Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

State and University Library Bremen returns Wagner book to heirs of Fanny Mann

Date 2017.03.03

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.

Project de­scrip­tion (on­ly Ger­man ver­sion)

Project: "Loot­ed cul­tur­al prop­er­ty" at the State and Uni­ver­si­ty Li­brary Bre­men (Su­UB)

Doku­men­ta­tion­szen­trum Ober­er Kuh­berg in Ulm (on­ly Ger­man ver­sion)