Deutsches Kunstarchiv publishes the first travel diary written by Hans Posse, Hitler’s special representative, online
The Deutsches Kunstarchiv (DKA) at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum has published the first of five travel diaries written by Hans Posse, Hitler’s special representative, on the website https://editionhansposse.gnm.de. The German Lost Art Foundation funded this project from 2017 to March 2020.
Part of Hans Posse’s estate is held at the Deutsches Kunstarchiv. From 1910 until his death in December 1942, Posse was the director of the Dresden Art Gallery. He was also Adolf Hitler’s special representative from summer 1939 onwards. Posse was appointed to build up a collection of art for Hitler’s planned “Führer Museum” in Linz, and was also in charge of organizing and implementing the distribution of Nazi-confiscated art to museums in the “Ostmark” (Austria) and other regions of the German Reich. Among the contents of his estate are his duty diary and five travel diaries documenting his official trips as Hitler’s special representative.
The aim of the research project was to make the travel diaries available to researchers in the form of a digital edition. In order to achieve this, the entries first needed to be reviewed and made accessible. The travel diaries are being digitized and the entries transcribed, annotated, entered into a virtual research environment and published as digital editions.
The travel diaries are an important source of information on art theft and museum policy in the Nazi regime and are also crucial for provenance research. They reveal Hans Posse’s network of contacts with Nazi organizations, art dealers and agents, and with private collectors. Posse regularly visited storage depots containing confiscated collections and artworks that had been examined and valued. Most of these are named specifically and often listed with prices and conditions of purchase or acceptance.
Online Edition (only German version)