Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

University Library of Mainz searches for Nazi-confiscated books in its special art history collection

Date 2016.07.25

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.

View the press re­port by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mainz (on­ly Ger­man ver­sion)