Website of the German Lost Art Foundation


What we want

We regard our efforts as an important contribution toward compensating victims for the injustice they suffered. In this way, we keep the memory alive of those individuals whose fates are inextricably tied to the loss of cultural assets, and in particular, the confiscation of property from Jewish owners through Nazi persecution between 1933 and 1945.

Who we are

As the staff of the German Lost Art Foundation, we belong to a permanent, independent, private-law foundation which serves as the national and international contact partner in Germany for all matters pertaining to the illegal seizure of cultural assets after 1933. The Foundation’s primary concern is to seek and identify cultural assets seized by the National Socialists through persecution, particularly those from former Jewish owners (so-called “Nazi confiscated property”). Its activities in this field are based on the Washington Principles of 1998, to which end Germany officially pledged to fulfil its historic and moral obligations in the Joint Declaration in 1999. The Foundation is also responsible for investigating the war-related removal or relocation of cultural assets (so-called “looted property”) as well as the loss of cultural assets under Soviet occupation and in the GDR.

How we achieve this

We fulfil our core responsibilities competently, professionally and reliably by strengthening, expanding and supporting provenance research, as well as consulting and networking various national and international participants. In all areas of activity, we strive to provide information as transparently, efficiently and responsibly as possible – also in order to heighten general awareness of the issue of “lost cultural assets” in society.

How we conduct ourselves

With personal commitment and dedication to the ethical dimension of our tasks, we work together to make the German Lost Art Foundation a learning organisation that cultivates an open exchange of knowledge. The personal responsibility of each individual and an eye for the ‘big picture’ are especially important. Our working relationship should be characterised by mutual respect and appreciation.

The staff of the German Lost Art Foundation collectively agreed to adopt this code of conduct in February 2016.