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Assets in Europe
As American troops overran large areas of German-occupied Europe during the final phases of World War II, they discovered vast quantities of art, gold, and other valuables--looted and otherwise--left behind by a defeated Nazi regime. U.S. armed forces did not set out to become the guardians of property looted by the Nazis, but circumstances thrust this role upon them. American leaders recognized their responsibility to safeguard private property, to prevent its use by the enemy, and to lay the foundation for the eventual return of loot to its rightful owners. Field units could not distinguish victims' assets from war booty or legitimate German-owned property so emphasis was placed on the collection and control of all asset types. Later, once the military government was in full operation, officials made intermittent efforts to segregate obvious victims' assets from the general pool of assets under the control of the U.S. military government. Although policies and procedures surrounding collection and protection of assets evolved in response to the circumstances encountered by troops in Europe, U.S. officials did not always follow through in providing the resources necessary to deal adequately with this issue. As a result, policy implementation in the field often fell short of fully realizing the U.S. aim to protect property in its care from theft, deterioration, and general destruction.
Assets falling under the
control of the United States came from a variety of sources. Initial
collections of confiscated assets came primarily from the battlefields
or deserted SS headquarters. As troops intensified their searches
in the spring of 1945, they gathered assets from salt and potassium
mines, castles, concentration camps, dredged rivers, intercepted
trains, factories, sewers, private corporations, embassies, and
various governmental agencies.1 A large number of valuables,
especially gold, currency, securities, precious metals and other
financial assets, came from the vaults of Reichsbank branches
found throughout the American-occupied sections of Germany and
Austria. U.S. forces seized the currency reserves, bonds, mortgages,
stocks, contents of safe-deposit boxes, and records of each bank
branch, and forwarded these items to regional holding points for
safekeeping. Initially, hundreds of makeshift depositories operated within the U.S. zones in Germany and Austria. During the last days of the war and the months that followed, officials consolidated seized assets and, as the process unfolded, segregated property obviously looted from persecutees.
The majority of recovered assets surfaced during and shortly after the final offensive into Germany and Austria in the spring of 1945, though valuables continued to come to light for many months following Germany's surrender. Operating under chaotic conditions and overwhelmed by the amount of valuables recovered and their geographical dispersal, units and individuals struggled to keep abreast of a steadily growing mass of materials. Even after Germany's surrender, efforts to accelerate the recovery process competed for manpower and resources with other military government functions. The massive movement of American troops out of Europe following the surrender adversely affected the collection process; assets were left vulnerable as guards were removed from their posts and shipped home. Nevertheless, U.S. forces made significant progress locating and consolidating scattered caches of valuables, and began to tackle the daunting task of inventorying the assets, determining their provenance, and preparing for their eventual restitution.
The inability of U.S. officials to guarantee the safety of assets in their hands stemmed from several factors. First, recovery and restitution of property seized by the Nazi regime held a lower priority than winning the war or preserving order in postwar Europe. Second, U.S. leaders were unprepared for the magnitude of problems they would face when their troops overran Germany and Austria. By the time U.S. and Allied forces launched their final offensive against the Third Reich, Allied leaders knew the Nazis had engaged in widespread looting of the Reich and its conquered territories, primarily directed against Jews and other victims of discrimination. U.S. officials recognized the need to identify and segregate Nazi loot from legitimately owned German property, but they realized that restitution of assets to rightful owners could commence only after assets had been secured, consolidated, and inventoried. They expected to find looted assets intermingled with property of German individuals and organizations, and anticipated that the new owners would attempt to hide these goods or move them beyond the reach of Allied authorities. Accordingly, the U.S. Army developed policies that aimed to recover as many assets as possible, prevent theft or damage, and gather information that could later be used to identify the assets' origins.
By 1946, U.S. officials' approach towards the recovered assets under their control had evolved. While they had placed their initial emphasis on keeping the assets out of enemy hands, once the war was over and assets had been transferred to more secure locations, they began to comprehend the extent of Nazi looting practices and took steps to segregate the assets in their care that had clearly been taken from those who had perished. This paradigm shift is exemplified by the establishment of the Offenbach Archival Depot in the spring of 1946--a facility specifically designed to protect and restitute, among other goods, the recovered Jewish ritual objects, books, manuscripts and other cultural property in the U.S. Zone. Whereas U.S. leaders initially focused on protecting Western civilization and depriving the Nazi faithful of resources needed to prolong the war, they eventually played a pivotal role in saving the remnants of the Jewish cultural heritage in Europe and restituting property confiscated by the Nazis to the rightful owners or heirs.
Organizations, Policies, and Operations to Protect Valuables in North Africa, Italy, and Western Europe, 1942 - 1945
Although most assets falling under U.S. control were recovered during and after the invasion and occupation of Germany and Austria, the campaigns in the Mediterranean and in Western Europe exposed Allied troops and leaders to the problems involved in locating and protecting valuables. These experiences helped shape the organizations, procedures, and policies that were in place in early 1945 for both combat troops and the specialized units responsible for locating and protecting valuables.
Protecting Art and Cultural Objects in North Africa & Sicily
The U.S. and British invasion of French North Africa in November 1942 offered American leaders their first experience in protecting valuables in the course of a military campaign. Interested primarily in the preserving the cultural heritage of Western civilization, General Dwight Eisenhower, commander of the Allied expeditionary force, instructed his Provost Marshal General to print and post "off-limits" signs on these historic and artistic monuments in an effort to keep damage to a minimum.2
The Allied experience in North Africa underscored the need for specialists to handle the protection of art and monuments and set a precedent for the later campaigns in southern and Western Europe. In late 1942 and early 1943, influential scholars and museum officials in the United States pressured the government to create an official body to help ensure the safety of works of art located in war zones.3 With the planned invasion of Sicily just a few months away, the U.S. military agreed to assign knowledgeable officers to help protect art in Europe, and the President created a civilian advisory commission to operate in the United States (the Roberts Commission).4 In May 1943, the War Department created the Office of the Advisor on Fine Arts and Monuments to the Chief Civil Affairs Officer of the Allied Military Government, and the first specialist personnel joined the military government section of General Eisenhower's staff.5
The Sicilian campaign served as a trial run for Allied military government and the office of the Advisor on Fine Arts and Monuments. The Advisor's staff was instructed to inspect all monuments, collections, libraries, and archives to determine what immediate repairs were needed to protect cultural assets from further damage.6 Fine Arts and Monuments personnel determined that most of these objects had been well packed and adequately protected, and that art objects in most areas of Sicily had suffered relatively little battle damage or theft.7
Activities in Italy Relating to Art and Other Valuables
The Allied invasion in September 1943 quickly led to Italy's surrender. German forces, however, continued to occupy the Italian peninsula and the campaign there would drag on to the closing days of the war. Fine Arts and Monuments personnel followed the fighting units through Italy, hoping to minimize damage to the country's enormous wealth of art and architectural monuments. The Army's military government manual revised for use in Italy emphasized concern with preventing damage to art and cultural objects.8 In December 1943, General Eisenhower stressed the importance of preserving Italy's historic monuments: "Today we are fighting in a country which has contributed a great deal to our cultural inheritance, a country rich in monuments which by their creation helped and now in their old age illustrate the growth of the civilization which is ours. We are bound to respect those monuments so far as war allows."9
In the winter of 1943, the Fine Arts and Monuments office was reconstituted as the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFA&A) Subcommission of the Allied Control Commission.10 In March 1944, the MFA&A Director issued a statement setting out MFA&A missions and functions in Italy; these included preventing damage to historical monuments, buildings, works of art and historical records in Italy, and assisting in the recovery and restitution to their rightful owners of any works of art that had been looted or otherwise misappropriated. He instructed MFA&A officers to investigate "reports of alleged looting or other unlawful appropriation of art or historical objects" and recommend appropriate action for restitution.11 Noting that advancing troops would probably uncover repositories of art treasures, in December 1944 Allied headquarters in Italy instructed tactical units to report such collections to MFA&A officials and to place the repositories under guard.12
MFA&A resources in Italy proved inadequate to carry out the assigned tasks, and headquarters failed to efficiently employ the few resources available. A fact-finding mission in late 1943 revealed that only five of the 15 MFA&A officers in the Mediterranean area had actually reached Italy, and that none of those officers were operating in areas near the front lines.13 Major Norman T. Newton of the MFA&A reported in December 1943 that available MFA&A personnel and transport were grossly inadequate for the size of the territory covered.14 The following summer, Major Newton reported that the MFA&A staff for Italy was comprised of only 12 officers, a number he considered insufficient to accomplish the assigned mission.15
As the Allies overran northern Italy in early 1945, intelligence units interrogated German Kunstschutz (art and monument protection) officials to elicit information about the location of moved or missing works of art or cultural treasures. MFA&A personnel pursued intelligence reports that the SS had transported looted Italian paintings and sculptures northward. These included items from the museums of Florence, as well as works confiscated from Jewish-owned collections.16 The Germans had reportedly hidden these looted works in two repositories: a former jail in San Leonardo in Passiria, north of Merano, and Neumelans Castle at Campo Tures near Bolzano.17 As the final Allied drive to the north got underway in April, American troops searched in earnest for the two repositories. By early May 1945, they had successfully recovered the contents of these stashes and captured the principal German personnel of the Kunstschutz staff in northern Italy. Information provided by these prisoners eventually led to the recovery of, what one officer described as, all but an "infinitesimally small number of the works" in Italy which had been moved by German forces.18
The scope of Nazi looting in Italy extended beyond art and cultural property. In the spring of 1945, American troops of the 88th Infantry Division discovered a large cache of gold at Fortezza, which contained approximately $25 million of gold removed from the Bank of Italy at Rome, as well as items originating in the Bank of Italy at Milan.19 Troops returned this cache to Rome and placed it in the custody of the Allied Financial Agency.20 Details regarding the gold's rightful owner, however, remained unclear; the Yugoslav government appealed to Allied leaders, claiming that Italian occupation forces had confiscated Yugoslavian gold and transported it to Italy.21 The Italians, on the other hand, wished to maintain custody of the Fortezza gold cache because it represented a significant portion of Italy's gold reserves.22 The thorny custody issue was not easily resolved. The United States and Great Britain finally agreed in 1947 to turn over the disputed Fortezza gold to Italy.23
MFA&A in France and the Benelux Countries
In November 1943, an MFA&A element joined the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Allied Command (COSSAC), the headquarters assigned to plan the invasion of France. When Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) absorbed COSSAC in January 1944, MFA&A joined that organization. Under the command of General Eisenhower, SHAEF controlled almost all Allied ground forces in Western Europe from the landings in France in June 1944 through the German surrender in May 1945. The Operations Branch of SHAEF Civil Affairs Division (G-5) directed the operation and planning of MFA&A activities for France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
To prepare for the campaign, SHAEF attempted to clarify policies regarding the treatment of art and other valuables. The SHAEF "Civil Affairs Directive for France" released on May 25, 1944, further clarified the role of U.S. forces in the preservation of art and monuments in liberated France. It called upon commanders to take all measures consistent with military necessity to avoid damage to all structures, objects, or documents of cultural, artistic, archaeological, or historical value. The directive authorized commanders to place buildings off-limits to troops in order to prevent vandalism or theft.24 On May 26, 1944, General Eisenhower directed his subordinate commanders "through the exercise of restraint and discipline" to preserve centers and objects of historical and cultural significance.25 SHAEF Civil Affairs Instruction No. 15, revised in June 1944, reaffirmed Allied policy of protecting works of art from misappropriation or damage, and stressed the duty of MFA&A officers to care for moveable art. This instruction gave senior civil affairs officers the responsibility for keeping tactical units informed of monuments and artworks in their areas of operations, and for facilitating the activities of MFA&A field officers.26
SHAEF instructed MFA&A field officers to report immediately any cases of looting, wanton damage, or culpable negligence on the part of Allied troops or of the indigenous population. They were to leave artworks in place unless absolutely necessary to prevent further damage, and to prepare an exact inventory and provide the location of the new storage space. Any moveable art objects found outside a place belonging to the person or institution bearing title to the works were to be impounded and, if necessary, turned over to the Comptroller of Property. Obvious museum repositories were to be left intact and guarded.27 On August 20, 1944, General Eisenhower issued a letter that stressed the importance of archives as intelligence sources and for reconstituting civilian life, and required all archives not destroyed or damaged to be placed "off limits" to all troops.28
In preparation for the invasion of France, SHAEF distributed maps of monuments in northwestern Europe and lists of European museum personnel, archivists, and librarians to tactical units and commanders of civil affairs detachments. Using lists compiled by the American Defense-Harvard Group, cultural atlases and handbooks, MFA&A personnel created a register of monuments and collections for France and the Benelux countries, detailing those monuments not to be used by troops. As the list grew, the overwhelming task facing MFA&A officers quickly became evident.
After the Allied landings in Normandy in June 1944, the area of Western Europe under Allied control increased rapidly. MFA&A personnel found it practically impossible to keep pace with the advance in order to inspect and report on all the officially protected monuments. Between D-Day to December 1, 1944, each MFA&A field officer visited an average of 125 sites in 60 towns each month.29
In France, depositories of art collections removed from their normal locations and dispersed for protection presented few problems; Allied forces generally left the locations undisturbed until claimed by French civilian authorities.30 The greatest single problem MFA&A officers encountered was the billeting of troops in historic buildings and the constant struggle to protect those buildings from spoliation and damage. However, MFA&A officers in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) faced many of the same problems that hampered the efforts of their counterparts with MTO forces in Italy. Plagued by the lack of available personnel, MFA&A staff never exceeded 35: the average before the German campaign was 12. 31 Allied commanders did take steps to improve the efficiency of MF&A activities. In Italy, where each MFA&A officer had been assigned to an individual unit, officers had been restricted to covering particular areas, while some areas had no officers at all. To avoid this problem in France and the Benelux countries, MFA&A officers rotated between various headquarters in order to operate where they were most needed.32 A chronic lack of assigned or adequate transportation, which had plagued the MFA&A subdivision since 1943, compounded the problem of insufficient specialized personnel.33 These shortcomings had serious repercussions, since many of the repositories had been strategically located well off the beaten path in remote rural enclaves.
Preparations for the Final Offensive into Germany and Austria
MFA&A Roles and Responsibilities
As Allied forces crossed into German territory, MFA&A responsibilities changed to reflect intelligence reports that Nazi officials had moved massive quantities of looted artworks and other valuables from occupied territories into the Reich. In the autumn of 1944, Eisenhower's Chief MFA&A Advisor, Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Webb, joined SHAEF headquarters at Versailles, where he orchestrated the activities of MFA&A officers attached to the 12th and 21st Army Groups. While MFA&A officers had operated on a regional basis in liberated territories, this arrangement seemed ill-suited for the invasion of Germany, which would proceed along a broad front. As an alternative, Webb proposed attaching two MFA&A officers to each field army during the German campaign.34
In September 1944, the U.S. Group Control Council for Germany described the MFA&A duties in the proposed military government scheme for Germany. These included locating and securing for restitution "works of art and other materials of cultural importance or value looted from the governments or nationals of the several United Nations." 35 MFA&A officers were expected to take control of all publicly and privately owned art and cultural property within Germany until such objects could be restituted. MFA&A field officers would remain attached to Army Groups and their subordinate formations during active operations and then transfer to military government organizations once Germany surrendered.
The SHAEF MFA&A Advisor foresaw problems if MFA&A officers were made responsible for isolated caches of valuable artworks. He believed that finding suitable civilian custodians for such caches would prove difficult, since many German museum curators had participated in the Nazi art-looting program as recipients of stolen goods. He noted that because most MFA&A field specialists were assigned to particular armies, the task of protecting caches would be complicated when army boundaries shifted during military operations.36
MFA&A officers entering Germany in early 1945 drew guidance from technical notes published by SHAEF in October 1944. These notes instructed them to communicate with Provost Marshals of military units and with military government public safety officers to help locate and protect valuables vulnerable to damage and theft. Although the small cadre of MFA&A officers necessarily relied upon reports from field units and military government detachments for information on the location of certain caches, they were instructed to conduct personal reconnaissance trips at the earliest opportunity. The purpose of these trips was to inspect these sites and determine whether local units were enforcing orders and ordinances designed to protect valuables. To identify potentially looted valuables, MFA&A officers were directed to collect all records from museums and private collections that dealt with accessions made after January 1938. Officers were told to assess the risks to the property and to leave the valuables as found, post a guard, and pack the valuables to prevent further damage, or move them to a safer place. No matter what action was taken, they were instructed to create a record of the inspection with details about the site and its contents, and to place the repository in the custody of local civilian officials.37
As American forces advanced deeper into Germany in the spring of 1945, SHAEF issued a memorandum reminding MFA&A officers of their responsibility to investigate "all information which might contribute to the eventual restitution of works of art and objects of scientific or historical importance which might have been looted from United Nations governments or nationals."38 To carry out this assignment, MFA&A personnel had to inspect and inventory all repositories of looted or dispersed collections and to arrange for their protection, care, and disposition.
In April 1945, to facilitate the process of inventorying and restituting artworks, MFA&A branches of the U.S. and British Group Command Councils agreed, in principle, to establish an information file of all artworks taken into custody in Germany. The system required a standard procedure for documenting information about objects, employing standard forms in both armies. MFA&A leaders were still reviewing the system in May 1945, but evidence suggests that the system was never put into effect.39
Other Organizations Participating in the Recovery of Assets
Military Government Detachments
MFA&A personnel operated as part of SHAEF Civil Affairs Division (G-5), which had general authority for military government operations.40 SHAEF G-5 assigned the vast bulk of responsibility for military government activities to specially organized detachments attached to U.S. armies involved in the German campaign. These military government detachments, following on the heels of advancing combat troops, established government infrastructure in German towns, cities, and rural areas as they fell under Allied control.41 Detachments varied in size depending upon the scope of their governing responsibilities, but all had the primary objective of maintaining order to facilitate the further progress of Allied fighting units.
In areas of Germany under military government control, detachment public safety officers were responsible for coordinating efforts to enforce military government laws and maintain civic order. Their duties included arranging for a police force, either military or civilian, to curb the practice of looting by troops and civilians, and the protection of emergency repositories of art and cultural objects. The U.S. Army's "Manual for Military Government in Germany" instructed public safety officers to safeguard records relating to art and cultural property in order to thwart any attempts to conceal looted artworks from the occupying forces.42
OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit
The Office of Strategic Services Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU) was authorized in a November 21, 1944 interagency directive "to collect and disseminate such information bearing on the looting, confiscation and transfer by the enemy of art properties in Europe, and on individuals or organizations involved in such operations and transactions."43 The ALIU remained a small operation comprised of ten field representatives and analysts, three of whom were civilians. The ALIU main headquarters was in Washington and a field headquarters was established in London in January 1945. In its London office the ALIU worked closely with Allied Commissions concerned with art looting and became the clearinghouse for "all Allied information on enemy looting gained through intelligence channels." 44
By V-E Day, the ALIU had amassed records on several thousand individuals concerned directly or indirectly with art acquisition by the enemy, and much detailed information on German art repositories had been passed on to G-5, SHAEF, for action. It had also prepared a "target list" of key enemy personnel concerned with art looting to be captured and held for interrogation in Germany.45
Unit investigators issued four consolidated reports including a final report documenting Nazi looting of European art. These reports covered the activities of Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR)--the Nazi task force responsible for the confiscation and removal to Germany of Jewish-owned art collections in occupied regions; the fate of Hermann Goering's extensive looted art collections; the Nazis' "Möbel Aktion"--the wholesale confiscation of household goods and furnishings of French Jewish families in 1943 and 1944; and plans for Hitler's art museum at Linz. The ALIU investigations revealed that German art dealers had engaged in extensive private purchasing in occupied and neutral countries as well as in Great Britain, the United States, and South America. The reports also raised suspicions of widespread disposal of artworks throughout Brazil and Argentina, suggesting that a considerable volume of victims' loot may have reached South America.46 ALIU personnel proved to be a valuable source of information on looted art in postwar Europe.47
Allied leaders believed that the capture of large town and cities in Germany and occupied territories would yield a rich harvest of intelligence items including documents, equipment, and persons with specialized technical knowledge. Allied Target or "T Forces" were special ad hoc military units created to search for and secure items of scientific or technical value.48 These "T Forces" were modeled after similar and successful "S Forces" employed in Italy.49 General Eisenhower ordered the creation of "T Forces" in July 1944; each "T Force" was to be staffed with personnel appropriate to the target intelligence asset.50 In late 1944 the SHAEF Financial Branch attempted to expand the mission of the "T Forces" to include financial targets, but the "T" subdivision of the intelligence division (G-2) resisted this change.51 Nevertheless, by March 1945 the main office of the Berlin Reichsbank appeared on a list of targets for that city.52
"T Force" personnel discovered caches of assets during their operations and served as temporary guards for collections of valuables.53 In at least one instance, intelligence officers in the 7th U.S. Army utilized "T Force" personnel to track down hidden valuables identified during interrogation of German prisoners of war. The "T Force" utilized information from a nearby Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) unit to locate a significant hoard of gold.54 Throughout the invasion of Germany and the first weeks following Germany's surrender, "T Force" personnel examined some 3,000 planned targets and uncovered approximately 2,000 others.55
Directives on the Control of Assets in Germany and Austria
American policy on valuables in the Third Reich stemmed from decisions reached at the highest levels of government. On April 28, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed General Eisenhower to "impound or block all gold, silver, currencies, securities, accounts in financial institutions, credits, valuable papers and all other assets" including property which had been "subject to transfer under duress or wrongful acts of confiscation, disposition, or spoliation, whether pursuant to legislation or by procedure to follow forms of laws or otherwise."56 This confiscation served a dual purpose by keeping assets out of enemy hands and giving the U.S. authorities control over the economy and the disposition of any property found to be looted.
Prior to receiving this directive, SHAEF had established policies to handle the gold, financial assets, art, and cultural objects uncovered by troops in Germany. SHAEF policies reflected the fact that the Army did not have the time, manpower, or resources to perform detailed inspections of caches recovered during active military operations. Allied intelligence sources suggested that the Germans had integrated looted artworks into German museum collections. Regarding art caches in Germany, SHAEF G-5 noted in December 1944:
Yet it is among such collections of objects that much of the loot from Allied countries has been dispersed, for it is known that apart from the actual bulk seizure and shipment of objects, (e.g., from France), much was acquired for museums all over Germany, either by buying in a rigged market or by exchange for looted objects or works seized from Jewish collectors within the Reich. Such objects are therefore to be given all the protection possible, not only in accordance with policy of preserving objects of cultural interest and historical value in general, but as an essential preliminary stage of the process of securing and preserving looted objects for eventual restitution.57
Thus, Allied forces would have to treat all stashes of art as potential Nazi loot. SHAEF acknowledged that MFA&A officers could not possibly inspect and protect large numbers of small repositories in forward areas, and that, at least initially, the Army lacked sufficient transportation resources to move the art to safer locations. Protection of art caches therefore had to be arranged by nearby military units in all but the most exceptional cases, a task made more difficult by the frequent transfer and relief of military police units that were the primary source of guards.58
The recovery of artworks and cultural property, although essential to the effort to preserve European cultural heritage, represented only one element of the overall collection of moveable assets. Asset categories such as gold, silver, personal effects, securities, and currencies also bore extreme significance for U.S. authorities. The planned shift from military to civilian government depended on controlling these assets and, given their liquidity, preventing them from falling into enemy hands. SHAEF elected to segregate the recovered assets, creating separate facilities to house each group. Toward this end occupational and military government forces located and renovated existing structures to manage the diverse influx of assets falling under their control.
In September 1944 SHAEF created the Currency Section in its Finance Division to receive, supply, and store occupation currency for Allied armed forces and for military government operations. In addition, the Currency Section was to "act as required as a depository for and/or to exercise control over assets seized or impounded by Allied Military authorities." 59 It did not exercise the latter function until April 1945, when it began operations in the Frankfurt Reichsbank building and was renamed the Foreign Exchange Depository (FED).60
SHAEF officials soon realized that all asset types could not be handled in the same fashion. In March 1945, the Assistant Adjutant General of SHAEF, N. H. Newman, drafted specific procedures for handling currency and securities seized in enemy-occupied territories.61 If the seized currency was still legal tender in the country of issue, troops were to turn it over to a finance officer so that it could be used to meet military requirements within the issuing territory. They were to hand over out-of-circulation currencies to the G-5 Controller of Finance and Accounts or to the appropriate Army group.62 This directive made no attempt to distinguish possible looted currencies from the general pool, meaning that the Army may have inadvertently used looted currencies, or currencies obtained through the sale of victims' assets, to support the final American advance.
Securities, on the other hand, required special handling. Since many securities were bearer securities, tracing the ownership of a specific security and determining whether it had been taken under duress proved nearly an impossible task. The origin and circumstances surrounding its seizure were therefore extremely important. Newman instructed troops to hand over all securities found in enemy territory against receipt, with full particulars of the circumstances surrounding their capture, to the nearest Military Government officer to be treated as enemy property and used later to fulfill Axis reparations obligations. However, securities seized from enemy forces in liberated territories were to be handed over against receipt to the nearest Civil Affairs officer, who would then deposit them in the nearest Reichsbank branch and furnish full particulars to the Controller of Property of the SHAEF Mission to the government in whose territory the articles had been found. Officials hoped that this procedure of putting confiscated securities, with a description of the circumstances surrounding their seizure, in the hands of military officers would help determine which securities had in fact been looted and whether or not they were subject to restitution.63
These rules also applied to assets seized from prisoners of war, whenever circumstances indicated that the prisoner did not appear to be the legitimate owner of the valuables. Troops were given the latitude to leave in place any currency and financial assets found in public or private premises adequately safeguarded against theft; they merely had to report their location to the nearest military government officer.64
In March 1945, the 12th Army Group issued Operational Instruction No. 9, which covered the types of property falling under military government control. The instruction was intended to complement the policies contained in the SHAEF "Handbook for Military Government in Germany." Troops were directed to take control of property and records of Nazi party organizations, as well as abandoned property of sufficient value to the military government to warrant its control. Troops were also to seize prima facie loot obtained from outside Germany, but where evidence of duress was not immediately available, they did not have to treat questionable items as loot.65
Intelligence on German Looting and the Location of Valuables
The Allied liberation of southern Italy and northwestern Europe revealed the vast scope of Nazi looting in occupied countries. Recovery of looted valuables and other Nazi assets was a prerequisite for any attempts at restitution to lawful owners and other victims. American leaders were therefore anxious to prevent any cloaking of these assets within Germany or their transfer abroad. Although Allied nations had acted quickly to establish laws to prevent such activities, General Eisenhower ascertained that his command lacked the specialists needed to examine captured business and financial records to detect concealed Nazi assets. In March 1945, he requested the assignment of specialists from the U.S. Treasury and Justice Departments and from similar British organizations to perform such investigations.66
During the fall of 1944, MFA&A personnel at SHAEF worked to establish a system of intelligence gathering that would collect data on Nazi art looting in Western Europe.67 By early 1945, investigators had assembled a wealth of information regarding the methods and aims of Nazi art looting during the occupation. They had confirmed that the Germans had systematically stolen and removed to Germany a significant number of Jewish-owned art collections (including the large Rothschild, Wassermann, and Goudstikker collections) thereby increasing German holdings of artworks at the expense of occupied territories.68 Based on information gathered from a myriad of sources including captured documents, OSS reports, and prisoner interrogations, SHAEF published a preliminary list of repositories containing works of art to be taken into custody by Allied troops as they moved through Germany.69
Allied intelligence officers interrogated enemy prisoners in an effort to learn the likely locations of caches that had been used for safekeeping by the Nazi regime. These interrogation reports were forwarded to tactical units in raw form in order to make the information available as quickly as possible. Allied interrogators were particularly interested in plans for the evacuation of art and library collections from German cities vulnerable to destruction from Allied bombing, and their storage in out-of-the way areas for safekeeping.70
Interrogations of Nazi officials continued after Germany's surrender. Some enemy officials responsible for hiding the artworks cooperated with Allied authorities in locating dispersed caches of art. One such individual provided military intelligence sources with detailed information regarding the repositories of art in the area around Salzburg, Austria.71 U.S. officials interrogated prisoners ranging from the lowest to the highest ranks of the Nazi hierarchy; even Hermann Goering was interrogated in mid-May 1945 regarding possible repositories of French artworks that he had obtained through looting, pilferage, or purchase.72
In some cases, German officials cooperated with U.S. efforts to uncover loot, providing complete lists of the "official" art repositories in their area of control. Military Government detachments then forwarded these lists of repository locations with instructions to military personnel to place the caches off-limits. In late April, SHAEF reported that German officials had "noted the existence of over 100 depositories" of art and archives in western Germany, and that this information would soon be forwarded to tactical units.73
Detailed records from banks, museums, and other institutions provided another source of information on the location of valuables. American forces used bank records found among the enormous stash of valuables in the mineshafts at Merkers in April 1945 to locate other caches of valuables; by May 6, 1945, General Eisenhower could report that troops exploiting intelligence gathered at Merkers had discovered at least a dozen additional caches of gold, other precious metals, and currency.74 German banks were obvious targets for investigation regarding hoards of valuables. Even ruined banks yielded finds; in one instance tactical troops blasted their way into the debris of a Reichsbank branch to discover a cache of gold coins belonging to Heinrich Himmler.75
Although informants, interrogations, and captured documents provided valuable leads in efforts to track down hidden valuables, only actual visits to the sites could confirm evidence gathered through second-hand sources. In some cases information regarding the location of caches of loot could not be confirmed because the area in question remained under enemy control. As late as the first week in May 1945, American forces were unable to follow up a report that 41 bags of gold had been transferred to the town of Aue because the town was still heavily defended by German troops.76 Though initially hostile to Allied forces, German civilians proved more forthcoming once the fighting had ended and a semblance of order had been imposed by military government units. In early June 1945, for example, Army engineers used mine detectors to search an area near Wallgau, Bavaria, where local civilians claimed had been the sites of "suspicious activity" during the previous April. Using their detection equipment, engineers found hundreds of gold bars buried beneath the ground.77
Many leads detailing the existence and location of caches of valuables, however, proved to be of little value. Troops had to verify each rumor--a process often leading to fruitless hunts for the alleged hidden treasure troves. The 12th Army Group reported in late March 1945 that it had received information regarding 103 repositories in western and southern Germany, although it doubted the veracity of these reports. One party of MFA&A officers braved minefields to inspect a castle alleged to contain a cache of artworks. The officers found no signs of the cache, and were therefore unable to determine whether they had been misled or the cache had been moved.78
A similarly futile mission evolved out of an April 1945 message from the Secretary of War to SHAEF detailing an alleged German attempt to move 6,000 kilograms of Reichsbank gold across the border into Switzerland.79 SHAEF immediately ordered the 6th Army Group to seize the suspected gold shipment said to be located in the town of Lorrach in the province of Baden.80 At the cutting edge of this endeavor, the 6th Army Group dispatched a Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) agent to investigate the existence of a gold cache. After interviewing sources in the area and inspecting potential repositories, the agent could not confirm the existence of the reported gold cache.81
Many captured documents containing information on caches of valuables were not immediately available to frontline units and MFA&A officers. For example, in March 1945 the 12th Army Group reported that a civilian in OSS employ had noted, unofficially, that a checklist of the repositories for the city of Baden had been discovered in Strasbourg, France, and placed in an envelope marked "very important." The source forwarded no further information.82 In another case, the G-5 section of the 6th Army Group reported in May 1945 that documents captured in Munich contained a list of places where German officials had hidden art and archival materials. The report noted that the list failed to specify "whether there is some looted material among these collections or whether it consists exclusively of German possessions," and suggested that the addresses be investigated.83 Months after the fighting ended, masses of documents and other leads remained in disarray. In August 1945, U.S. forces were still compiling lists of possible caches of cultural objects based on the information provided by captured documents.84
Discovery of Caches During the Final Offensive
Nazi officials and individual private owners used castles, private homes, air raid bunkers, and underground mines to shield public and private collections of art, cultural property, gold, jewelry and other valuables, many of which were later found to contain the property of Holocaust victims. In their final offensive against the Reich, U.S. forces found enormous quantities of valuables scattered across southwestern Germany and Austria in large numbers of emergency repositories. The majority of these caches, which held anywhere from one to thousands of objects, had been created in response to the Allied bombing campaign that concentrated on German and Austrian urban areas. The threat of damage from aerial attacks had led Nazi officials to remove valuable assets from cities and store them in remote areas less likely to be targeted by Allied bombs. Although the exact number of caches falling under U.S. control remains unknown, in September 1948, OMGUS estimated that U.S. forces had found approximately 1,500 repositories of art and cultural objects in Germany. These repositories contained approximately 10.7 million objects worth an estimated $5 billion.85
The discovery of loot and other valuables began almost immediately as the U.S. 9th, 1st, 3rd, and 7th Armies moved into Germany in the spring of 1945. On April 8, 1945, American forces discovered a massive stash of valuables hidden in a complex of interconnected potassium mines near Merkers, Germany. Deep within the mine, in a secret cavern behind a well-fortified masonry wall, the Americans unearthed a treasure trove containing tons of artworks and large quantities of gold, silver, and currency.86 At the time, they estimated that the gold found in the Merkers mine represented approximately 80 percent of the total gold held by the Reichsbank.87
By far the richest single stash uncovered, the Merkers mine yielded an immense quantity of assets, including an estimated 2.76 billion Reichsmark notes and containers brimming with foreign currency.88 The most gruesome find, however, was a section of the cavern devoted to SS loot containing 207 bags and suitcases filled with jewelry, silverware, teeth, watches, cigarette cases, and razors clearly taken from persecutees, including murdered inmates of concentration camps.89
Although Reichsbank accounting books revealed that much of the Merkers gold and currency had been seized from banks in occupied countries, the suitcases bearing loot were unmistakably taken from victims under duress. U.S. forces quickly secured the stash, and, on April 15, 1945, escorted the contraband deep into the American zone, where experts could organize, inventory, and appraise the assets in the new Foreign Exchange Depository in Frankfurt.90 The financial assets found in the Merkers mine stash included 3,682 bags and cartons of German currency, 80 bags of foreign currency, 63 bags of silver bars, 6 platinum bars, 8 bags of gold rings, 190 parcels containing engraving plates and dies, and 207 containers containing SS loot of jewelry, silverware, coins, stamps, dental fillings and miscellany. The combined weight of the precious and semi-precious stones and novelty jewelry alone was an estimated 2,527 pounds. U.S. Treasury experts, sent to evaluate the Merkers stash in June 1945, estimated that its value exceeded $500 million. Of this amount, they determined, gold and precious metals (mainly gold bullion and gold coins) alone comprised $300 million.91
On April 29, 1945, Major Howard M. McBee, an officer on the 1st U.S. Army Judge Advocate General staff, made a similar discovery in a quarry on the outskirts of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Buried deep beneath a bunker, McBee uncovered 313 suitcases, wooden boxes and barrels, filled with gold bars, U.S. currency, gold coins, diamonds, various precious stones, boxes of silver spoons, watches, clocks, and other items weighing an estimated twenty-one tons. A random sampling of the loot determined that the stash contained more than 600 pounds of fountain pens, watchstraps, and novelty jewelry, more than 17,000 pounds of silver tableware, and hundreds of wedding bands and thousands of gold teeth. Using nine two-ton trucks, the 12th Army Group shipped seven truckloads under tight security to Frankfurt on May 16, 1945, retaining two truckloads for War Crimes Section of the 12th Army Group pending further war crimes investigations.92
Although the Merkers and Buchenwald caches were unique because of their size and the prevalence of obvious loot, they exemplified a general pattern repeated throughout Germany, as private owners, branch banks, and local museums took drastic steps to protect their accumulated valuables. Reichsbank branch offices proved to be a major source of gold and currency caches, with finds at Halle (gold allegedly from France), Nuremberg (gold bars allegedly from the Netherlands), Plauen (gold currency from Himmler's account), Eschwege (82 gold bars), Magdeburg (silver bars allegedly from Hungary, bank records, and foreign securities), and others.93 By September 1945, General Eisenhower reported that his forces had recovered 300 pounds of precious and semi-precious stones, 700 pounds of rings, 3,000 pounds of novelty jewelry, 3,500 pounds of watches, 650 pounds of gold and silver tooth fillings, 4,500 pounds of scrap metal, and 18,000 pounds of tableware and eyeglass frames--items clearly looted from Holocaust victims.94
The wide dispersal of caches prevented U.S. forces from fully implementing policy directives, especially those regarding works of art and cultural property, which tended to be more widely dispersed than other assets. The limited number of MFA&A specialists available to the Army forced these personnel to cover a large amount of territory with few resources. As a result, MFA&A staff had to put off inspections of many reported caches, and often could perform only cursory inspections of others. Thus, much of the raw information regarding suspected caches often went unverified, and collections remained unprotected. For example, by midsummer 1945, two months after the fighting ended, the six MFA&A officers assigned to the 12th Army Group had inspected only 200 of the 850 emergency repositories of art and archival materials that were located in the Army Group's zone.95
Time, distance, and resources were the chief determinants of how quickly uncovered hoards of valuables were inspected, moved, or placed under guard. The 12th Army Group reported that during April 1945 its forces had discovered or reported 232 repositories of art and archives. The actual number of repositories known to U.S. forces frequently exceeded those listed in published reports because of the scarcity of clerical staff to keep reports up to date.96 The capture of large areas of western Germany gave U.S. forces access to numerous curators, archivists, and officials of cultural institutions, who provided considerable information regarding depositories of art and cultural objects. Unfortunately, the rapidity of the advance combined with the paucity of MFA&A personnel (one officer for the entire 1st U.S. Army area) prevented any action being taken in time to avoid serious losses to the contents of the depositories.
The experiences of Captain Walker Hancock, the MFA&A officer attached to the 1st U.S. Army, illustrate conditions during this fluid period. In late April, Hancock reported that he had learned the locations of 109 repositories over the course of just a few days. Between March 24 and April 24, he had been able to inspect just 31 of 230 known sites in the 1st Army's area of operations. Of these sites, over one-third showed signs of damage from troops, displaced persons (DPs), and/or bombing.97
To a great extent, the 1st Army relied on tactical units to report on and secure depositories discovered during the advance, although "securing" was usually limited to simply posting signs putting the area off-limits. Damage by troops and DPs occurred despite such signs, and Hancock reported that it was "manifestly impossible" to post guards at every repository. He also noted that "in the absence of guards almost all [sites] are in danger of damage or looting under the prevailing conditions in this country." He cited the example of a repository containing materials from the State Archives (Staatsarchiv) in Marburg, where records had been thrown outdoors to make way for occupying troops.98
Hancock noted that the posting of "off limits" signs did little to protect against looters, although it did prevent units from billeting troops directly in the repositories. He reported his conviction that the only solution was to physically secure the artworks in a limited number of central depositories that could be guarded. Yet, because MFA&A officers lacked the transportation and personnel necessary to move threatened art, Hancock doubted that any action could be taken in time to avoid "widespread and irreparable damage." 99
Captain Hancock's experiences were typical of all MFA&A officers involved in the German campaign. As the number of discovered valuables skyrocketed in spring of 1945, the U.S. Army's attempts to safeguard and inventory these assets met with less and less success. MFA&A resources were stretched to the breaking point as U.S. forces rapidly overran large sections of western Germany. In April 1945, for example, the 1st and 3rd U.S. Armies operating under 12th Army Group's control had only two fulltime MFA&A officers to cover an area of approximately 47,000 square miles.100 Tactical units and local military government detachments were forced to take up the slack, relying on whatever information was available from MFA&A or local sources. As a report from the 12th Army Group noted in February 1945, "[i]n a rapidly moving situation, initial measures for protection have to be taken by Mil. Gov. officers of tactical commands and by those of detachments as soon as these are deployed."101
As tactical units moved on, they handed control of towns and villages over to specially organized military government detachments. These detachments with their assigned specialists had the task of controlling occupied areas and restoring a modicum of government, but their numbers proved insufficient to meet requirements. To fill the need for military government units, the 1st U.S. Army created 52 provisional military government detachments during the campaign.102 Thus, security for caches of valuables often depended on military government units whose personnel had little or no specialized training.
After mid-April, German resistance began to collapse, and discoveries of new repositories increased as the pace of the advance quickened. In late April 1945, SHAEF G-5 reported that U.S. forces had made numerous finds of gold, silver, and currency in the preceding week, including approximately 80 tons of silver.103 The 9th Army MFA&A officer noted that the rapidly increasing number of reported repositories, chance finds, and logistical problems necessitated a constant vigil by MFA&A officers and military government detachments.104 During May 1945, units of the 12th Army Group uncovered nearly 400 new repositories; the Army Group reported that its MFA&A officers were "short-handed" and "harassed by continual calls to inspect new discoveries reported from one end to the other of their respective vast areas."105
The physical condition of discovered caches of valuables varied considerably. Several locations reported loss of items to U.S. forces hunting for keepsakes.106 The 12th Army Group reported in mid-May 1945 that most of the inspected repositories were "poorly housed, and in some cases, commander(s) have ordered their evacuation to establish adequate security and the physical conditions suitable for preservation."107
U.S. forces entering Austria encountered conditions and problems similar to those found in Germany, though on a smaller scale. The contents of the museums at Klagenfurt, Austria, for example, had been dispersed across the countryside. By late May 1945, 21 of these repositories had been identified, although MFA&A personnel had been able to visit only 13. 108 As in Germany, the largest caches were discovered hidden deep within mines. The salt mine at Alt Aussee, for example, contained art and furnishings from throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, much of it looted from Jewish families. The collection had been destined for Hitler's planned art museum in the city of Linz.109
The plethora of art caches found during the German campaign made it difficult for SHAEF headquarters to keep its records up to date. In early April 1945, SHAEF G-5 issued the third edition of its list of art and cultural property repositories in Germany.110 Just eight days later SHAEF published an addendum to this list containing 46 new entries.111 Before the end of the month, a second addendum added more than 140 new locations to the tally.112 In May, a third addendum added even more.113
Initial Activities Following the German Surrender
Although the unconditional surrender of all German military forces on May 7, 1945 ended the fighting in Germany and Austria, conditions in those countries remained chaotic. U.S. forces quickly shifted from military operations to occupation duties, with the goal of imposing order in their zones of occupation. The U.S. Zone in Germany was divided into two military districts, each under control of an individual army headquarters. The 3rd U.S. Army controlled the Eastern Military District, comprised of Bavaria; the 7th U.S. Army was responsible for the Western Military District, which included the regions of Baden-Württemberg and Hesse. District commanders were responsible for the primary missions of the occupation and, when possible, for service functions within their districts.114
In Austria, the transition from military operations to military government proceeded less smoothly than in Germany. In January 1945, military government organizations for Austria had been established in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) with the assumption that MTO forces would occupy Austria from the south. However, events in April and May 1945 changed these plans. The first U.S. troops to enter Austria were from the 6th Army Group under SHAEF; these forces overran large portions of Austria from the north while MTO units remained busy clearing northern Italy. The Allied command therefore transferred control of the region from MTO to European Theater of Operations (ETO) units, except for military government personnel who joined the staff of the occupying forces.115 Tactical military government continued in Austria for several weeks into May 1945 until the military government detachments were in position. Military government detachments found themselves in a confused situation. The chain of command was obscured because U.S. forces in Austria included all or parts of two army groups, two field armies, four army corps, and 12 divisions.116 The situation improved in July 1945 when the 15th Army Group was reorganized and designated as the U.S. Occupational Forces Austria, under the command of General Mark Clark.
With the end of combat operations and the re-disposition of Allied forces into national zones of occupation, the multinational military mission led by SHAEF ended. Accordingly, in early July 1945, SHAEF disbanded; control over U.S. forces in Europe and responsibility for occupation of the American zones in Germany and Austria then passed to U.S. Forces, European Theater (USFET).117 Day-to-day government operations in American-occupied areas were in the hands of about 450 military government detachments, almost half of which were ad hoc units hastily assembled from combat formations.118
Conditions in Austria at the end of war were abysmal. Business and industry were at a complete standstill: postal, telephone, and telegraph services had been cut off, train lines were inoperable, food and fuel were scarce, and the water supply was contaminated. Housing was in short supply. U.S. troops were responsible for providing food and shelter for 250,000 German prisoners and 700,000 DPs and refugees. Once hostilities ended, however, the situation improved greatly.119
During the first few weeks of the occupation, U.S. officials took steps to gain control over valuables, looted and otherwise, within the territories under their control. As U.S. forces entered Germany, they issued Military Government Law No. 52. This law made certain properties subject to seizure by the military government, including those belonging to the German State, the Nazi Party and its adherents, and non-German absentee owners. This law also blocked transactions in property transferred under duress or through wrongful acts of confiscation during the Nazi regime, as well as all art or cultural property of value or importance, regardless of ownership.120
On May 31, 1945, the U.S. Military Government passed MG Law No. 53, requiring all persons in Germany owning or controlling any foreign currency to deposit those funds in the nearest Reichsbank branch.121 Stateless and displaced persons still living in Germany fell under MG Law No. 53; they, too, were required to turn over their foreign exchange assets, against receipt, to the military government for safekeeping. In return, the military government promised that their assets would be returned once they left German soil.122
After the surrender, MFA&A officers continued to work to locate and protect widely scattered caches of art and cultural objects. The basic plan for control of postwar Germany gave the MFA&A Branch responsibility for providing information and preparing directives that covered a number of areas including the protection of art and cultural property, selection of German civilian MFA&A employees, freezing and control of artworks subject to restitution, and the process of restitution itself.123 Soon after the surrender, the MFA&A established a headquarters in Frankfurt to serve as the central administrative and intelligence unit for operations of specialist officers in the field. It passed field reports on to higher military government echelons and transmitted policies and procedures down to field officers.
American forces continued to discover additional repositories of valuables following the German surrender. In late May 1945, SHAEF issued the fourth edition of its list of repositories of art and archives in Germany, Austria, and Tyrol. The information had been derived from every available source, and much of it had yet to be evaluated. Entries such as "reported to contain part of Rothschild collection" or "looted works of art reported sent to house of (E.Z.)" underscored SHAEF's admission that many of the entries could prove to be obsolete or inaccurate.124 The following month, SHAEF published an addendum to the fourth edition list of art repositories containing more than 200 additional entries.125 Reports of newly discovered repositories reached headquarters on a daily basis throughout the early summer; by the end of June 1945, the total number reported to the 12th Army Group alone reached 849.126
When the fighting ended, MFA&A officers faced many of the same problems that had hindered their activities during the advance into Germany. In early June 1945, the MFA&A officer for the U.S. 7th Army reported that the Army's territory stretched approximately 280 miles from Bad Ischl in Austria to Darmstadt, Germany, and was roughly 80 miles wide. Approximately 175 repositories had been reported in the 7th Army area; captured documents, including some of the records of Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), indicated many others remained undiscovered. The small number of MFA&A personnel on hand could do little more than protect the larger repositories and those containing mostly looted assets from outside Germany. In cooperation with 7th Army intelligence officers, MFA&A officers had begun collecting and collating captured documents that they hoped would help them locate and restitute looted art.127
Despite directives to the contrary, local military government officers sometimes took it upon themselves to move artworks from the places where they had been discovered. Problems arose in part because the smaller military government detachments assigned to control districts and less important cities usually had no personnel with expertise in MFA&A work and lacked the specialized knowledge required to handle artworks safely.128 In May 1945, the MFA&A Advisor for SHAEF complained about such activities, noting that unauthorized movements of art increased the difficulty of keeping adequate records and jeopardized the physical condition of delicate artworks.129 In July 1945, SHAEF notified the 12th Army Group that only MFA&A officers who had been approved by SHAEF or the U.S. Group Control Council had the necessary qualifications to oversee movement of fine art.130 Although this restriction protected art from unauthorized transfers, it undoubtedly decreased the number of repositories cleared by U.S. forces over the following months.
In July 1945, the MFA&A Operations Director working out of the United States Forces European Theater (USFET) headquarters estimated that the work of evacuating repositories might have to continue for three or four months, an estimate that proved extremely optimistic. One MFA&A officer, familiar with such operations, suggested forming a "T Force" like unit comprised of specialists that would move about the U.S. Zone visiting and evacuating repositories.131 This advice went unheeded, resulting in continued headaches for MFA&A officers through the summer and fall of 1945 and into 1946.
In January 1946, for example, the MFA&A officer for the area around Frankfurt reported that a major task for his office consisted of collecting art and cultural objects from dispersed repositories, and screening the materials to determine what might have been illegitimately acquired from governments or individuals of the United Nations. He noted, however, that the 12 most important local art collections had been dispersed into 118 repositories scattered across his area of responsibility, and that the actual contents and relative value of these repositories remained unknown.132
The erosion of relations with the Soviet Union affected the recovery of valuables in the field. U.S. troops had overrun several areas of Germany and Austria that fell outside the occupation zones designated by agreements between the Allied powers. Though these areas were slated to be turned over to the Soviets, the Allied command decided to retain responsibility for the valuables located there. In June 1945, the War Department ordered SHAEF to have U.S. and British troops remove art and cultural property from areas they currently occupied that were outside their designated zones of occupation. The art in question included works believed to have been looted by the Nazis from countries within the ETO and MTO (Italy and Western Europe) as well as art that MFA&A experts felt originated from within the U.S. and British zones in Germany.133
The confusion and uncertainty at local levels caused some concern within the high command. In early August 1945, General Eisenhower, who had taken command of U.S. Forces, European Theater (USFET) after SHAEF disbanded, noted that nearly 500 repositories of art and cultural materials had been reported in the U.S. Zone in Germany and directed his subordinate commanders to prepare accurate information lists about the repositories' contents and location to expedite the evacuation of those that contained inadequately housed or looted artworks.134
U.S. forces continued to discover more repositories throughout the summer of 1945; in September of that year they found 98 new repositories in the U.S. Zone in Germany, bringing the total to 736. The burden of protecting repositories fell squarely on the shoulders of local Military Government detachments, whose personnel were already stretched thin. A progress report from one unit summed up the problem it faced only a few months after the surrender:
The responsibility of the local, and often small, Military Government Detachment is not a little nor an idle one. It is just one more responsibility among a great many, and one which every MG detachment wishes to be rid of at the earliest practicable moment--especially the Property Control officer, whose personal "headache" some particular repository often is.... With the redeployment and removal of American troops accelerated, the problem of maintaining adequate military guards at repositories becomes a serious one. Already many military installations have withdrawn guard details from repositories and made necessary the procurement by MG detachments of civilian guards.135
The pressure to reduce the number of repositories became more evident as the availability of military guards decreased. Unable to adequately screen or guard the valuables in their care, U.S. forces began turning repositories directly over to German civilian control if the contents did not include looted works or works of great cultural or monetary value. As a result, the military government in the U.S. Zone was able to clear 72 repositories from its responsibility during September 1945. 136 This procedure was broadly applied. In July 1946, for example, the Office of Military Government for Bavaria granted German civilian owners title to paintings and furniture in a church repository upon proof of ownership. In each case the only protocol was that the owner sign a sworn statement averring that none of the objects had been obtained outside Germany after January 1, 1938. 137 The primary goal of this turnover was to absolve the military government of any further responsibility for the valuables.
Despite such risky practices the closing of repositories proceeded slowly. To transfer these repositories to Germany, military government officials had to rely extensively on German personnel to help in the process of identifying and moving the contents of art caches. In Baden-Württemberg, for example, the military government allowed German authorities to handle the job of reassembling public art collections from repositories scattered around the countryside. U.S. officials deemed this expedient necessary to safeguard against looting and further deterioration.138 The clearing of repositories continued well into 1946. In March of that year the Property Disposition Board of the Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone reported that "vast quantities" of cultural objects remained in the now 923 repositories uncovered in the U.S. Zone in Germany.139
Efforts to recover looted valuables not under military government control continued throughout 1945, often by individuals with no "official" responsibility for such activities. In one example, a Netherlands liaison officer posed as a Swiss buyer to help recover a Dutch painting that was being sold illegally by the wife of a former high-ranking Nazi official. During his undercover work, this officer was told that he could purchase the service of someone who could paint over a valuable artwork so that it could be smuggled across the border.140
Consolidation of Assets-- Establishing Collecting Points
The next stage in the evolution of U.S. control of assets involved the immense task of consolidating these assets in secure facilities. As long as art, gold, and other valuables remained housed in depositories lacking adequate security, they remained vulnerable to thieves and vandals. Allied commanders and art specialists had been surprised at the extent to which art collections and other valuables had been scattered and by the number of small emergency repositories. Realizing the scope of the problem, leaders took steps to establish collecting points where they could safely store gold, jewelry, art, and cultural property stashed around the country.
In early May 1945, as fighting still raged across Germany, General Eisenhower's MFA&A Advisor Lt. Colonel Geoffrey Webb determined that scattered artworks could be protected and catalogued only if U.S. forces could assemble them in a manageable number of collecting points. He therefore urged SHAEF to speed repairs to selected buildings, mostly museums, so that large-scale movement of artworks from vulnerable caches could begin as soon as transportation became available.141 He proposed that Eisenhower order his subordinate commanders to set aside museums or other suitable buildings for use as collecting points, to allot transportation and manpower for use by MFA&A officers, to maintain the security of caches and collecting points to the extent consistent with military requirements, and to advise SHAEF if the subordinate command needed additional MFA&A specialists.142
In addition to their concerns about security, Allied leaders learned that in many cases artworks and cultural property were in danger of deterioration if left in the repositories in which they had been discovered. In April 1945, art experts informed SHAEF that salt mines like the Kaiseroda mine at Merkers were poor choices for storing art because the salt dust in the mines could damage paintings and books.143 American officials were forced to move artworks found in the Siegen copper mine to save them from further deterioration caused by the extreme humidity in the mine.144 These kinds of problems increased the urgency of finding suitable collecting points for seized valuables.
In May 1945, Eisenhower directed the Army Groups to take responsibility for the storage and safeguarding of art treasures discovered in areas occupied by their forces. The Army Groups were to take immediate steps to concentrate and safeguard the art in suitable accommodations within their assigned zones in Germany, taking care to have the art handled only by MFA&A officers and skilled labor. SHAEF ordered the Army Groups to report by June 1, 1945 the buildings they had selected to serve as central repositories and the dates that concentration and inventories would be completed.145
The process of selecting collecting points proceeded in an ad hoc fashion. The initial MFA&A plan for collecting art and cultural assets envisioned the establishment of two major collecting points in Frankfurt and Munich.146 The obvious requirements for collecting points were security against theft and vandalism, protection against natural deterioration, and reasonable proximity to transportation and to caches in the field. In practice, U.S. forces established several minor collecting points in addition to the major facilities. For example, the 15th Army opened an art repository in Bonn. The building was a three-story bunker with working air conditioning and steel doors that could be guarded with minimal effort.147
The U.S. 3rd Army established a collecting point at its Frankfurt headquarters. By the end of June 1945, two trucking teams operated out of the collecting point with the aim of collecting, securing, and preserving all cultural treasures found in temporary repositories in the 3rd Army's area of responsibility.148
Shortages of qualified personnel and inadequate transportation slowed the movement of art and cultural objects from repositories to the central collecting points. There were only about 35 personnel in the U.S. Zone qualified to supervise the movement of fragile artworks. These experts were forced to rely on a random assortment of organizations to evacuate repositories. They often employed Displaced Persons (DPs) for manual labor and moved fragile valuables without the benefit of proper packing materials. To speed the process of evacuation and avoid unnecessary damage to artworks, the MFA&A Branch of the United States Group Control Council (USGCC) recommended the establishment of a semi-permanent, well-equipped unit to handle the task of art movement within the U.S. Zone.149 U.S. officials failed to implement this recommendation, and art movement remained an ad hoc endeavor.
The 3rd and 7th U.S. Armies established a collecting point at Munich at the request of MFA&A officers who needed a secure storage area for numerous art repositories discovered in Austria. The Army requisitioned two monumental former Nazi party buildings for this purpose, and an MFA&A officer reported in July 1945 that truckloads of art objects were arriving daily at the collecting point.150
By July 1945, U.S. forces had established the two chief central collecting points at Munich and Wiesbaden--one in each of the two military government districts in the U.S. Zone in Germany 151 -- and several subordinate sub-collecting points in Bad Wildungen, Heilbronn, Kochendorf, Marburg, Nuremberg, Oberammergau, and Offenbach.152 In Austria, the Property Control Warehouse in Salzburg was designated the gathering point for all assets recovered in the U.S. Zone.
By mid-August 1945 the Munich collecting point was staffed by nearly 200 personnel. By September 1945, it had become the primary site for looted artworks found within the U.S. zones of Austria and Germany awaiting eventual restitution. Among the art treasures brought to Munich were the contents of the Alt Aussee cache not belonging to Austria.153 The Munich collecting point also housed a large portion of the records of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), and the U.S. command proposed that all documents pertaining to art looting in Europe be concentrated there in order to facilitate identification and restitution operations.154
Troops occupying the city of Marburg, Germany found the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) and Staatsarchiv (State Archives) buildings still intact and ideal for storage. MFA&A officers brought works of art from a major cache at Siegen to the Marburg museum after deciding that the drive over damaged roads to Bonn might damage the fragile valuables. Works from other nearby repositories were also shipped, and Marburg became one of the first art collecting points in Germany. By October 1945, the Marburg collecting point held 3,511 art objects from 15 repositories, over 12,000 books and over 17,000 linear meters of archives; at that point the inventory process of the collection was nearly half-completed.155 By November 1945, the staff (mostly German civilians) had produced an estimated inventory of 60 percent of the collection, and a nearby U.S. military unit had established a 24-hour guard for the facility.156 Marburg never became a major collecting point for artworks, and during the summer of 1946, officials prepared to close the facility moving most of the remaining art holdings to a new collecting point in Wiesbaden.157
American forces in Austria made similar efforts to consolidate valuables in secure collecting points. By August 1945, the Military Government's Property Control Office for Land Salzburg had established "a large two-story, fire-resistant, well guarded warehouse, as a repository for prima facie loot and art collections."158 By the end of the month, the Salzburg Military Government warehouse had received several shipments of valuables, including paintings, books, jewelry, while the Property Control Office had taken control over 17 caches of currency, coins, and precious metals.159
In November 1945, the American Military Government for Austria reported that 41 deposits of art and cultural objects had been found in the U.S. Zone in Austria; of these 41, however, only 13 held non-Austrian art. The U.S. Military Government intended to return Austrian assets directly to the Austrian government, and encouraged Austrian museums to clear repositories containing only Austrian art. Three collecting points handled the receipt of materials from emergency repositories in Austria: Munich took non-Austrian assets from Alt Aussee; the Property Control Warehouse in Salzburg handled non-Austrian assets from other repositories; and the abbey at Kremsmunster stored Austrian assets. The military government gave priority to clearing Alt Aussee because of its valuable contents and because its mountain location was inaccessible during the winter months.160
Procedures established to control MFA&A activities included specific rules for movement of art and other cultural objects from caches to collecting points. Military government officials set up intermediate collection points and depots as needed to handle valuables en route from repositories to major collecting points. Art was not to be moved to collecting points unless such movement was necessary for security, cataloging, or restitution and then only under expert supervision and in a manner that would preserve the integrity of the collections. However, only the military government for the German state concerned could authorize such a movement.161 Although an obvious attempt to limit the destruction of cultural treasures, this order placed additional pressure on the dwindling number of MFA&A officers still in the field.
Unlike fragile art objects, caches of gold and other nonperishable valuables were moved to safer locations at the earliest opportunity. Tactical troops turned over currency, jewels, and precious metals to local military government units, which in turn forwarded them to headquarters. In some cases, only the most cursory inventory of the contents of caches was performed before the materials were forwarded, and at interim stops units had to make security arrangements on an ad hoc basis. In one case, a military government detachment recovered five bags of miscellaneous valuables from the Reichsbank in Holzminden and turned the contents over to the 9th Army's G-5 Financial Branch without an adequate inventory. Officers from the 9th Army inventoried the contents, packed fragile items more securely, and passed on all of the materials to SHAEF control.162
Some materials arrived at higher headquarters with only the most perfunctory information regarding their value. For example, in June 1945, the U.S. Currency Section for Germany received a shipment from the Reichsbank branch in Regensburg via a military government unit. The shipment's record offered only a general description of the contents, referring to "9 suitcases said to contain securities and jewelry" and "one cardboard carton said to contain jewelry."163 Descriptions of other shipments demonstrate that the inventory process was anything but uniform.
As American troops prepared to evacuate the Merkers stash of gold and financial assets, Colonel Bernard Bernstein, Deputy Chief of SHAEF Financial Branch, toured several facilities in the U.S. Zone in search of a suitable depository. He eventually selected the Reichsbank Building in Frankfurt to serve as the collecting point for the Merkers treasure.164 The Frankfurt Reichsbank received shipments from the Merkers mine hoard and the mine at Ranbach, consisting of gold, currency, and artworks of inestimable value. A team of U.S. Army engineers was called in to renovate the facility, providing larger vault space and greater security for incoming shipments.165
After Germany's surrender, Bernstein determined that the collecting points for currency and financial assets established under the wartime directives were inadequate to handle the large volume of items being seized by Allied forces. He decided that SHAEF should establish one large central collecting point for currency and other financial assets, and instructed Chief of the Currency Section Lt. Col. H.D. Cragon to obtain more space, if necessary, to expand his section's Frankfurt operations.166 The Frankfurt collecting point thus began to accept gold and other financial assets from repositories and from other collecting points, and with the name changed to Foreign Exchange Depository, it eventually became the central collecting point for all gold, precious metals, and financial assets collected in the U.S. Zone in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.
Operation of Collecting Points
Once U.S. forces had safely transported valuables from repositories to central collecting points, they could begin the process of identifying and inventorying their finds. In order to provide the organizations responsible for restitution with adequate information regarding the contents of the collecting points, U.S. officials developed a uniform system of numbering which would classify cultural property by type, collecting point, condition, cache where discovered, and likely provenance.167
During the first few months of occupation, military government officials addressed the shortcomings of the collecting points. Higher headquarters took interest in this work, although the responsibility chiefly fell to the individual military districts. Having determined that restitution of looted artworks to their rightful owners had become a "high priority as a military necessity," the high command pushed each of the Military Districts to accelerate repairs to buildings selected as collecting points.168 General Eisenhower specifically instructed his subordinates to provide collecting points with sufficient fuel and personnel to allow them to continue operations throughout the harsh winter of 1945-1946.169 The high command split responsibility for operation of collecting points for art and cultural objects. Local military government agencies were responsible for transportation, security, accommodation, and building repair, while collecting point "directors" (i.e., MFA&A officers appointed by Military District commanders) handled the technical and functional administration.170
The Foreign Exchange Depository (FED) in Frankfurt was deluged with gold and other financial assets from it inception. In its first month of operations, the new FED received nine separate shipments of valuables, currencies and records. In May 1945, an additional 15 convoys reached Frankfurt, bearing securities, currencies, and hundreds of boxes of miscellaneous valuables, many looted from inmates at the Buchenwald and Belsen concentration camps.171
Financial assets continued to pour into the FED from a wide variety of sources. FED Shipment 21, received from the 7th Army in mid-May 1945, reveals the diverse origins of the collected assets. It contained four boxes of coins and jewelry found by a Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) officer of the 36th Infantry Division in a sewer of a cement factory at Eiberg, a silver ingot left on the desk of a 7th Army quartermaster by an unknown person, two bags of coins from the 36th Division Finance Officer, who had received them from a sergeant while in combat near Bad Tolz, three boxes of currency taken from prisoners captured by the 20th Armored Division, and eight bags of coins found in a Nazi Party office in Salzburg, Austria.172
On May 8, 1945, the day the war ended in Europe, FED Chief Col. William Brey admitted that his staff was completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of assets arriving in the depository. Since April 10, 1945, the FED had committed the entire personnel of the Currency Section to receive, hold, verify, and inventory the tremendous stocks of gold, foreign currency, and looted property captured by U.S. forces. As a result, the facility fell behind in its other duties, such as issuing Allied military currency and filing mandatory reports.173
The Currency Section reported in June 1945 that the FED had received 40 shipments of valuables from various locations in the U.S. Zone, many of which had yet to be examined or inventoried.174 Staff divided incoming shipments into three categories: valuables looted by the Germans from occupied Europe; valuables belonging to German state and banking institutions; and property turned in by the Germans in compliance with Military Government Law No. 53. Although no additional category was established for confiscated assets, officials anticipated victims' assets would be present in each category.
The majority of non-monetary gold assets collected in Europe between 1945 and 1950 eventually found their way to the FED. However, it was not the sole depository in the U.S. occupied regions. In the U.S. Zone in Germany, German State Central Banks and the State Military Government Headquarters also served as depositories and overflow facilities for the FED. Several asset collection points and warehouses also dotted the U.S. Zone of Austria, mainly regional banks and the storage facilities of the U.S. Property Control Division.
Each shipment arriving at the FED contained a brief description of the circumstances surrounding the collection of assets in its holdings. Although the bulk of shipments received after July 1945 consisted of foreign exchange assets acquired under Military Government Law No. 53, 175 several clearly contained valuables taken under duress from victims of Nazi persecution. FED Shipment No. 53, for example, containing the vault contents of the Reichsbank branch in Eschwege, bore a suitcase filled with currency, jewelry, watches, and teeth--items easily identifiable as property once belonging to Holocaust victims.176
8: Itemized Victims' Assets found in the 77 Shipments received
Foreign Exchange Depository (FED) in 1945 177
|1||Merkers Mine||207 containers holding several tons of loot: 2,270 pounds of novelty jewelry, 3,219 pounds of scrap metal; 1,842 pounds of tableware, etc.|
|3||Lublin concentration camp||2 chests containing gold table service; 2 boxes in the Sparkasse contained valuables including gold-plated porcelain, tableware and several crucifixes obviously looted from churches.|
|4||Reichsbank-Plauen||35 of 57 bags containing coins and currency deposited by German Army Security forces for Heinrich Himmler.|
|16||Buchenwald Concentration Camp||313 boxes containing a large variety of items such as coins, clocks, razors, tools, tableware, dishes, teeth fillings, etc.|
|SS bags containing 17 kinds of currency. 4 boxes and 3 valises of loot. Random sampling revealed boxes contained personal valuables and foreign currencies.|
|20||National Bank of Hungary Train||Jewelry and rings said to belong to the Hungarian Military Police. A sack containing one case of sealed envelopes regarding Jewish properties and a box containing valuables.|
|21||U.S. Seventh Army Group||Four boxes of currency coin and jewelry found in a sewer of a cement factory; 3 boxes of currency seized from German prisoners said to be loot, owner unknown. Also, 8 bags of coins taken from NSDAP Office in Salzburg.|
|22||Friedrichshall Salt Mine-Stassfurt||58 containers and 14 bags of precious metals found in the Friedrichshall Salt Mine, Stassfurt, Germany. Included 2 resmelted from Melmer (SS) gold.|
|5 bags, sealed with the Nazi emblem, of jewelry, currency, bonds and coins from the Reichsbank in Holzminden. Gold coins, foreign notes and gold bars belonging to the Schwerin Gestapo.|
|9 suitcases of jewelry and securities, 4 wooden boxes containing securities and jewelry, 1 carbon carton containing jewelry, 1 sack containing a Russian Orthodox tabernacle and 43 bars of silver bullion at 25 kilos each confiscated from the Gestapo Property Office in Prague.|
|27||Organisation Todt-Igls German Foreign Office Nazi Party, Waffen SS||Two bags found on a farm containing currencies, securities belonging to the government of Netherlands and might constitute part of requisitioned Jewish property in Holland.|
|31||Town of Rauris in the Alps-- Reichsbank Berlin||shipments not reaching the Merkers Mine 1 sack and 3 boxes of currency, 3 bags of jewelry and silverware (watches, chains, rings, tableware, misc. jewelry; 2 boxes and 10 bags of silver coins and bullion; and 1 envelope containing gold coin, currency and jewelry.|
|52||Dachau Concentration Camp||4 packages said to contain misc. gold and silver items, such as wedding rings, fillings, etc., and one box of miscellaneous valuables. Item E of this shipment contained approximately 1,300 envelopes, each bearing the name and number of a prisoner containing jewelry, currency, and other valuables.|
|53||Eschwege Reichsbank||Suitcase containing 6 paper bags of loose paper money, and 5 envelopes containing jewelry, rings, teeth, pearls and gold watches.|
|70||Turned in to the Division of Investigation of Cartels and External Assets, Individuals Investigation Branch||Sack of assorted "Goering" jewels valued at 15, 437, 750 francs.|
|79||Uncovered at Rittmanschausen and Kreis-Eschwege||Silver objects, tableware, jewelry, and miscellaneous items|
In the summer of 1945 the FED staff consisted of 16 officers and 130 enlisted men, few of whom had any background in the rigors of inventorying, sorting, cataloging, and storing the mix of valuables in FED vaults.178 The massive redeployment of soldiers out of Europe in the summer of 1945 created critical shortages of experienced personnel, hampering operations at all the collecting points. General Eisenhower regretted the problems in establishing an inventory of the holdings of the Foreign Exchange Depository caused by the rapid departure of military personnel. Eisenhower stressed his belief that the task required additional forces, noting that the FED collection of foreign securities alone weighed over five tons. Unfortunately, temporary replacements only exacerbated the situation due to the strict standards and the amount of specialist training the work required.179 In October 1945, when the FED became part of the Finance Division of OMG (U.S. Zone) under USFET, personnel deficiencies caused its operations to slow considerably. Deliveries of Law 53 assets were discontinued, and never resumed.180
A routine general staff inspection conducted between October 3 and November 6, 1945, gave the FED a failing grade. The inspecting officer criticized the staff's obvious lack of training and experience, identifying the personnel as "not technically qualified to completely inventory, classify and account for the vast and varied assortment of valuable foreign exchange assets."181 He criticized poor record keeping procedures that prevented the staff from compiling complete a inventory of the assets; inadequate security procedures and failure to properly account for keys compounded this problem and created the risk of undetected theft.
The chronic manpower shortage led the FED to suspend all efforts to inventory its vast collection of valuables. Although eight additional shipments arrived at the depository between October and December 1945, the skeletal crew made no attempt to document their contents. USFET responded to the crisis by requesting additional personnel from the Army, while kindly reminding the Army that the absence of a precise inventory only further delayed the restitution process and prevented the depository from discovering any thefts from its holdings.182 The calls for experts apparently fell on deaf ears since no additional personnel were assigned to the facility. By the end of 1945, however, despite its difficulties, the FED had 77 shipments stored in its vaults, originating from locations scattered throughout Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.
The U.S. Treasury's preliminary survey of the FED shipments conducted in the summer of 1945 hinted at the immense wealth contained within the depository, but an exact valuation of assets remained unattainable until experts had the opportunity to conduct a detailed inventory of its holdings. A preliminary inventory of the shipments received between April and August 1945 estimated the FED holdings included gold and silver worth more than $241 million, more than $275 million in currency, and hundreds of yet-to-be-inventoried parcels, boxes, and suitcases filled with personal property such as jewelry and silverware.183
The use of the Frankfurt Reichsbank as the central collecting point for gold and financial assets compromised its suitability as a storage center for artworks and other cultural assets. In late April 1945, it contained more than 3,000 items of art and cultural property, although space within the building was already in short supply. Given the fragility of the artworks and the fact that they had already been moved twice within a few months, MFA&A officers determined that, for the time being, overcrowded conditions in the building posed less of a threat to these assets than the rigors of another road march.184
To remedy the overcrowding at the Reichsbank, in June 1945 the military government detachment assigned to Frankfurt asked SHAEF to requisition nearby buildings at the University of Frankfurt and undertake essential repairs so that the artworks could be transferred to those buildings.185 An inspection of the Reichsbank building later that month revealed that the growing hoard of gold bullion and similar items at the FED had begun to crowd out the artworks already stored there. Necessary repairs to potential art storage buildings at the University of Frankfurt would take several weeks, so the relatively undamaged Wiesbaden Museum was proposed as a suitable alternative.186
The rehabilitation of the Provincial Museum (Landesmuseum) in Wiesbaden commenced shortly after the German surrender, with the goal of starting operations in August 1945. 187 Shipments of art began to arrive that summer; in February 1946 the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point received two truckloads of Jewish religious objects and other artworks from the Rothschild collection.188 That same month, MFA&A officers shipped more than 1,000 paintings from the depositories at Rossbach to Wiesbaden for screening and safekeeping.189
The collecting point at Offenbach was unique in U.S. collection efforts because it was transformed from being a collecting point for various asset types into an archives-specific depot where victims' assets, as a matter of policy, were segregated from other collections and given priority for restitution. The collecting point was established in July 1945 in the I.G. Farben structure on the Main River just outside Frankfurt. A five-story concrete building, the collecting point served as one of several sub-collecting points subordinate to the Munich and Wiesbaden facilities. I.G. Farben police and U.S. military guards provided security for the facility, which joined the Oberammagau sub-collecting point as one of the two principal archive depositories in the U.S. Zone.190
In March 1946, a memo circulated requesting that OMGUS rename the Offenbach facility the Offenbach Archival Depot (OAD), making it the "sole archival depot in the U.S. Zone" and a "first-priority restitution project."191 On May 1, 1946, Lt. Col. G.H. Garde complied with this request, creating the OAD. He requested the OAD director maintain contact with MFA&A officers at headquarters in each state to make arrangements for the transfer of materials to the OAD.192 In early 1946, for example, the Offenbach Collecting Point received the entire holdings of the Rothschild Library in Frankfurt, which included Jewish and Masonic cultural and ritual objects looted by the ERR from individuals and institutions in Germany and Nazi-occupied territories. The removal of Jewish property from sub-collecting points commenced in May and continued into autumn.193 By the end of July 1946, the 140 members of the OAD staff reportedly worked fifteen-hour days, six days a week to effect restitution of looted books, archives and cultural property. OAD personnel located and segregated books believed to have been taken from Holocaust victims and initiated the return of identifiable museum and library collections to Western Europe and within Germany.194
In addition to the contents of many German state and private libraries, the OAD housed the largest collection of Jewish cultural property in the world 195 and was the only known repository of Jewish cultural property in postwar Europe.196 It contained a large number of volumes in Hebrew and Yiddish, requiring the hiring of additional personnel who were both "competent in the recognition of rarities" and "acquainted with the Hebrew and Yiddish languages and literatures."197 In July 1946 the OAD reported having 137,809 unidentifiable Hebrew-language books, 49,000 Jewish religious and historical books written in the German language, and 405,688 identifiable books taken from Jewish libraries in Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe, and the Baltic countries.198 Of the unidentifiable property on hand in July 1946, the OAD reported that nearly 70 percent were either "books in the Hebrew language" or "Jewish cultural and historical books in the German language."199 The OAD continued to gather, sort, inventory its collections, and effect the restitution of items until the facility closed in 1948 and its remaining items were transferred to the collecting point in Wiesbaden.200 Although central collecting points proved superior to scattered caches as locations for protecting artworks and other valuables, they still suffered serious shortcomings. The evacuation of emergency repositories undoubtedly saved many irreplaceable artworks, but the transport of items only added to the backlog at understaffed and often overcrowded collecting points.
In the end, as seen in the case of the OAD, the consolidation of assets into central collecting points proved to be an essential step on the road to restitution. With the security and space the collecting points provided, staff could begin the arduous process of inventorying and identifying the assets on hand.
The Case of the Hungarian Gold Train
The case of the Hungarian Gold Train illustrates several of the problems U.S. forces faced as they gradually came to understand the volume and complexity of the assets under their control. In May 1945, forces of the U.S. Army seized a train near the town of Werfen, Austria containing valuables spirited out of Hungary by members of the pro-Nazi Hungarian government. This train, referred to by U.S. authorities as the "Gold Train" or "Werfen Train," consisted of 24 rail cars containing gold, jewelry, works of art, household items, and other property, much of which had been confiscated from the Jewish population of Greater Hungary.201 U.S. authorities classified these assets as "enemy government" property despite ample evidence linking the property to the Hungarian Jewish community.202 As a result of this classification, materials on the train were subject to requisition by American officials, and in some cases, the property was not returned.
The background of the train highlights the difficulties inherent in establishing origin of the assets found on board. In April 1944, the Hungarian government issued a decree requiring Hungary's 800,000 Jews to surrender their valuables to the state.203 To prevent these assets from falling into the hands of Soviet troops, the Hungarians and their Nazi allies loaded them on a train heading west in December 1944. Over the next five months the guarded train traveled a slow and circuitous route through Hungary and Austria in the general direction of Switzerland. During this interval the assets on board were frequently rearranged and repacked, divided and subdivided, loaded and unloaded, and repeatedly looted by German soldiers, Hungarian guards, and Austrian civilians. The contents of the train were divided. One section was loaded onto trucks and later intercepted by the French Army in its zone of occupation.204 The other section remained aboard the train seized by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Division near Werfen, Austria in mid-May 1945.205 The section recovered by the U.S., which contained rail cars laden with state and personal property removed from Hungary, remained under Hungarian armed guard until it arrived in July 1945 at the Military Government Warehouse in Salzburg.206
On July 8, 1945, the USFA Property Control Division in Salzburg was notified that "a railroad train known as the 'Hungarian Train' alleged to contain valuable property belonging to the Hungarian State" would arrive at the Military Government Warehouse the following day.207 A detail of Hungarian guards agreed to cooperate with U.S. soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division to protect the train during transport.208 However, the train did not leave Werfen for Salzburg until mid-month, and it was not scheduled for unloading until July 23, 1945.209 The property register prepared by the U.S. military government in Austria, which provided a general inventory of the assets removed from the train, noted August 29, 1945 as the date when the Property Control officers took the assets into custody.210
American Property Control officers completed a general inventory of the train's contents that had been unloaded on the ground floor of the Salzburg Military Government Warehouse. Included in their inventory was a box said to contain "lists of names of people from whom some of the items on the train were taken."211 The interrogation of Dr. László Avar--the train's Hungarian custodian--yielded information that "the train contained items which had been taken mostly from Jewish people and from banks in Hungary."212 Property Control officials listed in their inventory the words "enemy government" as the reason for control and offered the following description:
The train was said to be loaded with money, gold and jewelry taken from small town Hungarian treasuries, personal property belonging to Hungarian Jews and personal property belonging to Hungarian gentiles who voluntarily loaded their belongings on the train in order to escape the advancing Russians.213
Despite official awareness of the property's Hungarian Jewish origins, once assets from the Gold Train were designated as enemy property, they became available for requisition by high-ranking U.S. officials.214 For example, in July 1945 Major General Harry J. Collins, Commander of the 42nd Division in western Austria, requisitioned for his headquarters "furniture and furnishing" from the Office of Property Control for Land Salzburg, including "objects made of onyx, 5 rugs and 8 paintings" clearly designated as Gold Train property.215 Collins issued further requests for Gold Train valuables "of the very best quality and workmanship available in the Land of Salzburg" for his home and office, including enough china, silverware, glasses, and linens (sheets, towels, pillow cases, tablecloths, and napkins) to entertain anywhere from forty-five to ninety guests.216 Subsequent requisitions for silver candlesticks and carpets were also filled.217
Collins was not alone in his desires. A list maintained by the Office of Property Control detailed the loaned materials and indicated that several ranking U.S. Army officers had requisitioned rugs, tableware, silverware, and silver plates from the Gold Train materials to decorate their residences.218
In October 1945, a Property Control Warehouse preliminary report detailed the variety of items unloaded from the Gold Train, including:
Alarm clocks, cheap and expensive wristwatches, cheap and expensive cameras many of which have been spoiled by the weather, and cheap and expensive jewelry. Consumer goods such as bolts of cloth, large quantities of new and used clothing ranging from underwear to overcoats, typewriters in poor condition, chinaware of superior quality and workmanship, table linen and glassware, flat silverware of superior quality and workmanship, approximately 5,000 rugs many of which are hand-woven Persian and all are valuable, stamp collections, old coin collections and currency.219
As American forces settled in for what they expected to be an extended stay in Austria, the arrival of more American military families led to greater demand for household furnishings in the Property Control Warehouse in Salzburg. Anticipating the influx of families, USFA Property Control Officer Major O.R. Agnew was notified in March 1946 that "General Collins was interested in providing proper quarters and house furnishing for families of the military, and quite probably demands might be made upon property in the warehouse."220 Collins' requisitions alone amounted to 22 shipments of property totaling "a substantial sum of money...[all] drawn from the so called Hungarian 'Werfen Train.'"221
The redeployment of troops from Europe affected the workings of the Property Control Division. In many cases, officers left for home without returning the requisitioned items. The warehouse staff also changed frequently due to troop redeployments, making the task of tracking requisitioned materials more difficult. On February 28, 1946, Property Control Officer Lt. Homer Heller was redeployed and replaced by Major C. R. Agnew Jr., who "strongly recommended" that new requisitioning rules be drawn up by a Purchasing and Construction Officer to ensure "accountability."222 Nevertheless, he maintained that "if certain of the Werfen Train property is required for the usual needs of the Occupation Forces, it could be requisitioned...."223 One month later Agnew was redeployed and replaced by Capt. Howard A. Mackenzie as Property Control Officer.
Following his predecessor's call for greater accountability, Mackenzie began to catalogue numerous, systemic failures inherent in the requisitioning procedure. With reference to the fact that USFA personnel had "establish[ed] that the [Gold Train] property was taken from Jewish people by order of the last Hungarian Nazi Government," Mackenzie described in great detail the handling and requisition of this property and the responsibilities of the Property Control Officer for its safekeeping.224
On March 14, 1946, the Chief of the Property Control Branch reported having "considerable doubt as to the present location of the furnishings on loan." 225 Mackenzie informed the Chief of the USFA Property Control Branch that this was indeed the case.226 USACA then instructed Mackenzie to make certain that "no further items of the Werfen Train...be assigned for the use of family billets or for any other purpose."227 Further, in August 1946, officials agreed that:
Werfen train properties could not be requisitioned since that would make them property of the US Army and they were at that time the subject[s] of diplomatic negotiations with Hungary.228
Mackenzie received no further instructions regarding the Gold Train property until February 24, 1947, when he was instructed that the Gold Train property would be released to the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees (IGCR). Mackenzie and his assistants attempted to compare receipts with the expectation that items would be "found to be missing" and admitted that his office had "never had any means of keeping track of items located in or missing from Vienna Area Command."229 He further expressed his frustration that:
A large number of officers were being redeployed, units were being reorganized and headquarters being relocated and this office in spite of diligent efforts could not keep track of all the property in Land Salzburg and could, of course, exercise no control of properties located outside of Land Salzburg.230
Security problems persisted in the Property Control Warehouse in Salzburg, and concern over the warehouse's lax security practices soon extended beyond the Army. In July 1946, a State Department official warned:
Property is now located in large warehouse at Salzburg which is not and probably cannot be adequately guarded. Strongly recommend that unless property can be promptly placed in well-guarded bank vaults it be transferred to Frankfurt. I have been informed that a certain amount of looting from warehouse has already taken place and do not see how further dissipation of property can be prevented under present conditions. Fact that no inventory exists makes almost impossible for control officers to know whether looting taking place.231
Although measures were taken to tighten security at the facility, several thefts of Gold Train property nevertheless occurred. In one case, an American civilian employee was "suspected of pilfering jewelry, watches and miscellaneous supplies" clearly designated as "properties of the Werfen Train."232 In another, someone had placed a bag of gold and silver dust into a hole dug in the warehouse floor where Gold Train properties were kept.233 It is possible that this case was related to an October 1946 report that indicated that two small suitcases of gold dust had disappeared from the Military Government warehouse.234 In response to this case, Mackenzie explained "every apparent possibility for tracing the gold dust has been exhausted" and concluded that:
Some months ago [the] Property Control Warehouse was burglarized by military guards. It is possible that the subject gold dust was stolen at that time. However, the inventory of the warehouse is still being checked.235
The Werfen train case highlights some of the practical problems involved in safeguarding victim's assets under American control. The Property Control Division in Austria proved to be an imperfect guardian of victim's assets, with lax security, high personnel turnover, and poor record keeping. Although its warehouse in Salzburg did successfully protect a substantial number of assets in storage, the example of the Hungarian Gold Train shows how the property under its control--regardless to whom it belonged--remained vulnerable to loss, theft, and unaccountable requisition.
Problems in the Field
As Allied forces liberated large areas of Europe and began to close in on Germany itself, leaders received disturbing reports regarding acts of theft and vandalism perpetrated by U.S. and British troops. In late March 1945, the MFA&A branch at SHAEF noted that reports of thefts by troops of the 9th U.S. Army might be a symptom of a growing problem. The MFA&A report stated that Allied troops seemed to have less regard for property in Germany than in occupied countries and argued that this attitude, combined with the wide dispersion of art caches, presented a major danger to looted art.236
MFA&A officers were alert to the possibility that Allied troops might pose a significant threat to works of art and other cultural property stored in small isolated caches. They also realized that with the collapse of German civil government in occupied territories and the inadequate resources available to MFA&A officers and other military government personnel, the safety of scattered art repositories depended on the good discipline of military personnel. In March 1945, Eisenhower instructed his field commanders to give the matter their "urgent and immediate attention," and reminded them of the pressing need to prevent theft and vandalism by Allied forces.237 Such behavior, he pointed out, would not only alienate citizens in liberated Allied nations, but also interfere with the restitution of valuables from Germany to their rightful owners. In order for the latter task to be accomplished, Eisenhower emphasized that the importance of carefully preserving possibly looted treasures should be impressed upon all troops.238
The problem of troop misbehavior was exacerbated by the presence of millions of liberated Displaced Persons (DPs) who roamed freely about the countryside behind Allied lines. High-level officers were fully aware of the problems of theft by both DPs and U.S. troops, and Eisenhower's deputy theater commander brought them to his chief's attention in late April 1945.239 Eisenhower's staff concluded that U.S. forces simply lacked the resources to suppress looting by DPs, noting that by late April DP camps housed over a million people. The staff determined that subordinate commanders were taking reasonable steps to stop looting, and that no further action from SHAEF headquarters was required.240
The growing number of DPs seeking to return to their native countries posed a further potential security problem. Allied planners were concerned that some DPs might agree, for financial or political reasons, to aid Nazi officials by smuggling looted gold, currency, and other valuables through Allied lines and out of Germany. In December 1944, the SHAEF Foreign Exchange Control and Blocking Section proposed that Allied forces screen all DPs leaving Germany at the border and force them to declare all precious metals, currency, securities, and deeds in holding accounts run by the Allied military government.241 The immense number of people in transit, however, made any thorough screening process nearly impossible.
U.S. authorities failed to adequately screen packages shipped home by American soldiers, thereby creating additional opportunities to hide valuables obtained through theft and misappropriation. In April 1945, a representative of the Roberts Commission reported that such shipments by Allied soldiers included boxes large enough to contain important paintings.242 In late May 1945, Eisenhower's Adjutant General reported that a random examination of parcel post packages sent by U.S. military personnel to friends and family back home had uncovered evidence of widespread theft by U.S. troops. Numerous packages examined were found to contain "various items of prohibited 'loot,' including U.S. small arms and other Government property."243
This problem persisted well into the period of American occupation in Europe, and undoubtedly contributed to the thriving black market in postwar Germany. In January 1948, the Secretary of the Army wrote senior U.S. commanders in Europe regarding allegations that military personnel had been bringing loot and black market items into the United States. He noted that "information already received does indicate a laxity in the inspection of personal and household effects being shipped back to the US and also that certificates are sometimes signed in blank without the required inspection" and urged that commanders take action to curb such practices.244
Despite the establishment of the military government following the surrender, certain elements among the DPs and the civilian population continued to pose a threat to valuables in postwar Germany. In June 1945, SHAEF G-5 reported that the "otherwise generally satisfactory" public safety situation in occupied Germany did not obtain in areas having large concentrations of DPs and prisoners of war. G-5 noted that it received daily reports of looting, rape, and murder from those areas, and warned that local, unarmed police were completely incapable of dealing with the "dangerous elements" among the DPs. 245
The problem of lawless DPs continued to plague the American military government in Germany for many months. As late as May 1946, a year after the German surrender, the military government issued a directive noting that "the Theater Commander views with alarm the state of lawlessness existing in the U.S. Zone and is determined to prevent crimes committed by DPs. He has directed the deportation of displaced persons guilty of illegal possession of firearms."246
DPs were only one of the threats to unprotected valuables. In September 1945, Lt. General Lucius Clay made no effort to hide his disappointment in a memo issued to all USGCC personnel, in which he condemned "incidents of theft carried out by GIs in the Berlin area," noting that the "unlawful acquisition of private property by U.S. personnel in the Berlin area has assumed such proportions as to embarrass this Command."247 He pointed out how the personal antics of Army personnel had the potential to escalate, creating problems for the military government by eroding public confidence in their ability to govern:
To condemn and put others to trial for looting, while at the same time recognizing no law ourselves, exposes the U.S. Forces to the accusation of hypocrisy and undermines the position of respect and confidence necessary for effective Military Government administration.248
It is clear that theft by U.S. personnel in the months following the war was prevalent enough to concern military officials.
Repositories of art and other valuables undoubtedly made tempting targets for larcenous individuals, both civilian and military. As units redeployed and troops demobilized after the German surrender, even those repositories that had originally been assigned guards were sometimes left unprotected. For example, the American unit assigned to protect the art collection in Schwarzburg Castle departed in early July 1945, and the cache was broken into shortly thereafter. The Director of the State Art Collection in Weimar alleged that several valuable paintings were stolen from the castle, and that physical evidence suggested that the perpetrators were almost certainly American soldiers.249
A castle located in the Hessian town of Hochstadt contained a large number of artworks apparently looted by the Nazis from areas within the Soviet Union. The castle had been occupied as quarters by elements of an engineer unit in June 1945 despite having been posted "off-limits" and despite protests from local military government officers. This unit was followed by another tactical unit, which had left by the time that military government officers inspected the repository in early August 1945. They found that many packing cases had been broken open and that their contents had been scattered about, with many articles broken or damaged.250
Unprotected repositories in Germany and Austria were especially vulnerable because there often was no single unit responsible for protecting the valuables stored in them. In late April 1945, for instance, SHAEF G-5 reported that Rimberg Castle near the Westphalian town of Merkstein had been under the successive jurisdiction of a number of military government units and had been occupied by various tactical units. An inspection of the castle revealed that the main building had been thoroughly ransacked. Deeming it impractical to guard the castle with civilians because of the presence of troops, remote location, and proximity to the Dutch border, Allied authorities posted it as a historic monument and planned to remove the few remaining items of value.251
Under the circumstances, Allied authorities had difficulty ascertaining how many items, including the property of Holocaust victims, had been stolen while under American control. In March 1947, nearly two years after the surrender, the Adjutant General's office in Berlin issued a list of the artistic and historic objects that it presumed to have been stolen from Germany by American troops. The report listed nearly 150 artworks, giving the place and approximate date of the theft.252 The lack of information regarding possible perpetrators reflected the confused situation on the ground during and just after the period of active military operations, as well as the limited resources that were available to investigate alleged thefts. As the final report on MFA&A activities in northern Bavaria stated:
In the early stages of the occupation, several historic castles and palaces were occupied by U.S. troops or DP's. During their occupation, considerable material disappeared. As in most cases no information was available as to the identity of the looters, beyond gathering information no positive action could be initiated.253
Given these limitations, U.S. officials could only distribute lists of stolen works to dealers and museums in the United States in the hope of recovering a portion of the items listed.
Problems at Collecting Points
Even after valuables were sequestered in centralized collecting points, security remained a major concern. The end of fighting in Europe resulted in a rapid demobilization and transfer of troops to the Pacific Theater, prior to August 1945, and to the United States. These troop reductions created security problems for collecting points when the troops assigned as guards received orders to redeploy.
For example, the central art collecting point in Wiesbaden relied on U.S. troops for security and, by December 1945, reductions in Army manpower threatened to reduce the guard on the collecting point below the minimum necessary to protect the thousands of paintings estimated to be worth over half a billion dollars.254 American leaders had learned from experience that civilian guards were no substitute for military units, because they were unable to exercise any authority over armed soldiers seeking to gain entry into prohibited areas.255 Consequently, orders were given to maintain the military guard at the Wiesbaden collecting point.
Despite this precaution, problems persisted and in January 1947 personnel at Wiesbaden discovered that a number of artworks were missing.256 In February of that year, the director of the collecting point complained "no security worth mentioning has been provided by the Military Guard during the month of January."257
The Munich collecting point suffered from similar security problems. In September 1945, 3rd Army headquarters blamed the theft of four paintings on workers repairing the building, and warned that personnel turnover among military guards increased the difficulty of preventing such thefts.258 In February 1946, a senior MFA&A officer in Bavaria expressed alarm at the drastic cuts in military personnel serving as guards for art repositories. He noted that personnel shortages had caused the military government to remove guards from various important art caches, and to reduce the guard at the collecting point from 25 soldiers to six. The director of the collecting point had concluded "that to reduce the military guard further is to make this military installation dangerously insecure."259
Despite security precautions, the Munich Central Collecting Point (CCP) suffered from a number of thefts between 1946 and 1948. In 1946 thieves stole a number of items from the collecting point, including silver, a valuable picture, and rugs.260 The most famous case involved a German guard who stole almost 100 artworks and art objects during this period. U.S. officials eventually caught the guard, but not all of the stolen art was recovered.261
The Munich CCP fell victim to another type of theft in 1949, when it mistakenly transferred 166 cultural objects into the custody of Mr. Mate Topic who first arrived at the Munich collecting point in December 1948, claiming to be the director of the Yugoslav National Museum.262 His accomplice, Dr. Wiltrud Mersmann--a German civilian who worked as a junior curator at the collecting point from 1946 to 1949--provided Topic detailed descriptions of valuable items stored in the collecting point, allowing him to develop lists of items to be claimed on the behalf of the Yugoslav government.263
On March 31, 1949, Topic submitted his claims to Stefan Munsing, the facility's chief MFA&A officer.264 OMGUS Chief of Reparations and Restitution Officer, M. H. McCord, approved the Topic claims three weeks later, 265 ordering the release of four shipments in June 1949.266 These shipments contained a significant number of cultural objects, including paintings and oriental rugs.267
OMGUS Property Control authorities later realized their mistake when they received duplicate claims for items released to Topic. Further investigation revealed that all but two of the 166 items transferred to Topic should not have been restituted to Yugoslavia.268 At least some of these objects were found to have been looted by the ERR from Holocaust victims in Western Europe.269 As a result, OMGUS launched efforts to reclaim the objects. On June 1, 1950, the Office of Economic Affairs of the Property Division explained the situation to the chief of the Yugoslav Military Mission in Berlin, stating that the "the U.S. High Commission [of Germany] is obliged to take advantage of the provision of paragraph 3 of the Receipt of Cultural Objects which requires a receiving Government to return any objects which have been delivered to it by mistake."270
On June 13, 1950, one full year after Topic disappeared with the objects, OMGUS Property Division notified the State Department of the erroneous restitution,271 claiming that the shipments had taken place "during a period of confusion" and that the "episode clearly shows folly of attempting hasty disposition of cultural properties still undergoing screening at Munich and Wiesbaden."272 The State Department revisited the issue in February 1954 when the French and Italian governments raised questions about the paintings. The State Department then cabled its embassies in Rome, Belgrade, and Bonn instructing that:
No public statement [is] possible [at] this time but interested inquirers should be reminded (1) all cultural restitutions effected by agencies [of the] US government subject [to] review whenever counter claims [are] presented and (2) in receipting for cultural objects recipient government has been required [to] assume [the] obligation [to] restore any objects subsequently shown to have been delivered [to] it in error.273
Despite its informal inquiries, the State Department was unable to determine whether or not the artwork restituted to Topic ever reached the Yugoslav government.274 Under pressure from claimant countries, the Office of the Legal Advisor for the State Department issued a memorandum on September 12, 1956 explaining that the State Department refused to admit the circumstances of the case to claimant governments and would take no further action "beyond notifying Belgrade claimant governments" of the disputed claims."275 On December 5, 1956, the Legal Advisor released his final decision on the case:
After weighing the legal considerations referred to, Mr. Reinstein, Director of the Office of German Affairs, decided on policy grounds that the Department should not notify the countries concerned. The basis of his decision was that we were acting at the time in question as the occupying power in Germany, that we voluntarily undertook to return a great deal of property to various countries, that we did the best we could to carry out this program, that we acted in good faith and that we cannot go on indefinitely trying to remedy or assume responsibility for possible errors in carrying out occupation programs of this sort.
Accordingly it was agreed that action of the case should by suspended unless some of the foreign countries concerned initiated action anew. Since it is greatly to our interest not to stimulate any such interest or inquiries on the part of those countries it is desirable the matter not be raised in any communications or discussions with representatives of those governments on this subject.276
Apparently, the Legal Advisor feared that renewed claims for the property in question would be filed against the U.S. government. The case was effectively closed.
The Topic episode highlights several difficulties U.S. authorities faced in the implementation of their restitution policy: 1) the inability of Property Control officers to conduct thorough background checks on individuals claiming to represent foreign governments; 2) the State Department decision not to disclose to claimant governments or heirs the facts of the erroneous restitution; and 3) the failure by U.S. authorities to hold recipient nations to the terms of the transfer agreement. As a result of this incident, the artworks errantly restituted to Topic were never recovered, barring persecutees (or their heirs) from recovering their property.
Laying the Groundwork for Restitution
In mid-September 1945, SHAEF informed subordinate commanders about the policy for returning looted artworks to the countries of origin. Artworks were divided into three categories; those readily identifiable as looted works that had been publicly owned or seized from private owners without compensation, those for which some compensation was alleged to have been paid, and those which were bona fide German property. The first two categories were to be returned to the nation of origin; and a representative from each "western" nation was to be attached to the occupation district headquarters to identify and claim artworks.277
No definitive policy was set by September 1945, but interim policy allowed restitution of artworks and cultural objects to Allied governments upon application and if the property was identifiable and was removed from occupied territory by the Nazis by whatever means. All questions of restitution were to be handled on behalf of property owners by the government of which they were citizens, unless other arrangements were made with the nation from which the property was removed. Allied governments were to submit lists of items and quantities claimed for restitution, along with preliminary evidence supporting the claim.278
The U.S. Group Control Council, Germany developed a form for the "Receipt and Agreement for Delivery of Cultural Objects" for use in turning over such objects to claimant governments. Collecting points were to attach this form to shipments each time objects were transferred. The form included a clause in which the receiving government agreed to hold the items as a custodian, pending the determination of lawful owners. Items were to be returned to the lawful owners unless the owner was a former enemy government or national, in which case they were to be returned to USFET. Claimant governments also agreed to provide USFET with an estimate of the object's value, as well as any information regarding possession of the object since September 1, 1939, and the compensation paid for the object by the German government or its agents.279
During the final, chaotic act of the most destructive war in history, the United States government, through its armed forces and interested civilian organizations, recovered considerable quantities of assets believed to be the property of victims and other persecutees of Nazism. Based on the experience of their earlier campaigns, American leaders prescribed methods for identifying and protecting assets and created special units to carry out these tasks. These mechanisms proved insufficient to handle the widespread dispersal of assets that troops encountered upon entering Germany and Austria. The immense scope of the problem soon undermined attempts to establish a firm collection policy and maintain the chain of custody. Amid the confusion, hampered by inadequate resources and uncertain lines of authority, a relatively small number of officers and civilians nevertheless secured what recovered valuables they could, in the hope that eventually they could identify assets looted by the Nazis and restitute these items to the countries from which they had been looted or their rightful owners. Under the prevailing conditions in Austria and Germany in 1945, such efforts fell short of perfection, as the protection and consolidation of valuables were subordinated to the urgent military requirements of winning the war, preventing a total collapse of government in the occupied zones, restoring a semblance of normal civilian life, and sending home American troops.
In the months following the German surrender, U.S. forces made significant progress in consolidating widely scattered caches of valuables. During this phase, protection of repositories remained imperfect; undoubtedly some moveable assets, including assets possibly looted from Holocaust victims, fell prey to thieves or were damaged by the elements. Because U.S. officials had only limited knowledge regarding the contents of many caches and the individuals who had access to them, they often were unable to detect thefts or identify those responsible. At the same time, U.S. armed forces failed to establish tight controls over packages mailed or carried home by Americans in Europe. These conditions, combined with the existence of a thriving black market in postwar Germany, created an opportunity for individuals to move stolen assets out of Europe without detection. Nevertheless, the evacuation of temporary deposits and the creation of collecting points added immeasurably to the security of the assets involved.
By the spring of 1946, the U.S. military governments in Germany and Austria had established a network of collecting points where assets could be safely stored while awaiting final disposition. These collecting points had their own shortcomings, but they provided a reasonably secure haven for valuables that otherwise may have been pilfered by military and civilian criminals or destroyed by the elements. Though faced with other more pressing concerns, U.S. policymakers nonetheless made the seizure and identification of assets an important element of the Allied campaign to defeat the Nazi regime and stabilize Europe. Without the concerted efforts expended by U.S. forces to protect the gold, financial assets, and art and cultural property in former Nazi-occupied territory, restitution of Holocaust victims' assets could never have been realized. When OMGUS became operational in April 1946, the process of asset collection and protection was well underway and a detailed inventory and appraisal of assets had begun. Newly appointed experts devoted their time to determining the provenance and value of individual assets, to facilitate the eventual disposal of the assets in accordance with international law. Their efforts, and the work of those who had protected the assets in their care, laid the foundation for restitution efforts to come.
Endnotes for Chapter 4
1 Fred C. Mehner, "Report on the FED, Military Government Training Program," NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 394 .
2 Report of the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946), 47 (hereafter "Roberts Commission Report").
3 Lynn Nicholas, The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), 210 - 214.
4 Ibid., 218 - 222.
5 Harry L. Coles & Albert K. Weinberg, Civil Affairs: Soldiers Become Governors (Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, Dept. of the Army, 1964), 87.
6 Roberts Commission Report, 51 - 53.
7 Nicholas, Rape of Europa, 224 - 226.
8 Coles & Weinberg, Civil Affairs: Soldiers Become Governors, 89.
9 Roberts Commission Report, 48.
11 Coles & Weinberg, Civil Affairs: Soldiers Become Governors, 419.
12 Ibid., 420 - 21.
13 Report from Lt. Colonel Sir Leonard Woolley, Archaeological Advisor to War Office, "Report on a Mission to Tripolitania, Sicily and Italy affecting the M.F.A.A. (Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives) subcommission," [circa 1944], NACP, RG 331, 130 G-5 Fine Arts, Box 272 [117220-224].
14 Roberts Commission Report, 61.
15 Coles & Weinberg, Civil Affairs: Soldiers Become Governors, 423.
16 Nicholas, Rape of Europa, 256 - 57.
17 Roberts Commission Report, 79.
18 Ibid., 80.
19 Telegram to Secy. of State, May 29, 1945, NACP, RG 59, Decimal File 1945 - 49, Entry 865.51, Box 6947 .
20 Telegram to Secy. of State, May 23, 1945, NACP, RG 59, Decimal File 1945 - 49, Entry 865.51, Box 6947 .
21 Dispatch No. 74 from the American Embassy, Belgrade, Yugoslavia to the Dept. of State, July 6, 1945, "Yugoslav Foreign Office Note Concerning Gold and Silver of the National Bank of Yugoslavia Confiscated by the Italian Occupation Authorities," NACP, RG 59, Decimal File 1945 - 49, Entry 865.51, Box 6947 [220971-972].
22 Governor of the Bank of Italy to Allied Commission in Rome, Jan. 22, 1946, NACP, RG 59, Entry 2780, Box 21, 851 Italy-Miscellaneous [221022-023].
23 Telegram From Secretary of State No. 1908, Oct. 1, 1947, NACP, RG 59, Entry 2780, Box 21, 851 Italy Miscellaneous .
24 Roberts Commission Report, 102.
25 Coles & Weinberg, Civil Affairs: Soldiers Become Governors, 864 - 865.
26 Ibid., 866.
27 Roberts Commission Report, 103.
28 Coles & Weinberg, Civil Affairs: Soldiers Become Governors, 867.
29 Roberts Commission Report, 105.
30 Ibid., 109.
31 Ibid., 121.
32 Ibid., 122.
33 Ibid., 106.
34 MFA&A Adv. to ACOS SHAEF G-5, Dec. 1944, "Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives to 1 Nov. 1944," NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 333 [113151-153].
35 MFA&A Br., U.S. Group Control Council to Col. H. Newton, War Dept. Rep. at SHAEF for Monuments, Fine Art and Archives, Sept. 12, 1944, "Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Operations in Germany," NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, MFA&A, Box 329 [319758-760].
36 Lt. Col. Geoffrey Webb, MFA&A Adv. to SHAEF G-5 Ops. Br., Dec. 6, 1944, "Note on MFA&A Problems in Germany," NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 331 [319785-786].
37 SHAEF G-5, "Technical Notes for the use of Monuments Fine Arts and Archives Specialist Officers in Germany," Oct. 1944, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 333 [113256-283].
38 Memo, SHAEF G-5 to Army Groups and Communications Zone, Mar. 27, 1945, "Memorandum, Duties and Projected Operations, MFA&A Officer, Fifteenth U.S. Army," NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 323 .
39 Memo from Lt. C. Hathaway, MFA&A to A/Director, RD&R Division, May 1, 1945, "Establishment of Uniform Practice in Recording Works of Art," NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 324 [319746-747].
40 Harold Zink, American Military Government in Germany (New York: Macmillan, 1947), 46 - 48.
41 Earl F. Ziemke, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 1944 - 1946 (Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 1975), 187 - 94.
42 "Technical Manual on Military Government in Germany," Public Safety, [circa May 1945], 18 - 19, NACP, RG 331, Entry 23, Box 41 .
43 Art Looting Investigation Unit, Strategic Services Unit. Office of the Asst. Secy. of War, War Dept., "Art Looting Investigation Unit Final Report," May 1, 1946.
44 Charles Sawyer, "Report on the Activities of the Office of Strategic Services as they have related to the Roberts Commission," Dec. 27, 1945, NACP, RG59, Entry: Lot 62D-4, Box 24 .
45 Ibid. .
46 Ibid. .
47 The entire collection of the OSS interrogation reports (4 consolidated and 15 detailed) is found in the National Archives, College Park, MD. NACP, RG 38, Entry 98A, Strategic Services Unit, ALIU, Box 421; NACP, RG 239, Entry 73, Strategic Services Unit, ALIU, Box 83; and NACP, RG 239, Entry 74, Strategic Services Unit, ALIU, Box 84.
48 Charles B. MacDonald, The Last Offensive (Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, Dept. of the Army, 1973), 332.
49 Col. George S. Smith to Commanding General, Rome Area Command, "Final Report of 'S' Force Operations," June 17, 1944, NACP, RG 331, Entry 18, Box 150, File: Final Report on S Ops in Rome [220905-908]. "S forces" had been formed "with the mission of exploiting the city of Rome and its environs for intelligence, including the seizure of documents, records and archives to prevent their dissipation and destruction, the apprehension and proper disposition of enemy agents and sympathizers, and the arranging for a more detailed long range exploitation."
50 SHAEF Chief of Staff to ACOS G-2 SHAEF, "Intelligence Directive Number 17, T Force," July 27, 1944, NACP, RG 331, Entry 11, Box 1 [313907-908].
51 SHAEF G-5 Coordinating Route Slip, "Financial Targets," Nov. 18 - 22, 1944, NACP, RG 331, Entry 18A, Box 161 .
52 Berlin Second Priority Targets List, Revision No. 3, Mar. 31, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 18, Box 137 [348958-959].
53 G-5 Section, 6th Army Group to ACOS G-5, SHAEF, "Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives," May 19, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 335 .
54 Lt. E. Perez to Commanding Officer, T-Force, 7th Army, "Chronological Report on the Mittenwald Mission," June 9, 1945, NACP, RG 338, G-2 Dec. 1944 - Nov. 1945, Box 4 [221054-057].
55 Ziemke, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 1944 - 1946, 314.
56 JCS 1067: Directive to Commander in Chief of the U.S. Forces of Occupation regarding Military Government in Germany, Apr. 28, 1945, Cited in Hajo Holborn, American Military Government: Its Organization and Policies (Washington, DC: Infantry Journal Press, 1947), 157 - 172.
57 Memo from SHAEF G-5 Operations Br., "The Problem of Moveable Art in Germany," Dec. 16, 1944, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 322 [319509-511].
59 Rpt. from FED, "History from V-E Day, 8 May 1945 to 30 June 1946," NACP, RG 260, FED Central Files, Box 394, File 900.10 [310197-203]. The Currency Branch/Depository remained under the control, supervision and direction of the Finance Division of the following successive Headquarters: SHAEF G-5 to July 14, 1945; USFET G-5 to October 1, 1945; OMG (US Zone) to April 1, 1946; and OMGUS thereafter.
60 Rpt. from FED "History from V-E Day, 8 May 1945 to 30 June 1946" NACP, RG 260, FED Central Files, Box 394, File 900.10 .
61 SHAEF Administrative Memo No. 49, "Disposition of Currency and other Financial Assets Seized from Enemy Forces or Found Abandoned," Mar. 7, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED Records, Box 394, File 900.10 [312784-785].
63 Ibid. Enemy territory includes the territory of the German Reich and Austria prior to December 31, 1937.
65 G-5 Operational Instruction No. 9, "Property Control," Mar. 1, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 54, Box 163 [319003-006].
66 Memo from Eisenhower to AGWAR for Combined Chiefs of Staff, Mar. 21, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 47, Box 1 [319493-494].
67 MFA&A Adv. to ACOS SHAEF G-5, "Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives to 1 Nov. 1944," Dec. 1944, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 333 [113151-153].
68 Report, "Appreciation of Enemy Methods of Looting Works of Art in Occupied Territory," Mar. 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 58, Box 55 [328817-826].
69 SHAEF G-5 Internal Affairs Br., Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Report, "Repositories of Works of Art in Germany," Mar. 11, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 58, Box 55 [328827-835].
70 Fourth compilation of Interrogations of Prisoners of War, [circa 1945], NACP, RG 331, Entry 18A, Box 161 [314037-041].
71 Memo from 7th Army Interrogation Ctr. to ACOS G-2, 7th Army, "Location of Art Treasures," Aug.16, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Adjutant General Classified File, Box 326 [108314-108315].
72 Report by 7th Army Interrogation Ctr., "French Works of Art Obtained by Former Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering," May 19, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 323 [319530-531].
73 SHAEF G-5 to listed Addressees, "Field
Reports Received During April 1945," June 1945, Annex III,
CG 9th U.S. Army to CG, 12th Army Group, no date, "MFA&A,
Semi-Monthly Report, 1 - 15 April 1945," NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal File 1942 - 1945, Box 1 [313949-314006].
74 SHAEF signed Eisenhower to AGWAR for Combined Chiefs of Staff, May 6, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal File, Box 13 [313868-871].
75 Commanding General, 87th Infantry Div. to SHAEF, Apr. 26, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 47, Box 1 [319444-445].
76 Deputy ACOS G-5 SHAEF to Supreme Commander, SHAEF, "Report of gold, silver, etc. located in Germany during the past week," May 5, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Secy. Gen. Staff Decimal File, Box 13 [313863-864].
77 Memo from 1st Lt. Jack H. Stipe, HQ 7th Army, re: Amounts and Locations of Found Gold, June 9, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 432 .
78 HQ 12th Army Group to SHAEF, "Monthly Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives," Mar. 31, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 323 [319549-551].
79 AGWAR from Marshall to SHAEF, Apr. 17, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 47, Box 1 .
80 SHAEF to CG, 6th Army Group, Apr. 18, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 47, Box 1 .
81 Memo from Special Agent Friebolin to CIC Section "LL," 6th Army Group, "Mission to Lorrach, Germany, RE: Possible German Gold Cache," May 3, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 47, Box 1 [319449-452].
82 HQ 12th Army Group to SHAEF, "Monthly Report on Monuments, Fine Art and Archives," Mar. 10, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 323 [319543-544].
83 G-5 Sec., HQ, 6th Army Group to ACOS G-5, SHAEF, "Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives," May 19, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 335 [320197-198].
84 Letter to Commanding General, 7th Army, "Recently Received Information on Repositories in U.S. Zone," Aug. 15, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 decimal file 1945 - 1946, Box 37 .
85 Staff Study by OMGUS, "Transfer of Functions and Personnel dealing with Monuments, Fine Arts, Archives & Libraries from Property Division to Education and Cultural Relations Division," Sept. 10, 1948, NACP, RG 260, Entry AG 1948, Box 344, Arts and Museums .
86 Col. Bernstein to Brig. Gen. McSherry, "Report of Developments in Removal of Treasure from Kaiseroda Mine at Merkers, Germany," Apr. 18, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 424 [314007-022].
87 Brig. Gen. Frank McSherry to Commanding Gen., ETO, "Gold bullion, currency and other property discovered by 3rd Army near Merkers," Apr. 19, 1945, NACP, RG 338, Recs. of Secy., Box 13, 123.2 [314025-027].
88 "Shipment 1 Inventory" Apr. 8, 1945, NACP, RG 260, Fin. Div., Gold & Silver, Box 50 [312199-286].
89 Greg Bradsher, "Nazi Gold: The Merkers Mine Treasure," Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration 31, (1999): 9. Bradsher notes that the SS made seventy-six deliveries to the Reichsbank of property seized from concentration camp victims between August 26, 1942 and January 27, 1945. As Allied troops approached Berlin, SS leaders demanded that shipments to the Merkers mine include their loot as well.
90 Ibid., 2; "Register of Valuables in the Custody of the Foreign Exchange Depository, Frankfurt A/M Germany," Feb. 9, 1948, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 161 [300012-025].
91 Rpt. from FED, "History from V-E Day, 8 May 1945 to 30 June 1946," no date, NACP, RG 260, Recs. of the FED, Box 394, 900.10 .
92 Carolsue Holland & Thomas Rothbart, "The Merkers and Buchenwald Treasure Troves," After the Battle 93 (1996): 1 - 28.
93 Eisenhower to Secy. of War, May 6, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Secy. Gen. Staff File, Box 13, 123/2, [313868-871].
94 Telegram S-21742 from USFET Gen. Eisenhower to USGCC, Sept. 6, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal File, Box 13 .
95 Rpt. of Ops (After Action Rpt.) 12th Army Group, Vol. VII, G-5 Sec., 122, [circa July 1945], NACP, RG 331, Entry 54, Box 163, Civil Affairs and MG .
96 Rpt. by HQ 12th Army Group, Annex V, "Monthly Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives," May 17, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Dec. File 1942 - 1945, Box 1 .
97 SHAEF G-5 to listed Addressees, June 1945, "Field Reports Received During April 1945," Annex I, "Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives, Area of the First United States Army, Interim Report," Apr. 24, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal File 1942 - 1945, Box 1 [313949-963].
100 Roberts Commission Report, 128.
101 Rpt. by HQ 12th Army Group, "Civil Affairs and Military Government Summary No. 260," Feb. 21, 1945, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS Monthly Field Reports, Box 137 [335625-627].
102 Ziemke, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 1944 - 1946, 236.
103 SHAEF G-5 to SCAEF, "Report of gold, silver, etc., located in Germany during the past week," Apr. 29, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Secretary of General Staff Decimal File 1944 - 1945, Box 13 [213664-665].
104 MFA&A Semi-Monthly rpt. of the 9th Army, Apr. 16 - 30, 1945, NACP, RG338, USFET G-5, Decimal File 1942 - 1945, Box 1 .
105 12th Army Group to SHAEF, "Monthly Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives," July 10, 1945, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS MFA&A Reports, Box 369 [335630-631].
106 Lt. Jack Stipe, MFA&A Officer, 7th Army, Monthly Rpt., Apr. 10, 1945, NACP, RG338, USFET G-5, Decimal File 1942 - 1945, Box 1 .
107 Lt. Col. J.H. Bloss 12th Army Group, Monthly MFA&A Rpt., May 17, 1945, NACP, RG338, USFET G-5, Decimal File 1942 - 1945, Box 1 .
108 Allied Force HQ G-5, AFHQ Civil Affairs Rpt. (Austria) No. 2, Period 10 May to 21 May 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 34, Box 126 .
109 History of the R&R Br. (Austria), no date, NACP, RG 260, USFA General Records, Box 167 [106372-412].
110 SHAEF G-5 to listed addressees, "Third Edition of Repositories of Works of Art and Archives in Germany," Apr. 2, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 325 [319658-707].
111 SHAEF G-5 to listed addressees, "Addendum I to Third Edition of Repositories of Works of Art and Archives in Germany," Apr. 10, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 325 [319708-713].
112 SHAEF G-5 to listed addressees, "Addendum II to Third Edition of Repositories of Works of Art and Archives in Germany," April 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 325 .
113 SHAEF G-5 to listed addressees, "Addendum III to Third Edition of Repositories of Works of Art and Archives in Germany," May 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 325 [319728-734].
114 The First Year of the Occupation, Occupation Forces in Europe Series, 1945 - 1946, Vol. 1 (Frankfurt: Office of the Chief Hist. EUCOM, 1947), 53 .
115 Ibid., 85.
116 Ibid., 86.
117 Ziemke, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 1944 - 1946, 317 - 318.
118 Ibid., 269.
119 "History of the US Element, Allied Commission Austria," no date, 75, NACP, RG 260, USACA Recs., Files of the Dir. 1946 - 1951, Box 45 [212861-953].
120 Special Rpt. of the Mil. Governor Germany, "Property Control in the U.S.-Occupied Area of Germany, 1945 - 1949", July 1949, Hoover Lib., Stanford Univ., CA, (Territory Under U.S. Occupation, 1945--U.S. Zone) [106833-836].
121 MG-Germany, Supreme Commander's Area of Control, "Law No. 53: Foreign Exchange Control," no date, NACP, RG84, IARA/TGC, Entry 2113M, Box 5, File XG13 [106887-890].
122 Notice No.2 under MG Law No. 53, "Foreign Exchange Assets of Displaced Persons and Stateless Persons" [106891-892].
123 Annex XX (MFA&A) to Basic Preliminary Plan, Allied Control and Occupation of Germany (Allied Control Authority period), May 29, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 [319628-633].
124 SHAEF G-5 to listed addressees, "Fourth Edition of Repositories of Works of Art and Archives in Germany," May 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 325 [319562-609].
125 SHAEF G-5 to listed addressees, "Addendum I to Fourth Edition of Repositories of Works of Art and Archives in Germany," June 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 323 [319610-623].
126 Ziemke, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany, 1944 - 1946, 271.
127 Lt. James Rorimer, MFA&A to ACOS G-5, 7th Army, "Seventeenth Report (First for Germany), Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (Period: 15 April--31 May 1945)," June 3, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 335 .
128 Zink, American Military Government in Germany, 59.
129 MFA&A Adv. to ACOS, G-5, May 21, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 331, Policy and Procedure .
130 SHAEF G-5 to 12th Army Group G-5, "Unauthorized Moving of Works of Art," July 2, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 .
131 Ops. Office, MFA&A, USFET G-5 to A/Chief, MFA&A, RD&D Div., U.S. Group C.C., "Special Personnel for Evacuating Repositories," July 17, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 330 [319767-770].
132 MFA&A Office to Dir., OMG, Stadtkreis Frankfurt am Main, "Duties and Projected Operations, Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Branch, Detachment E-6, 2nd Mil. Govt. Branch," Jan. 23, 1946, NACP, RG 260, SHAEF G-5 MFA&A, Box 136 [335728-736].
133 Telegram WX-17918, AGWAR to SHAEF, "Re: Removal of Art Treasures from Areas now Occupied by Allied Troops," June 16, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal File 123/2, Box 13 . "[T]o the fullest extent practicable before withdrawing from areas now occupied you should seek to effect removal into United States and United Kingdom zones of occupation of art treasures believed to have been looted by Nazis from liberated countries within ETO and MTO as well as such treasures as MFA&A officers feel should be removed because of originating from US or UK zones."
134 HQ USFET to Commanding Gen., Eastern and Western Military Districts, "Inspection and Report of Art Repositories," Aug. 8, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal file, Box 13 [313617-618].
135 Maj. William G. Wiles to RMGO, Det. E-201, Co. F, 3rd Mil. Govt. Regt., "Monuments, Fines Arts & Archives Report for August, 1945," Aug. 29, 1945, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS Detachment Rpts., Box 370 [335507-510].
136 Monthly Rpt. of the MG, U.S. Zone, Reparations and Restitutions, Oct. 20, 1945, NACP, RG 239, Box 70 [319403-409].
137 OMG Bavaria, Status of Cultural Objects Rpt., July, 1946, NACP RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Status Cultural Objects, Box 135 [335562-575].
138 Lt. Robert Koch to Office of Military Government for Baden-Württemberg, "Monthly Consolidated Field Report, October 1945," Oct. 31, 1945, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS Consolidated Monthly Report, Box 136 [335747-758].
139 Memo from the Chairman, Property Disposition Board to Deputy Military Governor, OMGUS, "Report of Property Disposition Board," Mar. 26, 1946, NACP, RG 260, Entry 1, Box 81 .
140 Chief, Restitution Control Br., USFET to Dir. Economics Division, OMGUS, "Report on the Painting of the Dutch Painter Willem van der Velde called 'The Four-day Seabattle,'" Dec. 3, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal File 1943 - 1945 [313938-941].
141 MFA&A Adv., SHAEF G-5 to Chief, Internal Affairs, "Accommodation for Works of Art Uncovered in Germany," May 3, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 .
142 Memo from SHAEF, Adj. Gen., "Protection of Repositories of Works of Art and Archives in Germany," no date, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 [319737-738].
143 SHAEF G-5 to ACOS G-5, 12th Army Group, "German Repositories of Works of Art," Apr. 17, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 323 [319560-561].
144 SHAEF G-5, Military Government-Civil Affairs Weekly Field Report No. 47, May 5, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 34, Box 126, Decimal File 1945 .
145 SHAEF to CG, 12th Army Group, May 21, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Decimal File 123/2, Box 13 .
146 HQ U.S. Group CC, RD&R Div., MFA& A Br. to Dir., RD&R Div., "Organization Necessary for Movement of Works of Art," June 19, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 [319640-319643].
147 HQ 15th U.S. Army to CG, 12th Army Group, "Safeguard and Collection of Art Treasures," May 28, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 323 [319558-559].
148 Rpt., 3rd U.S. Army to Commanding General, 12th Army Group, "Monuments, Fines Arts and Archives Monthly Report for Period Ending 30 June 1945," July 7, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, SHAEF G-5, MFA&A, Box 334 [320158-163].
149 MFA&A Br., U.S. Group CC to Dir., RD&R Div., "Organization Necessary for Movement of Works of Art," June 19, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 [319640-645].
150 Lt. J. Hamilton Coulter to CG, USFET, "Semi-Monthly Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives for Period Ending 2 July 1945," July 24, 1945, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS Army Detachment Reports, Box 370 [335498-499].
151 Report "Art Objects in the US Zone," July 29, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USGCC HQ, ROUS Army Command, Box 37, File: Fine Art [313574-575].
152 Roberts Commission Report, 135.
153 Lt. Col. E. De Wald, MFA&A, USACA to CO, Regional Military Government Team--(Austria), "Removal of Art Objects," Aug. 11, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA-USFA, Reparations and Restitution, Box 1 [106015-016].
154 ACOS G-5 Internal Route Slip, "Evacuation of Documents," Sept. 14, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal File 1945 - 46, Box 37 .
155 Roberts Commission Report, 130.
156 HQ MG Landkreis-Stadtkreis Marburg to CG, 7th U.S. Army, "Status of Collecting Point Report," Nov. 3, 1945, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 234 [119116-117].
157 Liaison and Security Office, Stadtkreis-Landtkreis Marburg to OMG for Greater Hesse, "Status of Collecting Point Report," Aug. 5, 1946, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 234 [119135-119136].
158 Prop. Cont. Officer, Land Salzburg to Regional Group, "Initial General Survey of the Property Control situation in Land Salzburg," Aug. 6, 1945, NACP, RG 260, Prop. Cont. Br. Gen. Corresp. 1945 - 1950, Box 5 [110322-110324].
159 Prop. Cont. Officer, Land Salzburg to RD&R Div., Property Control Br., USACA, "Report of Properties under Control by Land Salzburg," Aug. 25, 1945, NACP, RG 260, Property Control Br. Gen. Corresp. 1945 - 1950, Box 5 [110320-110321].
160 Report of the U.S. Commissioner for Military Government in Austria, No. 1, Nov. 1945, 150, CMH.
161 Military Govt. Handbook, Chapter XVIII, MFA&A, no date, NACP, RG 260, File 18 (MFA) Archives Lib., Box 720 [110526-530].
162 9th U.S. Army G-5 Fin. Br., "Memorandum Regarding Five Bags from Holzminden Reichsbank, Germany," May 29, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 432 .
163 Chief, Currency Sec.--Germany, U.S. Br., June 9, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 432 .
164 Rpt., SHAEF G-4 Representative to ACOS G-4, "G-4 Functions in ETOUSA Operations Merkers-Herringen-Frankfurt Areas in Germany, 9 April to 22 April 1945," Apr. 26 1945, NACP, RG 260, Box 167 [313710-313714].
165 Bradsher, "Nazi Gold,"12.
166 Memo, Currency Section for Germany, SHAEF, "Application of Administrative Memo No. 49," May 19, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 394 .
167 Notes on Procedure of Inventory of Works of Art, no date, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 56 [109023-026].
168 Asst. Adj. Gen., USFET to Commanding Gen., Eastern Mil.District, "Restitution of Looted Works of Art," Aug. 23, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Adj. Gen. Decimal File 1945, Box 326 .
169 Asst. Adj. Gen., USFET to Commanding Gen., Western Mil. District, "Repair of Art Collecting Point Buildings," Sept. 25, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Adj. Gen. Decimal File 1945, Box 326 .
170 Acting Adj. Gen., USFET to Commanding Gen., Eastern and Western Military Districts, "Art Collecting Points," Aug. 24, 1945, NACP, RG 328, USFET Adj. Gen. Decimal File 1945, Box 326 [317855-856].
171 Rpt. from FED, "History from V-E Day, 8 May 1945 to 30 June 1946," no date, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 394, File 900.10 [310916-203]. U.S. troops discovered 319 boxes hidden near the camps containing currency, jewelry, coins, alarm clocks, toys, razors, scrap leather, and dental gold.
172 Rpt., "Shipment 21 (Items A.B.C.D)," no date, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 424, File 940.40 .
173 Lt. Col. H.D. Cragon, Chief, SHAEF Currency Sec., "Report on Section to Commanding Officer of European Civil Affairs Division," May 8, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED Records, Box 420.
174 Rpt. of Currency Sec. for Germany, U.S. Army Br., to Fin. Div., U.S. Group CC, re: "Report on Treasures Held at Frankfurt," June 27, 1945, NACP, RG 56, Entry 69A4707, Box 82 .
175 Rpt. from FED, "History from V.E. Day, 8 May 1945 to 30 June 1946" NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 394, File 900.10 .
176 NACP, RG 260, FED, Shipment Summaries, Box 470. [312199-286].
178 Rpt. from FED, "History from V.E. Day, 8 May 1945 to 30 June 1946," NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 394, File 900.10 .
179 Message from USFET signed Eisenhower to AGWAR, Sept. 30, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 397, File 910.13 .
180 Rpt. from FED, "History from V-E Day, 8 May 1945 to 30 June 1946" NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 394, File: 900.10 .
181 Memo from Col. William R. Watson, Chief Inspections Section to the Commanding Gen., USFET, "Report of Investigation," Nov. 10, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 395 [312891-900].
182 USFET signed McNarney to Secretary of War, Nov. 29, 1945, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 397 .
183 "Summary Inventory of Currency and Financial Assets stored in Reichsbank Frankfurt am Main," Apr. 20, 1945, NACP, RG 218, Entry 2, Box 72, File: Control of German Property and Assets 3-21-45 . It is important to note that these figures, although detailed down to the currency's denomination, were reached "without weighing or counting gold bars, coins, currency, etc."
184 MFA&A Col. Webb to DACOS G-5 SHAEF, "Storage of Works of Art at Frankfurt," Apr. 23, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 [319654-655].
185 MG Detachment E1D2 to HQ, Commandant, SHAEF Forward, "Repository for Works of Art," June 4, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 .
186 MFA&A Br., Capt. Rae, to Dir., RD&R Division, US Group CC, "Proposed Repository for Works of Art at Present Stored in the Reichsbank, Frankfurt a/M," June 27, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 [319646-647].
187 Nicholas, The Rape of Europa, 376 - 377.
188 Rpt. by Capt. E.P. Lesley, MFA&A Special Officer, Feb. 26, 1946, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 136 .
189 Rpt. by Capt. E.P. Lesley, MFA&A Special Officer, Feb. 17, 1946, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 136 .
190 Memo from Capt. Ralph E. Brant to OMG-Hesse, Feb. 14, 1946. NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 250 [100890-891].
191 Capt. Robert Wallach to Commanding Officer, Detachment F-13, "Re: Establishment of the OAD," Mar. 2, 1946, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS, Activity Rpts., Box 259, File: OAP Reports, March 1946 [100886-887]. A historical synopsis of the Offenbach Archival Depot can be found on the website of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum [http://www.ushmm.org/oad/main2.htm]. In a section entitled "Offenbach Archival Depot: Antithesis to Nazi Plunder" links are provided to explore the historical background, photos, and archival documents pertaining to the OAD procedures for the collection and restitution of assets under its control.
192 Memo from Lt. Col. G.H. Garde, AGD to Directors of OMG Bavaria, Hesse, Württemberg-Baden, "Re: Removal to Central Archival Depot of Archives, Books, other Library Materials and Jewish Religious Objects," Sept. 10, 1946, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS, Box 722, File: Restitution Germany, Feb. 1946--Aug. 1947 [101389-390].
193 From Edwin Rae, Chief MFA&A, Rest. Br. to OMG-Nuremberg, Oct. 18, 1946, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 252 .
194 OAD Monthly Report, July 31, 1946, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 259, OAD Reports--July 1946 [101401-411].
195 MFA&A document, Mar. 5, 1946, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS, Entry: MFA&A Sec. Chief, Box 720, File: MFA&A Library--OAD .
196 Cable CC-6925 from OMGUS Gen. L. Clay to AGWAR. June 15, 1946. NACP, RG 260, OMGUS, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 254, File: AJDC/OAD .
197 Memo from Capt. Ralph E. Brant to OMG-Hesse, Feb. 14, 1946. NACP, RG 260, OMGUS, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 250 [100890-891].
198 OAD Monthly Report, July 31, 1946, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 259, OAD Reports--July 1946 . The OAD also identified 1,225 items belonging to German Free Mason lodges.
200 Letter from William G. Daniels, Chief, OMGUS Prop. Div. to Mr. Hermann, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 76. .
201 The Hungarian Gold Train was one of many trains intercepted by U.S. Forces in spring 1945. Others contained the property of banks and museums that oftentimes included assets looted from Nazi-occupied nations and victims of the Holocaust.
202 Italics added. Memo, "Military Government--Austria, Property Register, 'Hungarian (Werfen) Train,'" Aug. 29, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 ; "Report on the 'Werfen Train'," Sept. 17, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 [119285-286].
203 Letter from the Central Bd. of Jews in Hungary to the State Dept., July 28, 1947, 3, NACP, RG 84, Entry 2692, Box 4 [103312-317].
204 Rpt. of Béla Zolnai, István Jeszenöy, István Horváth, & László Avar, Sept. 20, 1945, Hungarian National Archives, RG 29, L-2-r73/36-40-12 [122900-903].
205 Memo from 1st Lt. J. A. Mercer to HQ, 3rd Infantry Div., "Hungarian Train Bearing Civilians," May 16, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 ; "Report on the 'Werfen Train," Sept. 17, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 [119285-286].
206 Rpt. of László Avar & István Mingovits, Aug. 2, 1945, Hungarian National Archives, RG 29, L-2-r73/36-40-12 [122882-899].
207 Memo from Col. Harry L. Bennett, HQ, MG, to Commanding Officer., XV Corps Arty, Plans to Unload & Store Contents of "Hungarian Train" in the MG Warehouse, Salzburg, July 8, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 [119277-278].
209 Memo from Lt. Col. Homer K. Heller, Prop. Control Officer, to Commanding Officer., E2 K3, "Property Control Section Report, 19 July thru 23 July 1945," July 23, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 ; Memo from Col. Harry L. Bennett, HQ, MG, to Commanding Gen., II Corps, "Movement Hungarian Property from Werfen," July 17, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 .
210 "Military Government--Austria, Property Register, 'Hungarian (Werfen) Train,' " Aug. 29, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 .
211 Memo from Capt. John F. Back to G-2, USFA, "Inventory of 'Werfen Train,' " Sept. 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 [119283-284].
212 Memo from Capt. John F. Back to G-2, "Report on the 'Werfen Train,' " Sept. 17, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 [119285-286].
213 "Military Government--Austria, Property Register, 'Hungarian (Werfen) Train,' " Aug. 29, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 .
215 Memo from Lt. Col. Homer K. Heller, Property Control Officer, to Commanding Officer, "Inventory of furniture and furnishing," July 31, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 102, Box 77 [111585-587].
216 Memo from Maj. R.W. Cutler, Jr. to Lt. Col. Homer K. Heller, Aug. 28, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 102, Box 77 .
217 "Rugs removed from Military Government Warehouse Maxglan, Salzburg by order of Major General Harry J. Collins for use in his villa Maria Theresien Schlossl," no date, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 102, Box 77 .
218 "List of Material Loaned from Property Control Warehouse," no date, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 102, Box 77 [111609-610].
219 Memo from Lt. Col. Homer K. Heller, Prop. Control Officer, to Chief, Prop. Control Br., "Status of the Hungarian Train, referred to as the 'WERFEN TRAIN,' " Oct. 21, 1945, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 .
220 Memo from Maj. O.R. Agnew Jr., Prop. Control Officer, to Maj. Kontz, Chief, Prop. Control Br., "Property of Werfen-Train in Military Government Warehouse, Serial No. S 4.8007 Sa.," Mar. 8, 1946, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 102, Box 77 [111627-628].
221 Memo from Capt. Howard A. Mackenzie, Prop. Control Officer, to Maj. Cullus M. Mayes, Investigating Officer, "Orders & Actions taken by Prop. Control Sec., MG, re: household furnishings loaned," July 17, 1947, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 [119299-306].
231 Memo from Caffery, U.S. Embassy Paris, to Secy. of State, July 3, 1946, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 [117440-442].
232 Rpt. from James A. Barr, Acting Chief, RD&R Div., "Report of Incidents," July 15, 1947, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 21, Gold Found in Austria .
233 Memo from William W. Schwartzmann, Chief, Bus. Enterprise Subsec. to Prop. Control Officer, "Alleged Theft or Diversion of Werfen Train Property," July 15, 1947, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 [119297-298]; Memo from Capt. Howard A. Mackenzie, Prop. Control Officer, to Lt. Col. Gun, "Alleged theft or diversion of Werfen train property," July 17, 1947, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 113, Box 20, File S4.8007 .
234 Memo from Cpt. Howard A. Mackenzie, Prop. Control Officer, to Chief, Movable Prop. Dept., "Missing Property," Oct. 2, 1946, NACP, RG 260, USACA, Entry 102, Box 77 .
236 MFA&A, G-5 Internal Affairs Br., SHAEF to ACOS G-5 SHAEF, "Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives for Month of Feb 1945," March 1945, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 369 [106070-071].
237 Chief Internal Affairs Div. SHAEF G-5 to G-1 Div., "Pillage and Wanton Damage by Allied Troops," Mar. 22, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 55B, Box 324 [319739-741].
238 SHAEF Chief of Staff to Commanding Gen., Communications Zone, "Looting by Allied Troops," Mar. 28, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Secretary of General Staff Classified File, 1944 - 1945, Box 19 [313843-845].
239 Deputy Theater Commander, ETO to Gen. Eisenhower, Apr. 22, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Secretary of Gen. Staff Classified File, 1944 - 1945, Box 19 .
240 ACOS G-1 to COS, "Looting by U.S. Troops in Germany," May 5, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Secretary of General Staff Classified File, 1944 - 1945, Box 19 [313840-841].
241 Chief, Foreign Exchange Control and Blocking Sec. to Dir., Fin. Div., USGCC, "Treatment of Property of Displaced Persons," Dec. 25, 1944, NACP, RG 56, Entry 69A4707, Box 82, Legal Staff--Special Subjects [108588-591].
242 Sumner M. Crosby, Special Adv. to the American Commission for the Protection & Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas, "Interim Report, April 6--April 17, 1945," Apr. 18, 1945, NACP, RG 239, Entry 13, Box 39 [111128-130].
243 Adj. Gen., ETOUSA to listed addressees, "Theft of Government Property and Looting," May 23, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET Secretary of General Staff Classified File, 1944 - 1945, Box 19 [313838-839].
244 Secy. of the Army to CINCFE, [circa January 1948], NACP, RG 84, Entry 2056, Box 24, File 822-1948 [119565-566].
245 SHAEF G-5, "MG--Civil Affairs Weekly Field Report No. 55," June 30, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 18A, Box 161 [314061-067].
246 OMGUS Public Safety to listed addressees, May 15, 1946, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 History file, Box 1 .
247 Memo from Lt. Gen. Lucius Clay to all Personnel, USGCC, "Re: Looting and Removal of Private Property," Sept. 9, 1945, NACP, RG 260, Entry: Adjutant General Decimal Files, Box 43, File: 250.1 .
249 Statement (translated) of the Dir. of the State Collection of Art in Weimar, "Lootings from the Property of the State Collections of Art in Weimar," Oct. 12, 1945, NACP, RG 260, Econ. Div., Box 46 [106046-051].
250 MG Detachment E-206 to RMGO, Det. E-201, Co. F, 3rd MG Regiment, Aug. 13, 1945, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 410 [110832-835].
251 SHAEF, G-5 Division, "Military Government-Civil Affairs Weekly Field Report No. 46," Apr. 28, 1945, NACP, RG 331, Entry 34, Box 126, G-4 Decimal File 1945 [316922-925].
252 Lt. Col. G. H. Garde to Dir., CAD, "Art Looting by American Personnel," Mar. 1, 1947, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS File 1946, Box 129 [119450-462].
253 Report by MFA&A Officer for Northern Bavaria, [circa December 1948], "Re: Final Report on MFA/A Activities in Northern Bavaria, April 1945--December 1948," NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 375 [119545-554].
254 OMG of Greater Hessen to Commanding Gen., USFET, Dec. 7, 1945, "Security Guard for Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden," NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal file 1945 - 1946, Box 37 [313579-580].
255 Econ. Division, OMG (U.S. Zone) memo, Dec. 29, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal file 1945 - 1946, Box 37 [313577-578].
256 Statement of Francis Bilodeau, Dir. of Weisbaden Central Collecting Point, Feb. 18, 1947, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 56 [119527-528].
257 Wiesbaden Collecting Point to Director, OMG for Greater Hesse, "Status of Collecting Point Report," Feb. 4, 1947, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 128 [111042a-043].
258 Office Memorandum, HQ 3rd United States Army, G-5 Section, "Permanent Guard for the Central Collecting Point Munich," Sept. 13, 1945, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 268 [117739-117740].
259 Chief, MFA&A Sec., Rest. Br. to OMG (U.S. Zone), Econ. Div., Rest. Control Br., "Military Guards at Repositories and Collecting Points for Works of Art in Bavaria," Feb. 6, 1946, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 268 [117741-117742].
260 Dir., Munich Central Collecting Point to Criminal Investigations Department, Sept. 19, 1946, NACP, RG 260, OMGUS Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 268 [177747-748].
261 List of items stolen from Central Collecting Point, Munich, [circa. 1948], NACP, RG 260, OMGUS Ardelia Hall Collection, Recs. of the Prop. Div., Box 485 [117601-605].
262 Memo from Stefan P. Munsing, Chief, MFA&A Sec., Rest. Br. of MG for Bavaria, to Otto F. Yanisch, Chief, Rest. Br., OMG for Bavaria, "Visit of Yugoslav Mission at the Munich Central Collecting Point," Dec. 22, 1948, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. .
263 Biographic sketch of Wiltrud Mersmann, no date, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. ; Anonymous note, "Yugoslav Situation," no date, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. .
264 Letter from Mate A. Topic, Yugoslav Representative for Rest. Fine Arts & Monuments, to Stefan P. Munsing, Chief, MFA&A Sec., Rest. Br. of MG for Bavaria, Mar. 31, 1949, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. [112201-112210].
265 Letter from M. H. McCord, Chief, R&R Liaison Officer., R&R Br., Prop. Div., OMGUS to Otto Yanisch, Officer of MG for Bavaria, Rest. Br., Apr. 20, 1949, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. [112211-212].
266 Memo from Allied Control Authority, RD&R Directorate, "Yugoslavian Receipt No. 4, Receipt for Cultural Objects," June 2, 1949, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. [112221-229]; Allied Control Authority, RD&R Directorate, "Yugoslavian Receipt No. 5, Receipt for Cultural Objects," June 2, 1949, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. [112230-232]; Allied Control Authority, RD&R Directorate, "6th Yugoslavian Shipment, Receipt for Cultural Objects," June 10, 1949, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. [112233-235]; Allied Control Authority, RD&R Directorate, "7th Yugoslavian Shipment, Receipt for Cultural Objects," June 10, 1949, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. [112236-241].
268 Letter from Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point, "Cultural Restitution to Yugoslavia," Jan. 5, 1951, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316 .
269 Letter from Conrad Snow to Mr. Raymond, "Mistaken Restitution of Cultural Objects to Mr. Mate Topic for the Yugoslav Government," Feb. 27, 1956, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316 [112319-323].
270 Letter from Frank J. Miller, Chief, Prop. Div., to Chief, Yugoslav Mil. Mission, Berlin, June 1, 1950, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. .
271 Letter from William G. Daniels, Chief, Prop. Div., Office of Econ. Affairs, HICOG, to State Dept., June 13, 1950, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. .
273 Telegram from State Dept. to U.S. Embassies, Rome, Belgrade, Bonn, no date, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. .
274 State Dept. to the Am. Embassy, Belgrade, "Erroneous restitution to Yugoslavia," Mar. 15, 1954, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. [112297-298]; Memo from Edwin M. J. Kretzmann, First Secy. of Embassy, Am. Embassy, Belgrade, to State Dept., May 6, 1954, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. ; Am. Legation, Tangier, to the Secy. of State, Mar. 27, 1956, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316 ; Deputy Dir., CIA, to Secy. of State, "Mate A. Topic, with aliases," Dec. 12, 1955, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. [112305-308]; Am. Legation, Tangier, Morocco, to the State Dept., "Activities of Topic Matutin, Ante Mimara, Yugoslav National," Dec. 19, 1955, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. [112309-312]; U.S. State Dept. to Am. Embassies in Bonn & Belgrade, & the Am. Legation, Tangier, Morocco, Mar. 5, 1956, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. ; Am. Embassy, Belgrade, to the U.S. State Dept., Mar. 15, 1956, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. ; Am. Legation, Tangier, Morocco, to the Secy. of State, Mar. 18, 1956, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. ; U.S. State Dept. to the Am. Legation, Tangier, Morocco, & the Am. Embassies in Belgrade & Bonn, Mar. 21, 1956, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. .
275 U.S. State Dept., Memo of Telephone Conversation, Participants: Wehmeyer & Ardelia Hall, "Yugoslav Case," Sept. 12, 1956, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. .
276 Donald A. Wehmeyer to Ardelia Hall, "Mistaken Restitution of Cultural Objects to Matutin (Mate) Topic," Dec. 5, 1956, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 316, Prop. Div. .
277 USFET to CG, Western Military District, "Return of Looted Works of Art to Owner-Nations," Sept. 15, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal File 123/2, Box 13 [313878-879].
278 USGCC to ACOS G-5, USFET, "Restitution Policy and Procedure," Sept. 24, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Situation Reports, Box 1 .
279 ACOS G-5 Memo, "re: Receipt and Agreement for Delivery of Cultural Objects," Sept. 29, 1945, NACP, RG 338, USFET G-5 Decimal File 1945 - 1946, Box 37 [313929-932].
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