WARSAW, Poland (AP):

In a gesture welcomed in Poland, the son of a Nazi official has returned three artworks that his family had looted from the southern Polish city of Krakow during World War II.

Polish officials said yesterday that they hoped the gesture by Horst von W?chter of Austria would inspire other Nazi descendants to follow suit.

In the ceremony onSunday in Krakow, von W?chter returned an 18th-century map of Poland, built into a small table, and two historic drawings that his mother, Charlotte von W?chter, had appropriated there in late 1939. It was shortly after her husband, Otto von W?chter, had become governor in the southern Polish city occupied by German and Austrian Nazis during the war.

The handover took place at the office of the Krakow provincial governor and was the result of efforts by Polish historian and politician Magdalena Ogorek, according to Krzysztof Marcinkiewicz, spokesman for the governor.

NO COMPENSATION He said that one of the paintings had Charlotte von W?chter’s handwritten pencil inscription saying it came from the Potocki Palace in Krakow, where the W?chters resided during the war.

Ogorek told The Associated Press that she spotted some Poland-related objects at Horst von W?chter’s castle in Austria while she was doing research there about his father, who died in 1949 at the Vatican while waiting to be smuggled to Argentina to avoid facing justice.

She said that von W?chter returned the objects to Krakow for no compensation.

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© Jorge Plaza

© Jorge Marquez