Geoff Edgers, writing in The Boston Globe, reports that Boston
The woman claims it was sold under duress. The MFA, which apparently has done extensive research on this, disputes that and says it was a normal transaction.
But here's what caught my attention in The Boston Globe article. The Deputy Director of the Museum, Katherine Getchell, made the following absurd statement when she claimed that the sale of the picture was a matter of business as usual:
"Would you also say that people who sold things [during] the Depression, yes, they sold them under duress?" she said. "Yes, if somebody sells their house now because they can't meet their high mortgage payment, is that a forced sale of a house? I think it's very dangerous to make the supposition that everything that happened during a period of time was forced." [The Boston Globe ]
I have no idea of the details of the sale, but let's reflect on the situation in
Jews were forced to use toothbrushes to clean anti-Nazi slogans that had been painted on the street. There are chilling pictures showing terrified people on their hands and knees doing such cleaning while gleeful Austrians stand and cheer. In some of these pictures is that it is young kids who are forcing the Jews to do this. Hundreds of Jews committed suicide.
Eichmann had been dispatched to
Jews were well aware of the pressure to get out. The situation was working so efficiently that Eichmann forced the leaders of the
Remember, this was before the Germans had settled on a plan to murder the Jews and were “just” trying to get them to emigrate. Their objective was to have them leave quickly and with no material goods. Their possessions would all fall into German hands. In short they were to be pauperized.
Sometimes the sale of goods was to other Jews. Not everything was openly confiscated by the Germans. Rest assured, it ultimately all fell into the hands of German governmental agencies or well placed Nazis.
Every memoir, history book, and biography talks of the terror under which Austrian Jews lived during those days. They knew get out or eventually end up in concentration camps.
To compare this to someone selling their house during the depression is absurd. It would be akin to saying that "not every young Black slave girl who had sexual relations with her master or a member of his family was forced into it. Some may truly have been in love." This was a relationship of the all powerful to the powerless. To see it as anything else is just plain stupid or, more properly put, obtuse and could only be made by someone who does not understand the nature of slavery.
So too with the situation of Jews in
I would suggest that MFA Deputy Director Getchell learn a bit more about history before she makes any more such far fetched, if not, absurd analogies.