Shalom Life | August 29, 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.

Arsenio Hall Compares Mac Miller to Maya Angelou [VIDEO] Arsenio Hall Compares Mac Miller to Maya Angelou [VIDEO] TrendingLea Michele is Returning For ‘Glee’s’ Final Season Lea Michele is Returning For ‘Glee’s’ Final Season TrendingJoan Rivers Stopped Breathing, Rushed to Hospital During Surgery Joan Rivers Stopped Breathing, Rushed to Hospital During Surgery Trending
 

'Ray Donovan' Creator Ann Biderman Leaves Show

August 29, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
'Ray Donovan' Creator Ann Biderman Leaves Show

Writer David Hollander will take the helm of the Showtime series starring Liev Schreiber

Read More

Watch the Trailer for Jon Stewart's Directorial Debut [VIDEO]

August 29, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Watch the Trailer for Jon Stewart's Directorial Debut [VIDEO]

'Rosewater' will hit a theater near you in November

Read More

Joaquin Phoenix to Play Marvel's Dr. Strange?

August 29, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Joaquin Phoenix to Play Marvel's Dr. Strange?

Reports indicate that Phoenix is in final talks to play the wizard warrior in a new Marvel franchise

Read More

Bryan Singer Investigated for Alleged Sex Crime

August 29, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Bryan Singer Investigated for Alleged Sex Crime

According to sources, the NYPD is looking into a claim that Singer sexually assaulted a man in his twenties

Read More

Spanish Imam Asks Allah to Destroy All the Jews [VIDEO]

August 29, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Spanish Imam Asks Allah to Destroy All the Jews [VIDEO]

In a Friday sermon, Sheik Saleheoldine al-Moussaoui says the Jews are "by nature treacherous and war-mongering"

Read More

Al-Qaeda Presents: Terrorism 101, A Guide on Making Bombs and Choosing Targets

August 29, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Al-Qaeda Presents: Terrorism 101, A Guide on Making Bombs and Choosing Targets

The terrorist organization has released a detailed booklet on how to make pressure cooker bombs, and which U.S., U.K., and Israeli targets should be attacked

Read More

Putin Compares Ukrainian Army to the Nazis

August 29, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Putin Compares Ukrainian Army to the Nazis

The Russian President condemned Ukrainian troops firing at civilians in eastern Ukraine who he said are "suppressed with force"

Read More

Israel Concerned as Rebels Linked to al-Qaeda Seize Control of Syrian Side of Border

August 29, 2014 | By Attila Somfalvi, Roi Kais and Yoav Zitun
Israel Concerned as Rebels Linked to al-Qaeda Seize Control of Syrian Side of Border

Netanyahu: "An extension of al-Qaeda in the Golan Heights has kidnapped dozens of UN forces. We must take a joint position in order to defeat them."

Read More

More Headlines