Catalogue description 57-page Consolidated Interrogation Report No 1 by the Art Looting Investigation Unit of...

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Details of T 209/29/9
Reference: T 209/29/9

57-page Consolidated Interrogation Report No 1 by the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the OSS on the activity of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in France divided into seven sections, dated 15 August 1945. Provides an introductory note describing the sources of the report. Part I offers a detailed description of ERR organisation and authority. 'The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg fuer die Besetzen Gebiete was a special unit formed under Hauptabteilung III [Sonderaufgaben] [Division no 3: Special Projects] of the Aussenpolitischesamt [Foreign Political Office] of Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg. Originally, its primary and theoretical function was the collection of political material in the occupied countries, for exploitation in the "struggle against Jewry and Freemansonry"' The Amt Westen [the Office for the Occupied Contries of the West] of the ERR became operational in July 1940 with headquarters in Paris. Includes information on its staff and subsections.

Part II provides information on the development of ERR activity in France with particular reference to Goering's efforts to assume control of the organisation, his frequent visits to the ERR repository at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, the clashes of competences between Scholz and von Behr and other internal and external conflicts, and the launching of the operations of seizure of furnishings in 'ownerless' Jewish residences [Moebel-Aktion].

Part III describes the activity of 'confiscation in practice and in theory', with information on the methods employed by the ERR in the confiscation of works of art, the efforts of the professional art historians working within the ERR to create inventories of the seized objects, a brief account of the official French protests and of subsequent German justifications, and an analytical summary of the confiscations carried out by the ERR for a provisional total of 21,903 objects from 203 collections. 'Examination of the Einsatzstab files further disclosed a detailed inventory of 5,009 items from the several Rothschild collections; 2,687 from the David Weill collection; 1,202 from Alphonse Kann; 989 from Levy de Benzion and 302 from Georges Wildenstein, together with the preliminary count of 558 inventories items from the Seligmann and 123 from the Weil-Picard collections, considered 'but a fraction of the material confiscated from these collections'. The loot inventoried in July 1944 was divided as follows: 10,890 paintings, water colours, drawings, pastels, engravings and miniatures; 583 sculptures [of different materials]; 2,477 pieces of furniture; 583 textiles, including tapestries, carpets and embroidery; 5,825 objets d'art, including porcelain, glass, jewellery, coins and rare gems; 1,286 pieces of Asiatic art, including sculptures, porcelains, paintings and screens; 259 objects of classical antiquity of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian origin.

Part IV provides information on the disposition of confiscated material which was transported to Germany, the objects acquired by Goering or for Hitler and the 28 formal exchanges conducted by the ERR between 1941 and 1943 with several individuals: Rochlitz, Wuester, Stoecklin, Pfannstiel, the Almas Dietrich Gallery, the Frankfurt dealer Boedecker, the Amsterdam dealer Jan Dik jr and the Hungarian dealer von Frey. Describes the policy and methods put in practice for the exchanges.

Part V provides a detailed list of the 28 ERR exchanges which took place between March 1941 and November 1943, with details of the provenance, size and appraised value of the art works.

Part VI lists ERR personnel active in France comprised of executive staff, professional specialists, confidential assistants, photographic staff, secretarial and general staff, with details of their qualifications and present whereabouts.

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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