East Germany's Blood Art: No Justice for Victims of Regime's Treasure Hunt

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tags: art, Nazi

They showed up outside the apartment at 6 a.m. More than a dozen people, including agents from East Germany's feared secret police, the Stasi, tax officials, police officers and public prosecutors, presented the East Berlin doctor and art collector Peter Garcke with a search warrant on suspicion of tax evasion. Seconds later, the men marched through his flat, examining the antique furniture Garcke had in his living room and bedroom. Then, they took him away.

His apartment was completely emptied. "The looting was so extensive that they poured the sugar out of the tin sugar dispenser and removed flowers from the vases. They even took travel souvenirs and small gifts," his wife Rita recalls. "They didn't even leave me a chair to sit on." After that gray February morning in 1978, Rita Garcke never saw her husband again.

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