From Our Own Correspondent - A World Swept Away
Prompted by the reappearance in Munich of a hoard of art looted by the Nazis, David Mazower reflects on his own family history of people and possessions lost during the Holocaust.
The emergence of a hoard of modern art - apparently looted by the Nazis before and during World War II - in a Munich flat has made headlines around the world. The story led David Mazower to reflect on his own family history, of people and possessions swept away forever by the Holocaust. For the wider story of that era is of one of immense destruction, uprooting and rupture on an epic scale. Some of his forebears' most treasured assets might not have had the monetary or artistic value of an Otto Dix canvas - but their loss was felt just as keenly. Some of the objects which did survive the war may seem insignificant today - but they are beyond price to the people who also who survived and their descendants. What are the possessions which truly define us? And what are today's refugees choosing to save? Introduced by Pascale Harter; produced by Polly Hope. Photo: David Mazower's great-great-grandfather, Menachem Mendel Spiro, (rear left) a passionate linguist and book-lover, pictured before World War II.