Rare violin tests Germany’s pledge to atone for Nazi past

BERLIN – No one knows why Felix Hildesheimer, a Jewish merchant of musical supplies, bought a precious violin built by cremonic master Giuseppe Guarneri from a store in Stuttgart, Germany, in January 1938. His own store had lost non-Jewish customers. because of the Nazi boycotts, and his two daughters fled the country soon after. His grandsons say it’s possible that Hildesheimer was hoping to sell the violin in Australia, where he and his wife, Helene, had planned to build a new life with their youngest daughter.

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