Catalogue description Registry Number: M 13/D Vol II. Letter from the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Branch...

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Details of FO 837/1156/2
Reference: FO 837/1156/2
Description:
Registry Number: M 13/D Vol II.

Letter from the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Branch to Mr Clark at the Ministry of Economic Warfare responding to a number of letters from Mr Clark, dated 10 May 1945. In relation to the case of Frau Schmidlin, the letter states 'Frau Schmidlin, whom I know, is a very tricky customer. When it is said that Hofer only came to Switzerland to buy and not to sell we must not forget the pictures at Fischer in Lucerne which were imported into Switzerland by Hofer'.

Letter from the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Branch to the Ministry of Economic Warfare suggesting that it would be worth interrogating Kurt Walter Bachstitz, a German art dealer now resident in Basel, dated May 1945. He is the brother-in-law of Walter Andreas Hofer, director of Goering's collections at Karinhall and art dealer from Berlin.

Letter from the US Secretary of State to the Ministry of Economic Warfare about an application by Leopold Blumka, art dealer in New York, for an export permit for art objects and antiques stored with Galeries Fischer in Lucerne, Switzerland for shipment to the United States, dated 17 May 1945. Encloses a list of objects, including a Renaissance mirror, several large plates, several vases, an oil painting and many other items. No reference to specific artists.

Letter from the British Legation in Berne to the Ministry of Economic Warfare concerning Albert Skira from Geneva in relation to export of art works to and from Switzerland that may or not have been acquired legitimately, dated 17 May 1945. Encloses a Memorandum on an interview with Skira in March 1945, in which Skira clarified his visits to Paris and 'denied that he had ever done any traffic in stolen, or even doubtful, pictures or objets d'art of any kind'. Further encloses a list of pictures purchased by Albert Skira Editions D'Art since the outbreak of war, showing from whom the various pictures were obtained and to whom they have since been sold. The four page list includes 74 works of art, including paintings by Bonnard, Matisse, Renoir, Cezanne, Dali, Chagall, Picasso and Renoir.

Includes a letter from the British Legation in Berne to the Ministry of Economic Warfare with a Safehaven Report about paintings from Italian museums concealed by Germans, dated April 1945. No reference to specific paintings.

Letter from the British Legation in Berne to the Ministry of Economic Warfare about enquiries concerning Erich von Kreibig, Ascona, and Alexander von Frey, Lucerne, in relation to looted works of art, dated 22 May 1945.

Telegram from the Ministry of Economic Warfare to the British Embassy in Berne stating that Adolf Schmid, Bodenweg 30, Arlesheim, has offered the painting 'Madonna Leo X' by Raphael to Louis Meier, London, for 1 million Swiss francs. Asks the Embassy to interview Mr Schmid and to endeavour to obtain a photograph of the picture and details of its history since the beginning of the war, dated May 1945.

Letter from the British Embassy in Madrid to the British Consulate-General in Barcelona regarding an alleged Rubens picture, dated May 1945. Encloses a report that a sale has now taken place to Santiago Marco. Further encloses a Memorandum on the Rubens picture, entitled 'Incredulity of St Thomas'.

Letter from the Economic Warfare Department at the Foreign Office to the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Branch in London about an interview with Nathan Katz, dated May 1945. Refers to a painting by Van Dyck from the Cook collection and states that 'this is evidently the same picture that Katz arranged for Hofer to take over and for which he has not yet received the promised money'.

Letter from the Economic Warfare Department at the Foreign Office to the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Branch in London about the firm Bocker and Konst, Sodra Hamngaten 29, Gothenburg, which has recently offered for sale two paintings by the Norwegian artist Taulow. The value of each painting as assessed by the dealers as Sw Kr 16,000. States that it is said that these same paintings were offered to the firm of Borjeson Konsthandela AB Gothenburg in the summer of 1944.

Letter from the Economic Warfare Department at the Foreign Office to the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Branch in London about Paul Graupe, New York, who is the owner of a painting by the painter Altdorfer. States that when he left France, he asked Hans Wendland to take the painting from France to Switzerland to keep it for him. Having heard nothing from Wendland for two and a half years, Paul Graupe has started a suit for damages against Wendland, and his enquiry to Zurich was concerning this action, dated June 1945.

Date: 1945 May 01 - 1945 July 31
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: M13/D Vol II
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

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