Paul Westheim (August 7, 1886 in Eschwege, Germany – December 21, 1963 in Berlin, Germany) was a German art historian and publisher of the magazine Das Kunstblatt.
Born into a Jewish family he studied art history at the Technische Universität Darmstadt and then, in 1906, at the Humboldt University of Berlin where he was taught by Heinrich Wölfflin and Wilhelm Worringer. Westheim published monographs on Oskar Kokoschka, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, and Mexican sculpture.
His German citizenship was stripped from him in 1935. He moved to Paris the same year. Despite his exile status, Westheim was considered an enemy alien in France at the beginning of the war and was interned. Shunted from camp to camp (five in all) he later referred to this as his "Tour de France." As France fell to the Germans, he escaped his internment camp in 1941, fleeing France through the ERC (Emergency Rescue Committee). From Marseille he moved to Spain, Portugal and ultimately Mexico, where he married Mariana Frenk, who assisted him.
Paul Westheim's Art Collection
Before the rise of Hitler, Paul Westheim had gathered an important art collection of German Expressionists. In 2013 the heirs of Paul Westheim filed suit against the heirs of Charlotte Weidler for the return of paintings from the collection, which had been entrusted to Weidler for safekeeping during Westheim's flight. Weidler told Westheim the artworks had been destroyed; however she began selling them as her own after his death