Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Initial check project to search for Nazi-confiscated property has been launched in libraries for the first time

Date 2017.07.04

To drive for­ward the search for Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty in li­braries, the Lan­desver­band Sach­sen-An­halt in the Deutsche Bib­lio­theksver­band e.V. (Ger­man Li­brary As­so­ci­a­tion) launched an “ini­tial check” prove­nance re­search project in five of Sax­ony-An­halt’s mu­nic­i­pal li­braries on Ju­ly 1. The Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion in Magde­burg is sup­port­ing the project with a fi­nan­cial grant over a pe­ri­od of six months. This is the first time that the ini­tial check for­mat has been used in li­braries.

“I am de­light­ed with the pi­o­neer­ing role that the Sax­ony-An­halt re­gion­al as­so­ci­a­tion is tak­ing in its li­braries. I hope oth­er fed­er­al states fol­low suit and that the ini­tial check es­tab­lish­es it­self as suc­cess­ful­ly in this field as it has done in mu­se­ums,” said Gilbert Lupfer, aca­dem­ic di­rec­tor of the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion.

The project aims to es­tab­lish whether the me­dia hold­ings in the se­lect­ed li­braries con­tain books that may have been con­fis­cat­ed as a re­sult of Nazi per­se­cu­tion (Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty). The ini­tial check can sub­se­quent­ly de­ter­mine whether or not there is a need for fur­ther, long-term prove­nance re­search.
Tak­ing part in the ini­tial check are Lan­des­bib­lio­thek Dessau, Stadt­bib­lio­thek Magde­burg, Stadt­bib­lio­thek/Harzbücherei Wernigerode, Bib­lio­thek des Eu­ropa-Rosar­i­ums Sanger­hausen and the Fran­cis­ceums­bib­lio­thek in Zerb­st.