Stadtbibliothek Bautzen discovers items from a library belonging to Jewish business-owning family Tietz
As part of a research project funded by the German Lost Art Foundation in Magdeburg, Stadtbibliothek Bautzen (Bautzen city library) has rediscovered books that once belonged to the Jewish business-owning family Edith and Georg Tietz. The library presented the works, which are classed as Nazi-confiscated property, at a press conference on Monday. The Tietz family founded the Hermann Tietz & Co. department stores (HERTIE).
The aim of the research project is to systematically examine the library’s own holdings for books that may have been acquired by unlawful means. “I am delighted that our funding has enabled this significant find to be made and I really hope more volumes from the library of Edith and Georg Tietz are identified in other places very soon,“ said Uwe Hartmann, head of the Provenance Research Department at the German Lost Art Foundation.
The company that belonged to the descendants of Hermann Tietz & Co. department stores was expropriated by the Nazis. In 1934, the Nazis forced brothers Georg and Martin Tietz and their brother-in-law Hugo Zwillenberg to give up the management of the company. After the families emigrated their property was seized, and then later auctioned off and sold. The substantial book collection belonging to Edith and Georg Tietz was acquired by the Exchange Office of the Reich Ministry of the Interior in 1944 and stored in one of their external repositories near Bautzen in Saxony. All trace of the private library was lost when the war ended. It has not yet been possible to determine how the collection ended up in the library.
Stadtbibliothek Bautzen is the only municipal library to date that has examined its holdings for Nazi-confiscated property using funding from the German Lost Art Foundation.