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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

World Cultural Assets: Ownership, Loss, Recovery, and Protection: Nazi-Looted Objects

The guide serves as an introduction to issues relating to world cultural heritage, spoils of war, Nazi looting, "displaced" cultural property, and provenance research.


Web Sources

Records of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR)

The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) was the largest of Nazi agencies engaged in the plundre of art, libraries, archives, and Judaica. The scattered records of this agency are often needed to ascertain whether an artwork was looted and, if documentation is available, learn the fate of such stolen works. Many web databases have been created in order to bring together these scattered original Nazi files in order to help find the hundreds of thousands of art, books, archives, and other cultural valuables that were stolen under the Nazi regime. 

Other Web Sources

Descriptive Catalogue of Looted Judaica
downloadable PDF, the Descriptive Catalogue of Looted Judaica provides for the first time since the end of WWII, a worldwide "snapshot" of what is known concerning the fate of Judaica that was spoliated by Nazi Germany and its allies. Topics include, the history of Nazi Judaica looting, restitution efforts after the war, projects to identify looted Judaica, relevant archives, a bibliography, and leading experts in the field. 

Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property - 1933-1945
A site that contains two fully searchable databases organized around Information and Objects. The Information database provides documentary record, laws, policies, and reports on looted cultural property. The Objects Database contains detials of over 25,000 objects. 

International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi Era Cultural Property
This portal is a collaboration of national and other archival institutions with records that pertain to Nazi-Era cultural property. Participating national archives include those of the U.S., United Kingdom, Beligum, and Germany. Participating institutions and organizations include the Univted States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Memorial de la Shoah. 

The Art Loss Register
The world's largest database of stolen art. 

Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal
Provides a searchable registry of objects in U.S. museum collections that changed hands in Continental Europe during the Nazi era (1933-1945).

Organizations & Associations

Claims Conference: The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Claims Conference allocates funds to institutions that provide social services to elderly, needy Nazi victims and that engage in Holocaust research, education, and documentation. The Claims Conference negotiates for the return of and restitution for Jewish-owned properties and assets confiscated or destroyed by the Nazis.

Commission for Looted Art in Europe
An international organization that works to research, identify, and recover looted property on behalf of families, communities, institutions and governments worldwide. 

International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR)
The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) is a not-for-profit educational and research organization dedicated to integrity in the visual arts. IFAR offers impartial and authoritative information on authenticity, ownership, theft, and other artistic, legal, and ethical issues concerning art objects.

Mounments Men Foundation
A foundation working to honor and locate the men and women who served in the Monumnets, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) section known as the "Mounments Men", an army division of art historicans, curators, and archivsits who worked to safeguard, protect, and return Europe and Russia's cultural property during and after WWII.