The Nazi Strad that Oistrakh played

How did a poor boy from Odessa lay hands on a Stradivarius in the grim Soviet 1930s? And another in the 1940s?

The story is told in Tarisio’s new digital exhibition on the instruments played by the great contenders, a series timed to concide with the LSO’s upcoming international violin festival.

Click here to read about Oistrakh’s Strad and sign up for the full Tarisio series.
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  • Is it really fair to say a “Nazi” Strad? Isn’t more likely that Nazis robbed it from private families, likely Jewish families, who had treasured it? And that neglecting its provenance is another way of whitewashing its history and the prior owners’ existence?

    • While the Nazis looted an exorbitant amount of Jewish heirlooms, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the violin in question.

      “The case of an alleged 1719 Stradivari, taken from the Universität der Künste Berlin, the successor entity to the Hochschule für Musik, is more complex. The university reported the wartime loss of the violin, which is said to have been bequeathed to the school on 27 March 1943 by Dr Maria Alois Lautenschlager. During World War II, violinist and professor Gustav Havemann, then living near Berlin, took custody of the violin for safekeeping. But he found himself in the Russian zone at the end of the war, and turned the Stradivari over to two Russian officers.”
      http://www.thestrad.com/cpt-latests/the-stolen-instruments-of-the-third-reich/

      • A subtly different take in the article which NL provides a link to. The violin was ‘aquired’ by the Russians when they entered Berlin in 1945. Easentially, wartime loot.

        • The 1719´s Stradivari was stolen and confiscated from a soviet soldier. I´m thinking – but I´m not sure – that the violin ist now in Armenia in a littel backwater. The grandchild of that soldier is willing to return…but he isn´t rich…I´ts a question of money. I saw fotos of the strdivari with the inside label

  • From STRAD, Nov. 2013

    The case of an alleged 1719 Stradivari, taken from the Universität der Künste Berlin, the successor entity to the Hochschule für Musik, is more complex. The university reported the wartime loss of the violin, which is said to have been bequeathed to the school on 27 March 1943 by Dr Maria Alois Lautenschlager. During World War II, violinist and professor Gustav Havemann, then living near Berlin, took custody of the violin for safekeeping. But he found himself in the Russian zone at the end of the war, and turned the Stradivari over to two Russian officers.

    The Russian National Collection of Musical Instruments in Moscow has in its possession a 1719 Stradivari violin (inventory number 462) with an accession date of 1946, which appears to be a possible match with the missing ‘Lautenschlager’ Stradivari. Russian virtuoso David Oistrakh borrowed this instrument for a concert tour in 1949. He made a stop in Budapest during the tour and Hungarian violin maker Laszlo Remenyi was able to take detailed photographs of the violin, the only known images of it to date. They can be seen in a 1949 article on the instrument by Ernest N. Doring in Violins and Violinists (see picture on page 35).

  • I don’t know what you are gettng at. Siemens, GE Krupp, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, Hugo Boss, IBM, The Rockefeller Foundation, Bayer – IG Farben, not to mention Deutsche Bank and VW were Nazi-supported companies. Should we banish them completely and see where we land?….

  • A”Nazi-Strad” from 1719…great. How about all the other art works the Nazis stole from around Europe? Is it classified as “Nazi-art”?

  • A Nazi-Strad from 1719, nice. What about all the art work the Nazis stole from all around the world? Is it also classified as “Nazi-art”?…

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