University Library of Mainz searches for Nazi-confiscated books in its special art history collection
In a project funded by the German Lost Art Foundation, the University of Mainz (JGU) is systematically investigating whether it possesses any Nazi-confiscated works in a collection which had belonged to the library of the former Paris Art Historical Research Centre (KHF).
The KHF was established by the Nazi occupiers in Paris in 1942. After the institute was closed in 1946, a large portion of the KHF book collection totalling 3,080 books was donated to the newly founded University of Mainz and integrated into its University Library. The book collection comprises German- and French-language academic art history publications and a large number of auction catalogues. Historians have since determined that the director of the KHF, Dr. Hermann Bunjes, served as a middleman to Hermann Göring. Initial research funded by the JGU in various archives provided evidence that books in the KHF collection had indeed been illegally confiscated by the Nazis.
The investigations are being conducted in cooperation with the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris.