1915 Erich is born Djakovo, Austro-Hungarian Empire

 Austro-Hungarian Empire collapses  1918

1919 Slomovic family moves to Belgrade, Yugoslavia

1926 Erich attends boarding school in Cannes

1928 Erich writes to Ambroise Vollard

1931 Erich attends high school in Belgrade (see photo in ДОБРОДОШЛИ)

1933 first entry in Kolektanea from Belgrade

Hitler comes to power in Germany  1933

1935 or 1936 Erich arrives in Paris and meets Vollard; many entries in Kolektanea from top artists of the era follow shortly. 

1939 Vollard dies on July 22nd in a car crash, his brother Lucien named executor of his estate. Erich sends a Rouault special edition book to Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, who rejects it. ES rents a vault at Société Générale, where he leaves some 150 works of art from his collection. Neither Lucien nor Martin Fabiani, his right-hand man, ever claim the works had belonged to Vollard, or were in any way unrightfully obtained by Erich.

 Germany declares war on Poland  1939

1940 Erich speeds up the process of sending some 450 pieces from his collection to Belgrade. The Yugoslav embassy in Paris assists him, after conducting an investigation to confirm his ownership. Erich, his paintings and other works of art arrive in Belgrade on March 20, 1940 and immediately become the talk of the town. Later that year on November 24th a spectacular exhibition opens in Zagreb and continues to attract crowds for over 2 months. His reputed mistress, Liza Maric Krizanic visits him in Zagreb on numerous occasions.

Hitler tours Paris, now in German hands, on June 26,  1940

German blitzkrieg conquers Yugoslavia in 12 days, in April  1941

1941 Erich and his collection return to Belgrade. He undertakes to buy land on which to build his Gallery, completing the land purchase less than a week before the Nazi invasion. Erich and his family seek refuge in the small Serbian village of Bachina, some 150 miles south of Belgrade. They manage to hide the entire art collection behind a double wall in the local teacher's house, where it will remain hidden for the duration of the war. Later that year Erich, his brother Egon and father Bernard get picked up by a Wehrmacht patrol which is executing hostages as retribution for a few killed German officers. The three are never seen again.

Red Army and Yugoslav Partisans liberate Belgrade and Eastern parts of Yugoslavia by end of October 1944

1944 Days after the liberation of Belgrade by the Soviet Red Army and Yugoslav partisans, Rosa Slomovic, Erich's mother, undertakes a trip to Belgrade to donate Erich's collection to the State of Yugoslavia in exchange for a pension.Two top Communist officials arrange for a special train to be sent to Bachina to retrieve the collection. On December 31st, the train carrying the collection, Rosa and few of her remaining relatives, collides head-on with a troop transport train. Rosa and two of her young nephews are killed and the collection is considered lost for the next three years.

The vault at Société Générale containing the Parisian part of Erich’s collection is opened and inventoried  1946

Tito breaks with Stalin, but Stalin does not retaliate and Tito emerges the undisputed ruler of Yugoslavia  1948

1948 The head of the UDBA (the Yugoslav equivalent of the KGB) initiates a country-wide search for Erich's missing art and all or most of it is soon located in Belgrade and transferred to the National Museum, where it becomes a part of its permanent collection. Kolektanea, however, is missing.

Stalin dies, Khrushchev takes over, and both USSR and Yugoslavia go through a period of liberalization  1953

1956 The first of many trials of Erich takes place in Zagreb and pits his father's heirs against his mother's, who now reside in Israel. After a promising beginning, the Slomovic family loses its claim on Erich’s estate and the courts recognize Erich's dead mother as his only heir, and her verbal promise to Ivan Ribar and Moshe Pijade, donating the collection to the State, as the only valid testament.  However, her survivors are not entitled to inherit her pension, while the art remains in Belgrade’s National Museum as a permanent fixture.

1972 The last appeal by the Hertzlers, Erich's mother's family, to be compensated for the collection is rejected by Yugoslav courts. The Hertzlers then write a letter to Tito, who promises them some remuneration, but the details are never made public.

1979 The safe containing Erich’s Parisian collection is opened by the bank seeking to auction some of the contents in order to pay maintenance charges which amount only to a few thousand USD. The appraisers publish a catalogue, The Collection of Erich Slomovic, Provenance Ambroise Vollard. The initial evaluation comes up to several millions of dollars. 

Francois Mitterrand elected President of France. Becomes famous for his “Grands Projets” in the area 1981 

      of preserving French Cultural Heritage, known in France as La Exception Française. Huge projects        

like the the addition to the Louvre and many other buildings and cultural assets in France take place during

his fourteen years in power       .


1981 French courts stop the proposed auction of Erich’s collection. Another trial of Erich,  which is to last 25 years, and which will consist of many decisions and appeals, commences. At its termination, the French heirs of Ambroise Vollard succeed in totally discrediting Erich -- albeit without any direct proof -- as an adventurer who “borrowed, but forgot to give back” almost his entire collection from the late French art dealer. It is decided that all of the art is to remain in France, except for some drawings expressly dedicated to Slomovic by the artists themselves (Cocteau and Rouault, for instance) which are given to his family in Israel and the US.

2010 Finally two auctions are held at Sotheby’s London and Paris locations generating over €30,000,000 for the very distant relatives of Ambroise Vollard who are his heirs. One painting alone, Andre Derain's Arbres a Colliourre (see Erich’s collection in GALLERY), fetches $24,000,000 in London.

Serbia becomes a candidate member of the EU. It desperately needs French support to continue towards   2012          

                                                                                                                                full membership          .                   

2012 Vollard’s heirs sue the Serbian Government, both in French and Serbian courts, hoping to recover his entire collection from the National Museum of Beolgrade.