Shalom Life | April 17, 2014

Restitution

A family's fight for their heritage lost in the Holocaust.

By: Helen Hatzis

Published: April 5th, 2010 in Culture » Books » Reviews

Restitution

Restitution is the true story of a Czech-Canadian family who faced down Nazis, Communists, and corruption to recover their four paintings.

Kathy Kacer's lastest book Restitution begins in a small town near Prague on the eve of the Nazi invasion. The Reeser family are Jewish and know that they must flee Czechoslovakia, but before leaving they deliver four valuable oil paintings into the hands of a business partner for safekeeping. Led by the intrepid matriach of the family, Marie Reeser, they make their escape under the nose of the occupying Nazis, arriving in Canada just days before the start of World War II.

Marie and her family could never forget the paintings they'd left behind. Marie risked her safety to return to Czechoslovakia after the war to try and recover them, only to be forced to abandon her cause when the Communists seized power. Years later, in 1989, a letter arrived at the Toronto home of Marie's son, Karl Reeser, saying that the paintings could be found in a private home in Prague. This ignited the final stage of the saga, as Karl set out to fulfill his mother's dream of returning the paintings to their familly.

Karl would help find with his mission from two unlikely sources - a mid-level diplomat at the Canadian embassy in Prague, and a daring Czech art smuggler. Both men were touched by the Reesers' decades-long search to restore what was rightfully theirs. From sneaking the paintings into the Canadian embassy in the dead of night to rolling them up and shipping them past the Communist authorities, all three men went to great lengths, and some risk, to help bring the paintings home.

In Restitution, author Kathy Kacer tells this true story of a family's quest in compelling detail, the story fleshed out with the Reeser family's pictures and documents. Karl Reeser, now in his 80s still lives in Toronto where he proudly displays two of the paintings, while the other two are in the Toronto home of his sister, Hana. The paintings are a reminder of what was lost in the Holocaust, but also what endured - the strength and determination of their family.

Stay tuned for our one-on-one interview with author Kathy Kacer.

Andrew Garfield Insists That Spiderman is Jewish Andrew Garfield Insists That Spiderman is Jewish TrendingWill Chelsea Handler Take Craig Ferguson's Late Late Night Hosting Gig? Will Chelsea Handler Take Craig Ferguson's Late Late Night Hosting Gig? TrendingREVIEW: 'The Sound of Music' on Stage in Toronto REVIEW: 'The Sound of Music' on Stage in Toronto Trending
 

Missouri Mayor 'Agrees' with Kansas Shooter

April 16, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Missouri Mayor 'Agrees' with Kansas Shooter

Dan Clavenger, the mayor of Marionville, Mo., said Frazier Glenn Miller, who killed three people at Jewish centers Sunday, was "nice and friendly"

Read More

‘The View’ Co-Hosts Past and Present to Reunite For Barbara Walters Farewell

April 16, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
‘The View’ Co-Hosts Past and Present to Reunite For Barbara Walters Farewell

All 11 co-hosts of 'The View' will appear on stage together for the first time

Read More

Top 7 Most Exciting Alternative Modes of Transport in Israel

April 16, 2014 | By Karin Kloosterman
Top 7 Most Exciting Alternative Modes of Transport in Israel

Folding cars and scooters, a cardboard bike, a no-impact wheel and a 'floating' rapid transit system are here or soon to appear in Israel

Read More

Stop Spreading Lies! AC/DC Are Not Breaking Up

April 16, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Stop Spreading Lies! AC/DC Are Not Breaking Up

The band has finally addressed recent rumors regarding their split

Read More

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Are Expecting a Girl

April 16, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Are Expecting a Girl

The happily engaged couple have announced the sex of their baby

Read More

James Franco Appears in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Without His Knowledge

April 16, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
James Franco Appears in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Without His Knowledge

The actor is apparently making a cameo in the upcoming sequel to 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'.

Read More

Sorry, Chelsea Handler Fans. She's Not Replacing Craig Ferguson

April 16, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Sorry, Chelsea Handler Fans. She's Not Replacing Craig Ferguson

CBS quashed the rumors regarding Handler taking Ferguson's 'Late Late Night' spot

Read More

Jewish Hall of Fame: David Ben-Gurion

April 16, 2014 | By Zak Edwards
Jewish Hall of Fame: David Ben-Gurion

Ben-Gurion was the primary founder and first Prime Minister of the State of Israel

Read More

More Headlines