Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Stadtbibliothek Bautzen discovers items from a library belonging to Jewish business-owning family Tietz

Date 2016.10.18

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.

Press re­lease of the City of Bautzen (on­ly Ger­man ver­sion)

Project de­scrip­tion (on­ly Ger­man ver­sion)

Teil der etwa bislang 500 gefundenen Bücher der HERTIE-Bibliothek Teil der etwa bislang 500 gefundenen Bücher der HERTIE-Bibliothek Source:  Stadtverwaltung Bautzen