State and University Library Bremen returns Wagner book to heirs of Fanny Mann
A book containing letters by Richard Wagner has been returned to the heirs of its original owner, Fanny Mann of Ulm, by the State and University Library Bremen (SuUB). The book has been identified as Nazi-confiscated property. The restitution is the result of a research project funded by the German Lost Art Foundation in Magdeburg.
Jewish couple Fanny and Siegfried Mann fled to the US after the “Kristallnacht” pogrom in November 1938. They shipped their belongings via Hamburg and Bremen, but the Bremen consignment was seized by the Gestapo and subsequently auctioned off. The book belonging to Fanny Mann was bought by the then Bremen State Library in 1942 as part of a “Juden-Auktion” (Jewish auction) and incorporated into its holdings. The book’s origin was first discovered and documented during provenance research work at the library in the early 1990s. At that time, however, the name written in the book did not provide any clue as to who Fanny Mann had been. The identity of Fanny Mann was clarified only last year in a project funded by the Foundation. Crucial to this work was the collaboration with Dokumentationszentrum Oberer Kuhberg (Oberer Kuhberg Documentation Center) in Ulm, which also assisted with contacting the grandchildren of Fanny Mann.
At the family’s request, the SuUB Bremen will give the book to Dokumentationszentrum Oberer Kuhberg in Ulm, where it will be available to researchers as part of the family’s estate.