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Nazi Copyright Row

An Auschwitz survivor who was forced to paint pictures of concentration camp inmates by Nazi Josef Mengele has become embroiled in a copyright dispute with the Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau reports the LA Times.

In 1944 Dina Gottliebova was in the queue for the gas chamber when she was chosen by Menegele to document the images of ‘inferior races’ in return for extra bread rations.

Subsequently she was liberated, but in 1973, Gottliebova now Babbitt learned that some of her pictures had survived and were in the museum at the former concentration camp in Poland.

Since then, she has been trying to retrieve them. Her supporters and conventional interpretations of copyright law say she has moral and legal rights to the art.

But the museum has been arguing that the portraits should remain in the museum for the benefit it’s many visitors and the memory of the millions who perished in the camp.

The museum maintains that they constitute part of the “heritage of humanity” which should supersede individual copyright claims.

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