Court orders poster’s return
A court ruled on Tuesday that a Jewish man from Florida is the rightful owner of a rare poster the Gestapo seized from his father in 1938. The ruling set the stage for the return of the entire collection of thousands of posters taken by the Nazis, which are now worth at least US$5.85 million. The Berlin administrative court ruled that Hans Sachs never gave up ownership of the collection of 12,500 posters taken from his home on the orders of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Sachs, 71, sued in a test case for the return of two posters — a 1932 poster for Die Blonde Venus (Blonde Venus) starring Marlene Dietrich, and one for Simplicissimus, a satirical German weekly magazine, showing a red bulldog. The court ruled that it was unclear whether Die Blonde Venus was part of his father’s collection, but that there was no doubt about the Simplicissimus poster and that it must be returned to him. The ruling means that the court has backed the claim of Peter Sachs of Sarasota on the surviving portion of his father’s collection — some 4,000 posters at the German Historical Museum in Berlin, his attorney said. The posters include advertisements for exhibitions, cabarets, movies and consumer products, as well as political propaganda — all rare, with only small original print runs. Born in 1881, Hans Sachs was a dentist who began collecting posters while in high school. By 1905, he was Germany’s leading private poster collector.
Archeologists seek graves
Archeologists began searching on Tuesday for unmarked mass graves containing hundreds of unbaptized babies buried by the Catholic Church on the edge of a Belfast cemetery. Newborns and infants who died before baptism were deemed ineligible for salvation and were not buried on consecrated ground. The records of Milltown Cemetery in Catholic west Belfast indicate that hundreds of unbaptized infants were interred in mass graves on the western edge of the cemetery.
Alleged shoe-hurler pleads
A German student accused of hurling a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) at an elite English university pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a public order offense. Martin Jahnke, a 27-year-old pathology postgraduate student at Cambridge University, spoke only to confirm his name and address and to enter his plea at the eastern city’s Magistrates’ Courts. His case was adjourned on Tuesday, at the prosecutors’ request, for a pre-trial review on March 10, and he was released on unconditional bail. If found guilty, Jahnke could face six months in prison and a £5,000 (US$7,400) fine as a maximum sentence.
Reward offered for killers
Warsaw on Tuesday offered a 1 million zloty (US$290,000) reward for information leading to the capture of Taliban militants who beheaded a Polish geologist in Pakistan.
People skipping drugs: poll
Americans affected by the financial crisis may be skipping needed prescription drugs in a wrong-headed attempt to save money, a survey by Epocrates Inc said on Tuesday. Nearly 95 percent of the 700 doctors surveyed said they were concerned that patients were simply not filling prescriptions or skipping doses. The doctors also said they believed some patients were splitting pills. The healthcare information company said 55 percent of the physicians surveyed said they wrote more prescriptions for generic drugs, which are cheaper than patented drugs, last year than in 2007.