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    Artist Rights Violation At Auschwitz

    Dina Babbitt was an animator for Disney, but before that she was face to face with the Angel of Death

    She was forced to use her talents, to save both her life and her mother’s life.
    The museum at Auschwitz refuses to return her paintings.
    We have the right to choose to use our talents to liberate her work.

    This is an open call to creators to stand by our own, to use art to create a revolution and gain the return of seven pieces of paper to their rightful owner. This thread is for those who wish to be involved in Dina's cause.
    ARTISTS FOR DINA
    What would happen if the world witnessed creators from all aspects of the arts coming together to stand by and protect the rights of one artist?
    It is wrong to discriminate against a person because they were a victim of a historical event.
    The goal is to create a mass of art defending and supporting Dina’s rights and to give voice to the public demand for the return of Dina’s paintings. We intend to create a media spotlight revealing the museum’s long history of denying the return our colleague’s property. When the museum returns Dina’s work, we will record that event as well.
    We find the negation of this artist’s human and creative rights to be an insulting and dangerous threat to the rights of artist’s and people everywhere. We do not intend to let this stand.
    All proceeds will go toward Dina’s legal expenses to acquire the return of her work and more importantly, our outcry may influence the museum’s to return her work.
 We do not recognize the Musuem as the rightful owner of these paintings and simply want to see them return to the hands which created them. We are certain that many of you also wish to see this happen. 

    What can you do?
    *Link this blog, Dina’s site or the petition with your site
    *Create art for the show or submit existing work
    *Artists can choose to donate the sale of their work to Dina’s fund.
    * Artists may submit any form of art, pro or am
    Send a PM to me, communicating your interest and include a link to your work.
    *Reach out and involve your colleagues
    * Help spread the word
    *Your ideas, Please use this thread and post them here.
    We also need you to
    Sign the petition
    All we need is enough art.

    Thank you and Go!
    Last edited by Mebiusu; June 25th, 2009 at 08:08 PM.


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  3. #2
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    The history of millions of slaves, forced to work for nothing, preserved in a museum, representing oppression and death. Her wanting it for her personal use where millions! died like flies.
    The notion of demanding the exhibits by some pr gig with fellow artists is beyond selfish and arrogant.
    [] sketchbook [] [nsfw]

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    Quote Originally Posted by paran0id View Post
    The history of millions of slaves, forced to work for nothing, preserved in a museum, representing oppression and death. Her wanting it for her personal use where millions! died like flies.
    The notion of demanding the exhibits by some pr gig with fellow artists is beyond selfish and arrogant.
    Yea!!! And everyone who has money should immediately give everything they have to the starving children in africa. The fact that everyone wants to use it for personal reasons while millions are dying from a simple lack of clean water is beyond arrogance!

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    Wow, how very sad I am for you both. You clearly do not get it. That is cool but you are off topic. I asked for ideas, not flames. Move along, nothing to see here.

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    I am very sad for you, that you run on the forefront of some lowly pr gig. My idea is not to support that woman.

    aesir
    Nobody is obliged to give everything they own to starving children. But it is a moral standard to give something if you have a lot.
    [] sketchbook [] [nsfw]

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    Quote Originally Posted by paran0id View Post

    aesir
    Nobody is obliged to give everything they own to starving children. But it is a moral standard to give something if you have a lot.
    well, the point i was trying to make in a horrific-ly sarcastic way, was that neither of you are right, in that people have a right to their possessions but also that often times the right thing to do is to give them up for a greater cause.

    (as far as moral standards of whether we have a right to what we own while others suffer, I think that would make for an interesting discussion. It's pretty much impossible to starve to death in america, so I could quite easily give up all I own to people who need it... Does morality require me to? Possibly. Certainly a follower of jesus' teachings would argue for it.)


    [thread derailment, COMPLETE]

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    Sigh. I am sure derailment was intended. Try reading the entirety of the thread intent next time before posting, Please? Maybe do some research into her specific case, you know? Come on, this thread is asking for help, not your philosophical disagreements.
    If you disagree, what are you doing here?

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    United Nations Declaration Of Human Rights
    Article 17
    1. Everyone has the right to own property, alone as well as in association with others.
    2. 2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property

    3@Kiera- I do not assume everyone agrees on this issue, I am simply doing what I believe in with the hope that others who do agree will help. The thread asks for aid. If you disagree, start your own thread.
    -edit- I have edited my comments for accuracy because I realize we had a misunderstanding via translation issues.
    Last edited by Mebiusu; May 18th, 2009 at 01:56 PM.

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    I'm on the fence with this one. On the one hand those are objects to her past and a piece of memory for her family. On the other those paintings are an international relic as a reminder of the things which went on in those camps.

    I hate to say it but I think they should stay with the museum. They have many more resources to protect those paintings for many hundreds of years.

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    @Kiera, Thank you for the feedback, you actually brought up some important points there. The site has links which provide answers to them. We have been working so hard on the show, that we have had little time to devote to the website. I will consider your points further, re: the emotions contained there. I apologize, I began to do the exact same thing I felt you were doing.
    @Rist, I respect your view and more importantly the civilized manner with which they are presented. I have considered them as well. If I may respond, these works were created by a war crime. If a family had had their Dali stolen by the SS and had proof it was theirs we might all have a different take on this. The woman simply wants her property back so she can decide which museum gets it. It is really a matter of principle for her. For the record, I had no interest in creating a debate, I just wanted the aid of those who agree with this issue. I am not here to force my views, nor am I here to convert anyone.

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    The issue is such a debatable subject, so there is no avoidance, especially in The Lounge.

    I think the problem arises when the fact is that those were created while she was in captivity. This is so much different than the Germans simply stealing the works in the war period. This fact and the fact that it was a war crime makes it especially important to keep those paintings in the museum. They are as important as the photos taken when the camps were liberated. The museum will keep open for many more hundreds of years if we survive Global Warming, and because of this they can preserve these pieces.

    I think I will leave it at this. Sorry you are not getting the support you thought you would gain. People just have their own thoughts on this.

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    I regret that and I respect what you are saying. It is my hope that you can accept my apology and let bygone be bygone. I also hope you will entertain the notion that most of what I said to you was not intended as an insult. Although I can clearly see how it "sounds"that way. No, it was not the icon, man. Yet for sure, I am willing to accept it when you say you meant no insult. Fair enough? I am still kind of new to this "Standing up in Public for what I believe in" thing. I really did not expect to find this level of disagreement on this issue here of all places.

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    There is a personal and a legal point of view for this 'problem'.
    On the personal level I would say it would hurt none to return the paintings since the museum exhibits copies anyway and they acknowledge Dina as creator. One of the sites claims ownership to Dina, though I'm not sure of that to be honest.
    From a legal point of view things get very blurry. Does acknowledging someone as creator mean that you have to return things to them on request?
    This ain't the regular 'stolen art' type of case. She created the paintings, but to put it in blunt words, it was commissioned work. You draw this for me and I give you something in return. You can't create replica's from a work of art without permission of the creator, even if it was commissioned. So that's the reason for the paperwork, not her ownership.
    Viewed from a legal point of view the museum is probably the rightful owner.

    I see no reason not to return the originals to Dina, but only on personal and not on legal grounds. And even then I feel biased about it.

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    @jos, Let’s look at your points-
    “Does acknowledging someone as creator mean that you have to return things to them on request?”
    No. Does the owner have a right to own property? Since it was a war crime to force this artist to create in the first place, if anyone has a legal claim of ownership, it is Dina. We are still holding war criminals accountable for their crimes, I understand.
    “She created the paintings, but to put it in blunt words, it was commissioned work. You draw this for me and I give you something in return.”
    A commissioned work is done so under legal conditions. This work was not “commissioned” it was created under a forceful condition, the threat of murder. That Condition is a war crime. The legal conditions of the “commission” never existed and the conditions of their forced creation are illegal since said conditions are a war crime.
    “You can't create replica's from a work of art without permission of the creator, even if it was commissioned.”
    Then the museum is breaking the law since it has been producing prints of her work for years, without her consent?
    “Viewed from a legal point of view the museum is probably the rightful owner.”
    Really? The Museum at Auschwitz did not exist when the paintings were created, therefore it is impossible for the museum to have commissioned anything.
    Last edited by Mebiusu; May 16th, 2009 at 01:50 PM.

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    It sounds like the museum is keeping the works illegally, so for that reason I hope she gets them back. Beyond that, however, I can't see how this case is different to any other examples where artists' work is being used illegally. Sorry, I don't buy into all this spiritual stuff about putting the past to rest and whatever, it's just a bunch of paintings being in one place when they should be in another.

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    They are her works. She should have them. Period. The museum can make archival quality prints and hang them if they want. Anyone arguing against is in the way of artist rights and on the wrong side. Individual artist rights are the only thing that keeps us all from being slaves in the system. Wake up.

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    @Jason,
    Thank you for that. Via my communication with Dina, I know for a fact she does not feel "special" nor that her suffering proves to be any more unique than the others victimized by this hideous Holocaust. The Museum only hangs prints of her work anyway. They have the originals elsewhere. I wonder why?
    She has never asked me for anything other than to "take it easy" :]
    This issue is an affront to humanity and to artists in specific. If we turn our back on her, who will be there for us?
    Last edited by Mebiusu; May 16th, 2009 at 03:08 PM.

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    I agree with Jason, and I think she's got a strong legal claim to them. This is one of those weird situations where the museum as a moral obligation to give the work back, yet the moral thing for the artist to do is give them away (and what better place than Auschwitz where they were made?). What I don't get is, why does she want them? She says they're the only link to her past, but what it really is, was she made a deal with the devil, reinforcing racism against gypsies, as a favor to the diabolical Mengele. She saved her mom, but otherwise, she should be ashamed to be linked to this, unless she somehow secretly protested the program by making these gypsies seem more noble or what have you (they look pretty noble in the images). I'd like alot more information on this.

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    @TAS, perhaps some research would be good for you before making such broad and inaccurate statements. A convenient position for one to have from the safety of one's own safe little world. She actually said she would committ suicide rather than do this, Mengele said he would spare her mom.

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    I signed the petition. It may be "history" but Dina isn't. If the Klimt's were returned her work should be returned.

    On style: I hardly think of the Aushwitz museum as "the man." It is the very opposite. And the emotionalism of "help free dina from auschwitz" is really fucking insulting and hysterical.

    I did not donate any money.
    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

    My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
    http://www.myspace.com/kevferrara

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  29. #21
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    Thank you Kev,
    FYI, we offer no way for you to donate money.
    We have a community here and I believe most of us attempt to help each other.
    I am simply doing what I believe in. I sincerely want to help. All of us are volunteering. I get nothing from this but headaches.
    Perhaps I need to curb my emotional involvement.
    Thank you for your feedback. We could use help with content any time you wish to offer it.
    One thing is certain, I have never claimed to be a brilliant writer.
    Glad I could provide some chuckles for you.
    Last edited by Mebiusu; May 16th, 2009 at 04:06 PM.

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    It sounds like the museum is keeping the works illegally, so for that reason I hope she gets them back
    That's about it really isn't it?

    It's her stuff, give them back.

    (Also, not wanting to sidetrack too much from the issues at hand, the comic panels on the link Edward posted are from the final issue of Magneto:Testament which is a very good comic and I believe features covers by some Marko guy.. )
    Last edited by Flake; May 16th, 2009 at 03:42 PM.

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  32. #23
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    I received an infraction, lol, unjust I might add.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...618400,00.html

    It was not until a 1998 conference in Washington that 44 countries committed themselves to finding "fair solutions." Under the Washington agreement, statutes of limitations were lifted, at least for art in public hands. But the treaty was not legally binding.

    Austria, at any rate, enacted its own law and, after 1998, returned about 13,000 works to their rightful owners. But since 2006, when Jewish art collector Ronald Lauder paid $135 million (€102 million) for Gustav Klimt's famous portrait "Adele Bloch-Bauer I," which had already been returned to its owners by a museum in Vienna, the public's fascination with such record sums and the glitz of large amounts of money have overshadowed any gestures of fairness.
    [] sketchbook [] [nsfw]

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    All right guys, I am finished with arguments. Make up your own minds. If anyone wants to help or has a question connected with helping to secure the return of Dina’s work, please PM me.
    Even if we have disagreed with one another, I will respond with whatever you need in cooperation with the return of Dina’s art. It is going to take much work.
    I will still respond to valid questions concerning the return of this artist’s work.
    Best to all of you.
    Last edited by Mebiusu; May 18th, 2009 at 01:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Cherniga View Post
    “You can't create replica's from a work of art without permission of the creator, even if it was commissioned.”
    Then the museum is breaking the law since it has been producing prints of her work for years, without her consent?
    From Dina's website:

    "Dina is legally credited by the Museum as being the rightful owner of her artwork and must sign paperwork for the Museum each time it wants to reproduce her work. She has always accommodated the Museum and has never taken any monetary compensation, to which she is entitled, for the reproduction of her work."

    I'm not sure why the website claims Dina is credited ownership.
    If Dina has legal ownership there is no law, even in Poland, under which the museum could keep the paintings. So there is probable more to this story then just the claims on the websites (yes, I've read both the one you posted and Dina's, I think that's normal to form a opinion on something you don't know a lot about). I said that the legal side gets very blurry for a reason.
    Why? It's a couple of lines below: "However, to date, the Museum claims that because it purchased the paintings from other people, the Museum does not have to return Dina’s gypsy portraits to her."
    There is a ownership dispute. What the museum most likely claims is that they paid and because of that they are the owner of the paintings.

    But as you see, there has been consent in the past so the museum was not breaking the law in reproducing.

    Am I at the wrong side for arguing this way? Perhaps. But even artists have to remember that besides their rights others may also have rights.
    Even if those rights are based on an immoral foundation or a highly controversial event in history.

    @paran0id,
    This specific case has nothing to do with the situation described in the spiegel article. That's a completely different situation.
    Last edited by the_jos; May 16th, 2009 at 05:03 PM.

  35. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    yet the moral thing for the artist to do is give them away
    1) Why is it the moral thing to give them away and

    2) Why should she be ashamed? She was a victim too, you know.

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    Millions Stand Behind Me -A. Hitler

    Quote Originally Posted by aesir View Post
    well, the point i was trying to make in a horrific-ly sarcastic way, was that neither of you are right, in that people have a right to their possessions but also that often times the right thing to do is to give them up for a greater cause....."
    The problem here appears to be clearer than our first reactions are allowing it to be.

    Ed Cherniga is arguing (in 100% concurrence with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights) that what happens to Dina Babbitt's art, who owns it, and where it is displayed, is HER right to choose.

    What the museum staff, the Polish Government of Lech Kaczinsky, Josef Mengele, and others posting here earlier, are saying is that someone other than the artist has the more powerful right to determine what happens to an artist's work, (and who owns it), as long as they are doing so for the good of society, or for "a greater cause". Their greater right is protected and enforced by the fact that "millions stand behind" them.

    But that was why Josef Mengele had Dina make the portraits of Gypsies in the first place. He wanted to demonstrate in living colour, why the Gypsies (and the Jew he was forcing to paint them) had no rights at all to live in his society. His greater cause was a society that could be improved by the practice of eugenics.

    The paintings were originally used to demonstrate physical inferiorities of some people to actual Aryan humans. Their current use is to demonstrate the moral inferiority of the Nazi ideology to the ideology of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum of Poland as it is in effect today. Ironically, both parties are using the same logic, which is, "I have the power therefore I determine that my cause is more noble and worthy than any person's human rights." Power trumps morality.

    If a person supports the idea that any "greater cause", as defined by an arbitrary decision of one person or policy, outweighs Dina Babbitt's Human Rights, then he is acknowledging that his own Human Rights are also subject to someone else's arbitrary decision as to his worthiness to enjoy them.

    The facts here show that a force outside of Dina Babbitt caused her to make the works in question over 60 years ago. Today, and for the last 34 years, decision makers at the same camp where the paintings were made, are supporting Josef Mengele and his decision to take work from Dina Babbitt and use it to achieve that camp's ends.

    The camp has changed ownership in the ensuing years, as have its alleged goals, but it has not changed this facet of its policy: That the administrators of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp are better qualified through both education and social standing, than the artist herself, to decide what should happen with her work and to what ends, morally and ethically, it can be used.

    If you agree with Adolf Hitler, Josef Mengele, and the current Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Administrators, then your work is done for you and it is ongoing.

    If you disagree with the notion that someone other than yourself is a better arbiter of the fate of your artistic efforts and what they should or may be used for, then you are on Ed Cherniga's side in this discussion.

    If you would care to defend your own human rights, then you may want to support this cause.

    If it is the exchange of money that is troubling you, you can still work for your own human rights (and those of all other artists) without sullying your hands with filthy lucre, simply by writing to the museum, or signing the online petition. Neither costs a penny and both represent a refusal to accept the status quo that someone else has a greater right than you to decide what art you may or may not make, when you may make it, and where and to what ends it will be used. As the artist, your rights and ownership of your work, end the moment you lay down your pencil.

    ************
    DISCLOSURE: I am on Ed Cherniga's side in this endeavour. My blog is at
    http://FreeDinasArt.wordpress.com and I HAVE signed the petition at
    http://ipetitions.com/petition/FreeDinaBabbitt

    I sincerely urge every self-respecting artist to at least read up on, and learn about this case before taking a stand on either side. Then, take the side that reflects your personal stance and do something to support it.
    Last edited by Tim Thibeault; May 17th, 2009 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Clarification of quote - I originally erased the close-quote.

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    "What the museum staff, the Polish Government of Lech Kaczinsky, Josef Mengele, and others posting here earlier, are saying... "

    Just to clarify, Josef Mengele is dead. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Mengele

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    Late at night yesterday I remembered that there has been a case on artist rights vs. ownership.
    As far as I recall Dali did a commissioned work for a department store and because they altered it and refused to remove his name (which he demanded since he did not make that) he destroyed it. And the window of the store broke doing that.
    He had to pay the window, but according to the judge Dalí had the right to defend his work of art.

    Now this case is somewhat different and the law in the US is different from the law in Poland, but it indicates that artists have strong rights indeed.
    So I'm going to rethink my point of view in this matter.


    As a reaction to Tim:
    People have the right of protection against unemployment and the right to work.
    How about all those people fired because of the current economic situation? Are we also going to defend their rights? Or the rights of people like Johan (a 63 year old guy) who wants to work but can't find a job no matter how hard he tried (no, he's not told he's too old, but that's the reason. That's a double right denied, of art 2 and art 23).

    Others make decisions on our human rights all the time. The moment you get on a terrorist watchlist you have no rights anymore. And your e-mail and internet traffic is already monitored and traffic data is stored for months. Power has always been greater than our individual rights.

    I'm cynical on this subject, I know. Most people only care about rights when it affects them. Who cares that people from Morocco cannot give up their nationality even if they want to? Who cares that people labled as potential terrorists have no right to privacy when we are protected from attacks? And chemical castration of child abusers and rapists? I think most people will agree to that, it prevents future harm, doesn't it?
    It's mainly about 'me and my rights' and not about 'our rights as human being in a demoncratic society'.

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    "People have the right of protection against unemployment and the right to work."

    ????????????? What???????????? No. There are certain circumstances where one can sue for prejudice or racism, such as a job applicant who's more qualified than another who gets the job, or a qualified worker who never gets promoted. That's why many large businesses have quotas of one sort or another. However, there is no law anywhere that entitles everyone to employment. The very nature of capitalism requires a certain amount of unemployment to function.

    Right now there's a big debate of rights vs. security, and it seems, at least in the US, that we're swaying to the side of greater individual rights. The case presented here is far, far different from a child molestor choosing castration or a terrorist being investigated. The debate may be in the same field, but Dina definately has the law on her side in this case, and it's ridiculous and insulting to compare her to these others. It's not very clear from your post, but I hope this is the point you were trying to make.
    Last edited by TASmith; May 17th, 2009 at 06:31 AM.

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