Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Annotated online edition of five travel diaries (1939–1942) by Hans Posse in the Deutsches Kunstarchiv at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum

funding area Nazi confiscated art Grant recipient Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg State Bavaria Website Online-Edition der fünf Reisetagebücher Hans Posses (1939–1942) International Research: Nazi-Era Cultural Property Contact person
  • Dr. Susanna Brogi
Project type Langfristiges Projekt zur Grundlagenforschung Funding duration
  1. April 2017 to March 2019
  2. April 2019 to March 2020


Part of the estate of art historian Hans Posse is held by the Deutsches Kunstarchiv at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Posse was the director of the Dresden Gemäldegalerie from 1910 until his death in December 1942 and was also Adolf Hitler’s special representative from summer 1939. He was appointed to build up a collection of art for Hitler’s planned “Führermuseum 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 in the German Reich and the occupied territories. Among the contents of his estate are his duty diary and five travel diaries documenting his official trips as Hitler’s special representative. Posse’s five travel diaries are unpublished and largely unresearched.

The often poor legibility and use of abbreviations in the entries make analysis of the travel diaries very difficult for the reader. By contrast, the duty diary is much easier to read and understand. The travel diaries first need to be prepared before they can be researched, which is why they are the main focus of this research project. They will be transcribed, annotated, entered into a virtual research environment and published as digital editions. Wherever possible, the travel diary entries relating to people, institutions, places, works etc. will be annotated and identified by linking them to authority files in order to facilitate research into the documents. The aim of the edition project is to provide a key source on Nazi art theft and Nazi museum policy for provenance research and research into Nazi art policy.

© Germanisches Nationalmuseum, April 2017