Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Restitution: Freemasons’ lodge “Friedrich zu den Drei Quellen” receives book back

Date 2017.03.29

The Zen­tral- und Lan­des­bib­lio­thek Berlin (ZLB) has re­turned a book to the li­brary of the Freema­sons’ lodge “Friedrich zu den Drei Quellen” in Bad Pyr­mont. The book had been iden­ti­fied as Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty.

The lodge was es­tab­lished in Bad Pyr­mont in 1776 and dis­band­ed and ex­pro­pri­at­ed by the Nazis in 1935. In 1958, the book “Er­läuterun­gen des Lehrlings-Kat­e­chis­mus” by Robert Fis­ch­er was do­nat­ed as a gift to the Berlin­er Stadt­bib­lio­thek, one of the pre­de­ces­sors of the ZLB. Like many oth­er works from Freema­sons’ lodge li­braries, it prob­a­bly end­ed up in the li­brary hold­ings af­ter the end of the war via an al­lo­ca­tion from the “Bergungsstelle für wis­senschaftliche Bib­lio­theken”. Books which have been iden­ti­fied as gifts and which en­tered the hold­ings in the post-war pe­ri­od have fre­quent­ly been iden­ti­fied as sus­pi­cious in the past.

The book is reg­is­tered as a found ob­ject in the Lost Art Database op­er­at­ed by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion.

The ZLB has been ex­am­in­ing its hold­ings for Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty for over ten years. From 2009 to 2013, it was fi­nan­cial­ly sup­port­ed by the for­mer Bu­reau for Prove­nance Re­search, now the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion.