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On 31 May 2024, the Jewish Cultural Quarter opens the exhibition 'Robbed', which looks at the expropriation of Jewish property during World War II.

Central to the exhibition are personal stories, including that of Max Amichai Heppner. His story forms the basis for the four-part podcast series 'The Lost Heppner Collection' ('De verdwenen collectie Heppner' in Dutch), which will be published simultaneously with the exhibition.

As a 7-year-old boy, Jewish Max witnesses how the Germans loot artworks from his father, who makes his living as an art dealer in Amsterdam, during the occupation. During the war, Max goes into hiding with his parents, and manages to survive the war. After the war, a long search for the lost paintings begins, a search that for the now 90-year-old Max is still unfinished. It is primarily about moral satisfaction.

Cold and lacking understanding
In the 4-part series, podcast maker Marieke de Veer tries to find a trace of the works. Her search outlines the setting against which the looting took place and the systematic way in which the Nazis operated. In the process, the series sheds light on how looted artworks were treated in post-war Holland: mostly cold and not very understanding.

During her quest, Marieke also gets to know Max better and better. She frequently calls this now 90-year-old, who has lived in the United States since he was a teenager. What memories does he have of the period of the robbery? What meaning does 'the lost Heppner collection' have in his life?

New perspective
This series gives a new perspective on art theft and shows how it affects lives today. 'The lost Heppner collection' is a search for looted paintings, but above all a search for justice.

'The lost Heppner collection' is a podcast by the Jewish Cultural Quarter, in collaboration with the Restitution Expertise Centre of the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The series is produced by audio agency Airborne, which previously produced the podcasts 'The Man with the Rattles' and 'Don't Forget Me' for the JCK.

The exhibition 'Robbed' is a collaboration between the Rijksmuseum and the Jewish Cultural Quarter and can be seen at the Jewish Museum and the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam from 31 May to 27 October 2024

Listen to the podcast
The podcast can be listened to via all listening platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcast, Youtube en Amazon Music.