Catalogue description Attachment E consists of a note of a meeting at the Federal Political Department...

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Details of T 209/25/2
Reference: T 209/25/2

Attachment E consists of a note of a meeting at the Federal Political Department regarding the Department's efforts to 'persuade present holders of the 75 known looted works of art to hand them over voluntarily pending restitution proceedings to the Art Museum, Berne', dated November 1945. Refers to the preparation of a decree 'setting up a tribunal, or conferring a special power to an already existing Court, to deal with and adjudicate on claims for loot'. Differentiates between the cases of Buehrle, Wiederkehr, Wyler, Bornant and Wotruba, where no action was required at present, the cases of Martin, von Frey, Schmidt, Neupert, Tanner, Aktuaryus, Skira and Raeber, whose thorough questioning was to be carried out by the Federal Political Department with Allied assistance, and the three examples of the Galerie Fischer, the Galerie Schmidlin and Dr Hans Wendland, who were to be the subject of serious investigations.

Attachment F includes a memorandum to the Federal Political Department in connection with the questioning of certain persons known to have looted works of art, namely Andre [sic] Martin, Alexander von Frey, Heerge Schmidt, Neupert, Tanner, Dr Willy Raeber, Aktuaryus and Albert Skira, with information on their activity and pictures exchanged with the ERR, dated November 1945.

Attachment G includes a list of 13 dealers, transport firms and art galleries in Germany, Austria and Italy connected to the art dealer Fischer, with their names and addresses, undated.

Attachment H provides information on Cooper's conversation with Buehrle regarding the latter's dealings with the Galerie Fischer of Lucerne, recording Buehrle's acquisition of parts of the Gorey collections, the purchases made in Paris in September 1941 from art dealers Dequoy and Cie [the Aryanised version of the Jewish firm of Wildenstein and Cie of Paris, London and New York], his contacts with Wendland and Hofer and the purchases made from the Galerie Fischer of several paintings which Fischer had described as coming from German museums though Buehrle had been 'warned by Dr Nathan of St Gallen that this was not true'.

Attachment J consists of a report by Cooper on his meetings with Dr Hans Wendland at his current residence near Geneva. Provides details of his possession of looted works of art received from Hofer, his relations with the Galerie Fischer and with Wotruba, a large number of paintings [not specified] stored in his house and in two bank deposits in Basel and at the Galerie Fischer, his dealings in Paris with Boite, Perdoux, Mayeux, Wacker-Bondy, Helfer, Loebl, Leegenhock, Meller and Mandl, and with Engel and Hofer in Switzerland and Germany.

Attachment K contains a 'short report' on Cooper's activity in Paris in November [1945] with details of his visit to the Musee [sic] du Jeu de Paume and his conversations with several individuals, in particular Monsieur Henraux and Monsieur Florisoone, with the purpose of acquainting them with the situation in Switzerland and discussing the situation of a few individual claims, as in the case of M Lindon [son] and Jean Bernheim.

Letter from the MFA and A branch in London to several bodies including the Macmillan Committee, the Roberts Commission, the French Restitution Commissions, the OSS and the Foreign Office enclosing a copy of Cooper's report on his visit to Switzerland in March 1945. Includes a copy of the report on Cooper's investigation into looted works of art and their whereabouts in Switzerland addressed to Col Woolley at the War Office, dated March 1945. Includes a list of people contacted and galleries or art dealers visited as well as a detailed report on Cooper's mission with an outline of the political decisions reached and of the information collected. Comprises eleven attachments [numbered A-F and unnumbered] including Cooper's correspondence with the Commercial Counsellor summarising the investigations to be carried out, dated March 1945. Appendix A consists of a report on the Wiederkehr case, with details of the six looted pictures in his custody including Van Gogh's 'Self portrait with bandaged ear' and Cezanne's 'Harlequin'; Appendix B provides a report on the 44 looted works of art found at the Galerie Fischer in Lucerne; Appendix C consists of a memorandum on looted and smuggled works of art prepared for the consideration of the Commercial Counsellor and listing 'agents of high placed Nazis for looting works of art', dated February 1945; Appendix D provides a detailed list of the Swiss imports of framed and unframed pictures for the period 1939-1944 with their country of origin and value; Appendix E provides a copy of the French memorandum on the looted paintings kept at the Galerie Fischer with particular reference to the Rosenberg collection, and including a detailed list of Rosenberg paintings with their size and value as estimated by Mr Roganeau, director of the école des Beaux Arts in Bordeaux; and miscellaneous information including details of German repositories of works of art, German museum personnel, information on the Aryanisation of private French collections and the investigation of works of art looted from France.

Note: This document forms part of the Looted Art Collection; records selection and descriptions reproduced by the kind permission of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe.
Date: 1945
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

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