Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

German Lost Art Foundation publishes guidelines for the investigation of cultural assets confiscated in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Date 2017.02.16

The Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion in Magde­burg has pub­lished Guide­lines for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of cul­tur­al as­sets con­fis­cat­ed in the So­vi­et Oc­cu­pa­tion Zone and the GDR on its web­site.

As prepa­ra­tion for these guide­lines, a work­ing group head­ed by the Foun­da­tion was formed, which al­so com­piled ideas for the “Con­fis­ca­tion of cul­tur­al as­sets in the So­vi­et Oc­cu­pa­tion Zone and the GDR” con­fer­ence on Novem­ber 21, 2016, in Berlin.
It has be­come ap­par­ent – more than 25 years af­ter the demise of the GDR – that the his­tor­i­cal events, struc­tures and meth­ods, the par­tic­i­pat­ing au­thor­i­ties and in­sti­tu­tions, the stake­hold­ers and, in par­tic­u­lar, the vic­tims and peo­ple harmed by the state-op­er­at­ed con­fis­ca­tion of art and cul­tur­al as­sets be­tween 1945 and 1989 have not yet been sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly in­ves­ti­gat­ed ad­e­quate­ly.

The fun­da­men­tal need for re­search ex­ists in the re­con­struc­tion of the or­ga­ni­za­tion­al and op­er­a­tional struc­ture for the seizure and eval­u­a­tion of art and cul­tur­al as­sets in the GDR, from cen­tral lev­el to lo­cal lev­el to dis­trict lev­el: What par­ty or state lead­er had de­ci­sion-mak­ing au­thor­i­ty, what state or­gan car­ried out the con­fis­ca­tion of as­sets, what state com­pa­ny was com­mis­sioned to sell items and re­deem the pro­ceeds, and what role was played by ex­perts from the mu­se­um, li­brary and uni­ver­si­ty sec­tor?

The first mea­sures ini­tial­ly en­vis­aged in this con­text are avail­able here.