a number of people who Gosschalk knew made statements stressing the importance of his work as conservator and restorer for the purposes of obtaining permission for him to remain in the Netherlands. Among them was Hendrik Schuuring (1883-1955), a scene artist and paintings restorer, who lived at Sweelinckstraat 61 in The Hague and made such a statement in December 1942. Gosschalk and his sister arrived in Barneveld in February 1943. Shortly afterwards, on 21 April 1943, the Barneveld group was taken to Westerbork transit camp. They had their own temporary buildings there and in principle they were exempted from deportation to the death camps. Gosschalk made many drawings of the camp and its immediate vicinity. One of his fellow internees, the artist J. G. Wertheim, wrote the following about this in 1952.
En zo zie ik hem weer voor mij in de kleine werkplaats in de bouwmaterialenbarak in Westerbork, die wij ruim een half jaar deelden bij ons werk en waar de vriendschap mocht groeien. Ik zie hem weerkeren van zijn omzwervingen door het kamp en de directe omgeving – die hij met toestemming van de in kunstenaars geïnteresseerde hoogste macht mocht uitbeelden – verkleumd en moe, maar bezeten en bevredigd door de arbeid. / Wat hij in staat geweest is uit de nuchterheid en troosteloosheid van deze gruwelijke dorre omgeving te maken, behoort tot het schoonste van zijn oeuvre en was een hernieuwd bewijs dat voor het ware kunstenaarsoog overal en in alles de schoonheid zichtbaar is.
[And I can see him before me now in the small studio in the construction materials hut in Westerbork, which we were permitted to share for over six months and where friendship could develop. I can see him returning from his wanderings through the camp and its immediate vicinity – which he was permitted to depict by the most senior people interested in artists – tired and numbed with cold, but absorbed and satisfied by his work. What he was able to make of the soberness and cheerlessness of this abhorrent barren environment belongs to the most beautiful part of his oeuvre and was renewed proof that beauty is apparent to the true artist's eye everywhere and in everything.]
In due course the Barneveld group was taken to Theresienstadt concentration camp, where most group members survived the war. On 3 May 1945 the Nazis handed over control of the camp to the Red Cross and on 8 May Red Army troops arrived. Gosschalk survived the war and would return to the Netherlands.

Contacts with the SNK after the war

5.  There is no known comprehensive overview of the contents of Gosschalk's collection at the start of the occupation or of the changes to this collection during the occupation. It can be deduced from the documents consulted that during the war Gosschalk bought and sold various artworks. According to post-war communications from Gosschalk to the SNK, he lost the lion's share of his art collection during the occupation. He described four ways in which this happened in a letter to the SNK dated 1 November 1945.
In Febr 1943 werd ik als Jood naar Barneveld en later n. de kampen Westerbork en Theresienstadt gebracht. Ik woonde toen in Den Haag Obrechtstraat 227. Vooraf had ik o.m. uit mijn collectie, 1e. een aantal oude schilderijen aan Lippmann Rosenthal’s Bank moeten inzenden, 2e. Een aantal in kisten verpakt op advies van het Dept. V. B.Z. met ander waardevol antiek meubilair naar Barneveld laten volgen, dat mij te Barneveld, of later te Westerbork door de Duitsers ontroofd is, 3e. door tijdgebrek een aantal in mijn woning Obrechtstraat 227 achtergelaten, waar het na eenige maanden weggehaald is. / 4e. werd ik te Parijs voor een waardevol schilderij: “Kruisiging” op paneel uit de school van D. Bouts opgelicht, welk paneel, naar ik vernam, door uw relaties in Duitsland opgedoken werd.’
[‘Being Jewish I was taken to Barneveld in February 1943 and later to the camps of Westerbork and Theresienstadt. At that time I was living in The Hague at Obrechtstraat 227. Beforehand I had, firstly, been obliged to send a number of old paintings from my collection to Lippmann Rosenthal’s Bank and secondly I had packed other valuable antique furniture in a number of crates, as recommended by the Dept. V. B.Z, which were to follow me to Barneveld, which was stolen from me in Barneveld, or later in Westerbork, by the Germans, thirdly, because of a lack of time, I left a number behind in my home at Obrechtstraat 227, from where there were taken away after a few months, and fourthly in Paris a valuable painting - “Crucifixion” on a panel by the school of D. Bouts - was stolen from me, which I assume was unearthed by your contacts in Germany-.’]

6.  No declaration forms completed by Gosschalk concerning the currently claimed paintings were found in the SNK archive. Similarly no indications were found that the SNK had contact with Gosschalk after the war about the works concerned and/or that he had tried to regain possession of them. However, there are various references in the SNK management file on Gosschalk and elsewhere to other artworks that he lost possession of during the occupation.
In the letter referred to above that Gosschalk wrote to the SNK on 1 November 1945 he reported that works had disappeared from his collection during the war and he asked what he had to do to get them back. He stated in his letter that it was difficult to give particulars about the missing works. ‘Daar de Duitsers mijn koffers met papieren ook achtergehouden hebben bezit ik geen aanteekeningen meer om een lijst te kunnen geven met nauwkeurige omschrijving. Herkennen kan ik de stukken wel’. [‘The Germans kept hold of my cases containing papers so I no longer have any notes for making a list with accurate descriptions. I am able to recognize the objects, however.’] On 16 November 1945 the SNK answered that it was barely possible to find out what happened to the artworks stolen from Gosschalk without receiving further information from him. The SNK advised him to consider requesting the necessary forms for the purposes of providing information. On 5 December 1945 twenty-five SNK declaration forms were consequently sent to Gosschalk. Gosschalk returned three forms, but they did not concern the currently claimed works.

7.  In a letter to the SNK dated 5 July 1946 Gosschalk once again stated that it was difficult for him to report detailed information.
'Zooals ik u al vroeger mededeelde ben ik het grootste deel van mijn kunstbezit kwijt geworden in de bezettingstijd en heb ik de moeilijkheid dat ook alle gegevens verdwenen zijn en mijn geheugen mij deerlijk in den steek laat. Waar u in Uw formulieren allerlei gegevens vraagt was het mij niet mogelijk die in te vullen. Hoogstens kan ik van enkele stukken die mij invallen een vage beschrijving geven.
[…]
Mijn vertrek uit Den Haag liet mij al te weinig tijd om aanteekeningen te maken, zelfs niet om te onthouden of schilderijen enz. naar “Bewaarders”, naar Barneveld (waar ze ook verdwenen), naar Lippmann gingen of in mijn huis achterbleven en daar later weggehaald werden.’

[‘As I notified you previously, I lost the lion's share of my art holdings during the occupation and I have difficulties because all my information has disappeared and my memory lets me down badly. It was not possible for me to answer questions in your forms requesting all sorts of data. The most I can do is give vague descriptions of a few objects that come to mind.
My departure from The Hague gave me too little time to make notes, and not even to remember whether paintings etc. went to “Custodians”, to Barneveld (where they also disappeared), to Lippmann or whether they remained in my home, from where they were later taken away.’
]

Gosschalk called on the SNK to identify and retrieve his works of art.
Waar de bedoeling van uw werkzaamheid zeker is kunstobjecten niet alleen naar Nederland terug te brengen, doch zoo mogelijk ook aan den oorspronkelijken Nederl. eigenaar, ben ik zoo vrij uw medewerking nogmaals in te roepen om voor mij ook nog wat te redden, al kan ik dan niet alle details nauwkeurig opgeven. // […] //
Daar verscheiden van mijn dingen op tentoonstellingen, in musea, enz geleend werden, zullen deze misschien in natura of volgens foto door u als van mij afkomstig herkend kunnen worden. Mag ik u beleefd vragen daarover ingelicht te worden om zoo tot teruggaaf te kunnen komen.’

[‘The purpose of your activities is without doubt not just to bring artworks back to the Netherlands but also, if possible, to return them to the original Dutch owner, so therefore I am taking the liberty of once again asking for your help in recovering some objects for me, even though I cannot specify the details accurately.....
A number of my possessions were lent to exhibitions, museums etc., so perhaps you can recognize them as originating from me by inspecting them or examining photographs of them.
I would therefore ask you to please make enquiries in this regard so that there can be restitution.’]

In the end one painting, by an artist from the school of Rogier van der Weijden, was restituted by the SNK to Gosschalk in 1948. In 2002 another painting (NK 3409) was restituted to Gosschalk's heirs after the Restitutions Committee had issued advice to that effect.

8.  After the war Gosschalk settled in Wassenaar. He died at the age of 77 on 6 October 1952 in The Hague after a moped accident. He was buried three days later at the Dutch Reformed cemetery in Wassenaar. In 1953 the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum honoured Gosschalk with a commemorative exhibition of his landscape drawings.

Vitale Bloch

9.  Detailed information about the seven currently claimed NK works is to be found in the investigation report of 16 October 2017 and is referred to, in so far as necessary, in considerations 12 to 21.
It emerges from the investigation report that Vitale Bloch (1900-1975) played a role in the provenance of five of the seven currently claimed paintings. Bloch was an art historian, art dealer and art collector of Russian Jewish descent and during the occupation he provided support to the activities of Erhard Göpel, an art buyer for the planned Führer Museum in Linz, who offered Bloch protection in exchange. It can be deduced from the documentation consulted that Gosschalk knew Bloch and may have sold artworks to him.
During research in the SNK archive no declaration forms completed by Bloch were found concerning the currently claimed paintings. Correspondence dating from the nineteen-fifties about three of the currently claimed paintings (NK2841, NK2935 and NK3052) was found in the SNK's management files about Bloch however. The SNK wrote in a request for information of 14 February 1950 that it had emerged from third party information that these works were sold through the ‘bemiddeling’ ['mediation'] of Bloch.

Assessment of the claim

10.  The Applicant is requesting, also on behalf of BB, CC and DD, restitution of the seven NK works in his capacity as an heir of Gosschalk. The Committee has taken note of various inheritance-law-related documents on the grounds of which it has no reason to doubt the Applicant's status as a rightful claimant in the context of this restitution application.

Applicable policy            

11.  In the adoption of the recommendation, the Committee has taken into consideration whether there is reason to designate Gosschalk as an art dealer. This would mean that advising about the restitution application has to give due regard to the Ekkart Committee's Recommendations for the Art Trade (2003), as adopted by the Dutch government.
As emerges from consideration 3, prior to the German invasion Gosschalk was active in the art world in a number of capacities - as an artist, a conservator and restorer, a collector and a dealer, and as someone who actively championed artists' interests. So although Gosschalk also actively dealing in art, it appears that it was more of a side-line in which he only participated sporadically. On the grounds of the facts that came to light during the investigation, the Committee concludes that in any event Gosschalk cannot be considered as someone, in the words of the Ekkart Committee, who ‘verkoop van handelsvoorraad als doelstelling had' [‘had the objective of selling trading stock']. There are therefore insufficient factual grounds for designating him as an art dealer within the meaning of the Recommendations for the Art Trade. This means that the Committee will advise about the restitution application giving due regard to the Ekkart Committee's Recommendations (2001), as adopted by the Dutch government.
The Committee assesses the restitution application for each individual painting in the following considerations.

NK 2825 (M. van Cleve I, Landscape with Peasants Milking Cows)

12.  The only indication that NK 2825 might have been the property of Gosschalk at some point comes from a photograph in the RKD's pictorial documentation, on the back of which the name ‘J.H. Gosschalk’ is stamped. The photograph's date is unknown. It is also known that on 6 December 1941 the painting was sold by the Dutch art dealer Jan Dik Jr to Bruno Lohse, one of Hermann Göring's leading art agents. The Committee did not find any specific indications that the painting was in Gosschalk's possession when the Germans invaded or thereafter. The Committee therefore concludes that Gosschalk's ownership rights to NK 2825 have not been made highly plausible. This means that the application for restitution of this painting is not admissible.

NK 1477 (A. van Beijeren, Ships near a River Mouth in Stormy Weather)

13.  It can be deduced from its listing in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition Oude kunst uit Haagsch bezit staged in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag from December 1936 to January 1937 that the painting NK 1477 was Gosschalk's property at that time. After 11 October 1940 the painting was in any event no longer in his possession because it was sold on that date by the St. Lucas art gallery in The Hague to the Goudstikker-Miedl art gallery. Pictorial documentation from the RKD indicates that the St. Lucas gallery held the painting before 1940. The Committee concludes that Gosschalk's ownership rights to NK 1477 at time of the German invasion have not been made highly plausible. This means that the application for restitution of this painting is not admissible.

NK 2841 (P.F. Mola, Reading Monk in a Rocky Landscape)

14.   During the investigation an SNK internal declaration form dated 2 February 1946 concerning NK 2841 was found. As provenance it gives ‘Verz. Gosschalk’ ['Gosschalk collection'] but it gives Bloch as the original owner. It is not clear what the SNK based this information on. Perhaps it was based on input from Bloch. According to the form the work was sold voluntarily to Dr Hüpp, director of the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf. However, two other sources cite the art collector Thurkow from The Hague as the vendor of the work to the museum in Düsseldorf. Thurkow was an acquaintance of Bloch and most probably also Gosschalk.
The Committee concludes that the aforementioned information is not sufficient to regard Gosschalk's ownership rights to NK 2841 at time of the German invasion as being highly plausible. This means that the application for restitution of this painting is not admissible.

NK 3052 (T. Verhaecht, Landscape with Moses and the Burning Bush)

15.  The names Schuuring and Gosschalk, and also Bloch, are mentioned with regard to NK 3052 in a number of documents. For example Schuuring was involved, as an intermediary or otherwise, in the sale of the painting to Göpel in June 1943. An SNK inventory card for the painting gives ‘Coll. J.H. Gosschalk, The Hague’ as the ‘ORIGIN’ but ‘H. Schuuring, The Hague’ as ‘OWNER’. An SNK internal declaration form dated 12 February 1946 gives no names under ‘Herkomst’ ['Provenance'] but states that the painting was ‘oorspronkelijk in bezit’ ['originally in the possession'] of ‘Bloch, Den Haag’ ['Bloch, The Hague'], and that it came into the possession of ‘Goepel op 10 Juni 1943’ [‘Goepel on 10June1943']’ through ‘vrijwillige verkoop’ ['voluntary sale']. On the grounds of these documents, as described in detail in the investigation report, the Committee does not consider it highly plausible that NK 3052 belonged to Gosschalk at time of the German invasion. This means that the application for restitution of this painting is not admissible.
 
NK 2070 (J. de Momper II, Rocky Landscape with Figures)

16.  As regards NK 2070, it is known that Gosschalk put this painting up for auction in a sale at the firm of A. Mak in Dordrecht in 1933, where it remained unsold. In a letter of 6 December 1936 Gosschalk referred to a ‘berglandschap’ ['mountain landscape'] by De Momper, possibly NK 2070. The painting was sold by Bloch in November 1940 to Dr Hans Posse for the purposes of the Führer Museum in Linz. It can be deduced, however, from a document originating from the file of the Referat Sonderfragen (Special Questions Section) that Bloch did not sell the painting for himself. This same document gives the painting's provenance as ‘verz. Gosschalk’ ['Gosschalk collection']. Taking this information into consideration, the Committee concludes that it is sufficiently plausible that NK 2070 belonged to Gosschalk prior to the German invasion. Some doubt may exist with regard to the question of whether this was still the case when the German invasion took place, but on the grounds of the explanatory notes to the eighth recommendation of the Ekkart Committee (2001), the Applicant should be given the benefit of the doubt. This means that the ownership of NK 2070 has been made sufficiently plausible.

17.  As regards the loss of possession of NK 2070, on the grounds of the preceding consideration it can be concluded that Gosschalk lost possession of the painting at some point during the period between 10 May and November 1940. It is not known precisely how this happened, but the most probable scenario is that Bloch sold the painting on Gosschalk's behalf. On the grounds of the third recommendation of the Ekkart Committee (2001), this has to be considered as a forced sale, unless there is express evidence to the contrary. The Committee concludes that there is no such evidence here. In the Committee's opinion it is not readily conceivable, also in the case of other scenarios, that Gosschalk lost possession of the painting voluntarily. The Committee points out that Gosschalk described himself as a collector of De Momper's work.
It follows from the above that the application for restitution of NK 2070 is admissible.

NK 2532 (M. van Wttenbroeck, Forest Pool with Hermaphroditus and Salmacis)

18.  It emerged from the investigation that NK 2532 was lent by Gosschalk in 1931 to the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, and that it was still there in 1935. The painting was sold in 1943 by W.J. Mooijman, a ‘kantoorbediende bierbrouwerij’ ['clerk in a brewery'], to Göpel. It is not known precisely how and when Gosschalk's loan ended, but there are various indications on the grounds of which it can be concluded that the painting still belonged to Gosschalk when the Germans invaded. For example, the following was noted about NK2532 in the document referred to above in consideration 16 from the file of the Referat Sonderfragen.Moz. v. Uijtenbroeck, Landscape with nymphs / Gosschalk collection / previously G.M.’. An SNK internal declaration form dated 11 December 1945 about this painting gives the original owner as Gosschalk, and there is a note stating ‘Loan Gemeente Museum ’s-Gravenhage’. Finally it can be pointed out that after the war the Dienst voor Schoone Kunsten der Gemeente ’s-Gravenhage (Fine Art Department of The Hague City Council) advised the SNK to contact Gosschalk about this painting because the department considered it highly likely that this work belonged to him.
On the grounds of these pieces of information, when considered together, the Committee concludes that ownership of NK 2532 has been made sufficiently plausible.

19.  With respect to the loss of possession, it can be concluded that Gosschalk lost possession of the painting at some moment after 10 May 1940. It is not known precisely how this happened. In a scenario where Gosschalk sold the painting, on the grounds of the third recommendation of the Ekkart Committee (2001), this sale has to be considered as a forced sale, unless there is express evidence to the contrary. The Committee concludes that there is no such evidence here. Also in the case of other scenarios where the painting left the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag at some point and - via Mooijman – ultimately ended up with Göpel, in the Committee's opinion it is not readily conceivable that Gosschalk lost possession of the painting voluntarily.
It follows from the above that the application for restitution of NK 2532 is admissible.

NK 2935 (G. Schalcken, A Young Draughtsman Sitting at a Table)

20.  NK 2935 is listed in a 1924 catalogue as the property of Gosschalk. In January 1941 the painting was sold by Bloch to the Hoogendijk gallery. It can be deduced from various documents, however, that in this transaction Bloch acted as an intermediary and that the painting originated from Gosschalk's collection. In post-war correspondence Bureau Hergo (Bureau for Restoration Payments and the Restoration of Property) informed Gemeentemuseum Den Haag that there was a ‘claim’ to the painting. In a letter of 8 December 1952 the Rijksinspecteur voor Roerende Monumenten (State Inspectorate for Movable Relics) stated that this claim had lapsed. The Committee considers it perfectly possible that this was linked to the death of Gosschalk on 6 October 1952. In view of the aforementioned information, the Committee concludes that ownership of NK 2935 has been made sufficiently plausible.

21.  With respect to the loss of possession, it can be concluded on the grounds of the preceding consideration that Gosschalk lost possession of the painting at some point between 10 May 1940 and January 1941. It is not known precisely how this happened, but the most probable scenario is that Bloch sold the painting on behalf of Gosschalk. On the grounds of the third recommendation of the Ekkart Committee (2001), this has to be considered as a forced sale, unless there is express evidence to the contrary. The Committee concludes that there is no such evidence here. In the Committee's opinion it is not readily conceivable, also in the case of other scenarios, that Gosschalk lost possession of the painting voluntarily.
It follows from the above that the application for restitution of NK 2935 is admissible.

22.  Finally the Committee raises the question of whether a payment obligation should be specified in regard to restitution of NK 2070, NK 2532 and NK 2935 in connection with the consideration received when one or more of the paintings may have been sold. Under the present restitution policy, repayment is only addressed if and in so far as the former vendor or his heirs actually had free control of the proceeds of the sale, and that the former vendor or his heirs should be given the benefit of the doubt. The Committee takes the view that there are doubts about whether Gosschalk obtained the free control of the proceeds of any sale. There is therefore no reason to link a payment obligation to the restitution of the three aforementioned paintings.

Conclusion

The Restitutions Committee advises the Minister of Education, Culture and Science to:
I          Reject the application for restitution of NK 2825, NK 1477, NK 2841 and NK 3052, and
II         Restitute NK 2070, NK 2532 and NK 2935 to the heirs of J.H. Gosschalk.

Adopted on 16 October 2017 by A. Hammerstein (Chair), J.T.M. Bank, J.H.W. Koster, P.J.N. van Os, H.M. Verrijn Stuart, G.N. Verschoor and I.C. van der Vlies (Vice-Chair) and signed by the Chair and the Secretary.

(A. Hammerstein, Chair)                               (M.C.J. Kooij, Secretary)