The artworks stolen by the Nazis are the last prisoners of World War II.
– Ronald Lauder, Woman in Gold
Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer was a wealthy sugar magnate in Vienna, Austria where his six Gustav Klimt paintings were housed. His wife, Adele Bloch-Bauer, was the subject of two of the paintings. On March 12, 1938, the Nazis invaded and claimed to annex Austria. Ferdinand, who was Jewish and had supported efforts to resist annexation, fled the country ahead of the Nazis, ultimately settling in Zurich. In his absence, the Nazis took over his home and seized his artworks, which included the Klimt paintings. Adele Bloch-Bauer I is one of them and ended up at the Austrian Gallery.