Petrof Piano Provenance - Haas Family (Anna & Grete) Vienna #austria-czech
James T Kelly
Greetings... I am a professional piano technician working on a project to e=
stablish the provenance of two Petrof Grand Pianos both located in Austria =
before the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938/1939. One piano for which I h=
ave the serial number is here in the US and may have been brought here as a=
war souvenir. It would be extremely important to arrange for its return to=
the heirs of the last owner. The second Petrof was listed on a property cl=
aim seeking to protect the piano from confiscation in 1946. The owner was G=
rete Haas who fled the Nazi annexation and went to New York City. Her mothe=
r Anna Haas stayed in her Vienna apartment throughout the war. Unfortunatel=
y the claim had no serial number on it so we do not know if the one here is=
the Haas piano. The Haas apartment was at Neustiftgasse 55/14 Vienna VII. =
Grete Haas passed away in 1986 in Winter Park Florida. I have no way to kno=
w if the piano was ever moved to the US after 1946 or if it stayed in Austr=
ia with Anna Haas. Perhaps someone can provide information about how proper=
ty is distributed after the owner or custodians death in Austria. Is there =
a probate court and estate inventory ? On the export side how would a piano=
be shipped to the USA and what manifests/bills of ladings would be needed =
? where could one search ?
James T. Kelly
There is a probate record for Grete HAAS in Orange County, FL. Possibly info on a piano may be mentioned in a will.
Search Grete HAAS at this site and you will find the record. It looks like the documents are not online, so you can order them from the court. Case # 1986-CP-001637-O
This may not be helpful in your search of the piano, but Grete arrived in NY on 24 Jun 1938. Her full name Grete Frieda Anna HAAS. She was a doctor of philosophy. She left behind her father Mr. J. HAAS at Neustiftgasse 55. Grete was going to her Uncle Philipp HAAS, 910 Riverside Drive, NYC.
In October 1938 when she applied for naturalization Grete lived at 375 Central Park West.
Good luck in your search,
Searching: RATOWSKY / CHAIMSON (Ariogala / Ragola, Lith.)
WALTZMAN / WALZMAN (Ustrzyki Dolne / Istryker, Pol.)
LEVY (Tyrawa Woloska, Pol.)
LEFFENFELD / LEFENFELD / FINK, KALTER (Daliowa/ Posada Jasliska, Pol.)
BOJDA / BERGER (Tarnobrzeg, Pol.)
SOKALSKY / SOLON / SOLAN / FINGER(MAN) (Grodek, Bialystok, Pol.)
BOBISH / APPEL (Odessa?)