Page 67 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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neys, like so many others, seem often to be less interested in pur­
suing the truth than in presenting the positives for their side in
order to win cases or favorable publicity.
The public press response to the revelation of the Guttmanns as
the consignors and to the Court’s decisions to go forward to trial
was voluminous and largely repetitive. Two items that were picked
up by the press and should be mentioned here were: 1) the disturb­
ing fact that the books were unavailable to scholarship for over for­
ty years and 2) Dr. Gottschalk’s assertion in an interview first
reported on August 23, 1984 that the JRSO, which had long acted
as the legal recipient of post-war ownerless Jewish property, was
the appropriate instrument for handling the Hochschule collec­
tion.19The Guttmann affair then largely disappeared from public
view as preparations proceeded for the trial that was set for June
24, 1985.
The case did not go to trial. A setdement was publicly hinted at
on June 23, 1985,20 and stipulations for a settlement were made
public by the Court on July 16. Briefly, the terms encompass the
1. the Jewish Restoration Successor Organization was to be ap­
pointed as a Referee, first to advise which books and manu­
scripts should be recalled from their purchasers at auction (with
certain guidelines from the Court) and second, to propose a
plan for the funds left from the proceeds o f the lots not re­
2. Sotheby’s was to recall the books and manuscripts as ordered by
the Court;
3. JTS elected to give up the Bible and Machzor and to be reim­
bursed $900,000; and a new donor provided $900,000 in return
for which the Bible was to be transferred to Yeshiva University
and the Machzor to the JNUL;
4. $900,000 was to go to the Guttmanns;
5. there was to be a period of two weeks during which “any person
or institution, might comment on stipulations. In sum, Sothe-
The Guttmann Affair
19. Robert M. Elkins in
Cincinnati Enquirer,
August 23, 1984, p. C-2.
20. Elkins,
Cincinnati Enquirer,
June 23, 1985, p. B-5.