Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

The confiscation of cultural assets in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR – The current state of research and perspectives

Led by ex­ec­u­tive board mem­ber Uwe M. Schneede, the con­fer­ence or­ga­nized by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion in con­junc­tion with the Stiftung Bran­den­burg­er Tor gave an overview of the cur­rent state of re­search in­to the con­fis­ca­tion of cul­tur­al as­sets in the So­vi­et Oc­cu­pa­tion Zone and the GDR and opened up new re­search per­spec­tives.

Wolf-Di­et­rich Frei­herr Speck von Stern­burg (Stiftung Max­i­m­il­ian Speck von Stern­burg), Gilbert Lupfer (Staatliche Kun­st­samm­lun­gen Dres­den), Uwe Hart­mann (Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion), Thomas Rud­ert (Staatliche Kun­st­samm­lun­gen Dres­den), Ulf Bischof (lawyer, Berlin), Kon­rad Bre­it­en­born (Stiftung Dome und Schlöss­er Sach­sen-An­halt), Samuel Wit­twer (Prus­sian Palaces and Gar­dens Foun­da­tion Berlin-Bran­den­burg), Michaela Scheibe (Staats­bib­lio­thek zu Berlin) and Pe­tra Win­ter (Zen­tralarchiv Berlin) spoke about the present state of knowl­edge in mu­se­ums, li­braries and archives, ac­knowl­edged the role of the Staatlich­er Kun­sthandel der DDR (GDR state art gallery) and de­vel­oped per­spec­tives for fu­ture re­search projects.

In a num­ber of dis­cus­sion ses­sions, the spe­cial­ist au­di­ence of over 110 par­tic­i­pants had the op­por­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss the top­ics raised in the pre­sen­ta­tions in depth with the speak­ers.

In his sum­ming up, Uwe M. Schneede called up­on ev­ery mu­se­um and ev­ery li­brary in Ger­many to be ab­so­lute­ly sure they knew pre­cise­ly how the items in their hold­ings had been ac­quired. The con­fer­ence had shown that it was high time sys­tem­at­ic in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan in­to the mech­a­nisms and struc­tures of state-sanc­tioned art theft in the So­vi­et Oc­cu­pa­tion Zone and the GDR, Schneede said. It was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that this was an is­sue for Ger­many as a whole, he said.

Find the de­tailed meet­ing re­port here (PDF, 78 KB).

Press re­lease

Manuscripts of the speak­ers

Please note that the manuscripts are on­ly avail­able in Ger­man.

Manuscript (PDF, 47 KB) by Prof. Dr. Gilbert Lupfer, Staatliche Kun­st­samm­lun­gen Dres­den

Manuscript (PDF, 72 KB) by Prof. Dr. Kon­rad Bre­it­en­born, Stiftung Dome und Schlöss­er in Sax­ony-An­halt



Me­dia re­sponse

Please note that the press re­ports are on­ly avail­able in Ger­man.

Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung: Gute Geschäfte, streng geheim und gren­zen­los

Der Tagesspiegel: Der Staat als Hehler

Deutsch­land­funk: En­teig­nung von Kul­turgütern in der DDR - "Es ging im Wesentlichen um Kun­st und An­tiq­ui­täten"