Home / Contents


Chapter I

The History of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States and Its Report


Creation of the Presidential Commission and Its Purpose

After the United States took the lead in prompting other countries to investigate their handling of assets belonging to Holocaust victims, the President and the U.S. Congress recognized the need to examine the American record during and after World War II. In 1998, mindful of the public interest in this unfinished chapter of the Holocaust, the U.S. Congress established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States. The vote was not only bipartisan but unanimous. P.L. 105 - 186 directed the Commission to "conduct a thorough study and develop a historical record of the collection and disposition of the assets" taken from victims of the Holocaust by Nazi Germany or by the governments it controlled, "if such assets came into the possession or control of the Federal Government" at any time after January 30, 1933.

The mandate required study of assets such as gold, non-gold financial assets, and art and other cultural property and instructed the Commission to review work done by others about assets that passed into non-Federal hands. In addition, the Commission was charged to prepare for the President legislative and administrative policy recommendations. Plunder and Restitution: The U.S. and Holocaust Victims' Assets, comprised of the Findings and Recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States and Staff Report, fulfills that responsibility.

Twenty-four countries--from Argentina to Sweden, from Lithuania to Portugal--have already created formal government-sponsored commissions to examine their records, and 22 other nations have less formal mechanisms with the same objective. The impetus came from the recognition that with the facts of the Nazi crimes against humanity demonstrated and the imperatives of postwar reconstruction and the Cold War off the agenda, the time had come to find out what happened to the assets of Holocaust victims and to look at this facet of the history of World War II through the prism of their material dispossession.

The Commission determined that in the wartime era at least 70 different Federal departments, agencies, bureaus, and working groups had some responsibility for the development and implementation of U.S. policies regarding Holocaust-era assets. These ranged from the Departments of War, Justice, and Treasury, including the Bureau of Customs, to the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Branch of the U.S. Military, the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and many other now obscure wartime working groups in the White House.


Scope of the Report

The Commission, following extensive consultation with the authors of the legislation that created it, along with others in the Congress and the Executive Branch, defined the scope of its historical report and developed key questions: (1) how assets acquired by the Nazis from Holocaust victims throughout Europe came into the control of agencies of the U.S. government; (2) how U.S. agencies came to control victims' assets through measures designed to wage economic warfare; (3) how these agencies handled victims' assets while they remained under U.S. control; (4) how the U.S. government disposed of or restituted the assets; (5) how well the structure controlling the flow of assets actually worked; (6) how restitution policy evolved in its sensitivity to the interests of individual victims; (7) what the role of the U.S. government was in establishing Jewish successor organizations; and, (8) what the role of the successor organizations was in the restitution of victim assets.

In pursuing these lines of inquiry, the report identifies several themes:

(1) During the war, issues the Allied governments considered more important--in particular the imperative to do the maximum economically and politically to win the war--continually overshadowed concern with restitution. Answers to questions of how to collect, inventory, and control valuables were left unresolved when competing for the attention of military officers. After the war, victims' interests were once again not the priority, as the agenda was dominated by political issues, such as feeding a starving Europe and rebuilding the German and other European economies. Finally, the Cold War affected the readiness of the U.S. authorities to make victims' assets a priority.

(2) The U.S. government's first impulse was strategic in nature: to prevent the use of property by the enemy. Though the onset of the war led to an aggressive effort to prevent assets from being used by the Nazis to fuel their war effort and to exploit certain foreign-owned assets for the benefit of the United States, even here the control exerted was meant to fight enemies, rather than to put friends at a disadvantage. Victims' assets did come into the possession or control of the United States and mechanisms were put in place both during and after the war to address the special problems they presented. These efforts, however, worked imperfectly.

(3) U.S. policies regarding the ownership of the property over which it exercised control evolved. While "Holocaust victim" did not exist as a legal category, during the war the U.S. government devised numerous regulatory and legal distinctions that affected the access to assets by those defined as "enemies," "foreign nationals," "refugees," and the like. Some of these distinctions were to the benefit of those we would call victims today. The evolution in American thinking led to explicit legal and policy recognition in 1945 and 1946 that "persecutees" deserved special status as well as special measures to recover their assets.

U.S. recognition of the special category of "victim of Nazi persecution" or "persecutee" developed gradually. Government officials did not organize, collect, or sort assets during the war or in its immediate aftermath by what belonged to a victim of Nazi persecution and what did not. While the terminology of the time referred to "persecutees," or those who had lost property under duress, for purposes of the Commission's work victim is defined as an individual who was deprived of his or her civil or political rights on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation.


Estimate of Assets in U.S. Possession or Control

The Holocaust was an immeasurable human tragedy and a profound moral failure. It was also the greatest mass theft in history.

Much of the loot collected by the Nazis came into the possession and control of the U.S. government which took control of financial assets in the United States, as well as gold, art and cultural property, and non-gold financial assets in Europe. Within the United States, such control occurred when assets owned by foreign nationals were blocked or seized. That is, assets were either frozen by the Treasury Department, with title left in the hands of the original owners, or seized with title taken by the Treasury or Justice Departments. In Europe, U.S. forces took physical control over most of the assets they found.

A precise accounting of the number and value of assets that came into the possession or control of the U.S. government is impossible. Because of the chaos that characterized the final military campaigns and their immediate aftermath, officials did not always inventory assets in ways that facilitated valuation. When U.S. forces inventoried looted securities, they sometimes listed them by stack height without noting the identity or value of the individual stock certificates. Other inventories identified the number of boxes, crates, or lots--without describing or appraising their contents. U.S. forces were ill-equipped to assess or determine the value of cultural property that they encountered.

The United States did not sort assets according to whether their owner was a victim of Nazi persecution. The Nazis left little evidence of that which they stole from Roma, Sinti, homosexual, disabled, and other victims. This further confounds attempts to quantify the total of the assets ultimately found by the United States as well as the portion of those assets that belonged to these persecuted groups.

The chart below shows the government-controlled assets and their value as estimated in contemporaneous reports by the authorities responsible for their control. It is important to emphasize that victims' assets represent only a small percentage of the totals.1

Table 1: Estimated Value of Assets in the Possession or Control of the U.S. 
Asset Type

Total Estimated Value

 Non-gold Financial Assets, in the United States (1941)

$8,500,000,000 2

Gold and Non-gold Financial Assets, in Europe (1950) $343,800,000 3
Art and Cultural Property, in Europe (1948) $5,000,000,000 4

Non-gold Financial Assets in the United States

Foreign-owned financial assets--including cash, bank accounts, securities, and direct investments--that came into U.S. control in the United States were either blocked or vested.

A major problem in estimating their value is that certain types of assets assumed to be foreign-controlled--for example, the contents of safe deposit boxes, copyrights, and patents--were never given dollar values by either the Foreign Funds Control or the Alien Property Custodian. Others were assigned only a nominal value. Of the assets it did value, including businesses and real property, the Alien Property Custodian (APC) vested a total of $241 million. Since the APC also vested large numbers of the nonvalued assets, the total value of assets under the control of APC had to exceed $241 million.

Financial Assets Blocked in the United States

Overall, the 565,000 reports submitted to the Treasury Department for the 1941 Census of foreign-owned assets in the United States show the total value of U.S. assets owned by foreign persons or entities in 1941 to have been $12.7 billion.5 These reports further show that about two-thirds of this total, $8.5 billion, belonged to 84,000 persons in European countries.6 The Census data was to include some 30 specified types of property, and the property's value was to be listed in June 1940 and June 1941 dollars. Even assets with values difficult to assess in dollar terms, such as patents or interests in partnerships, had to be reported, as did the contents of safe deposit boxes. However, because the forms filled out by the respondents have since been destroyed, the Commission staff had to rely on much less revealing summary data included in the annual reports compiled by the Treasury Department.

The unblocking of these assets occurred between 1948 and 1962. The majority of them were released outright, while others remained in U.S. control and were vested. In the postwar era, the Foreign Funds Control (FFC) in the Treasury Department wanted to remove restrictions on frozen assets with the least possible delay consistent with the original purpose of preventing their use by the enemy. European governments were given the responsibility to certify that the assets controlled by their nationals were free of enemy taint. By 1949, when the responsibility for the blocked accounts moved from the Department of the Treasury to the Justice Department, about $1 billion remained blocked.7

About $15 million in blocked assets was unblocked through two General Licenses issued in June 1953. On June 1, 1953, blocked accounts not exceeding $100 in value were unblocked by General License No. 102, and on June 27, 1953, General License No. 101 removed the remaining controls on blocked property in the United States held by governments or nationals of the "Marshall Plan countries...Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Japan and Western Germany."8

After the releases permitted by these General Licenses, the only remaining blocked property belonged to individual citizens or governments of countries under Communist domination. In 1983, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control found that some of these sums remained in the State Abandoned Property Offices of five states: 400 accounts amounting to $900,000 remained from Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and the Baltic states.9

Financial Assets Vested in the United States

Executive Order 9567 of June 8, 1945, provided that the liquid assets of Germany and Japan could be seized. Between 1945 and 1953, cash, bank accounts, securities, estates and trusts, life insurance policies and contracts, and other liquid assets were withdrawn from their blocked status under Treasury Department regulation and seized by the APC and its successor organization, the Office of Alien Property (OAP) in the Justice Department. With seizure, title to the properties passed from private or foreign government owners to the United States Government.

Data on the seizure of assets in the United States is found in the reports of the OAP. The data below include the values for seized non-business property through June 1953.

Table 2: Office of Alien Property--U.S. Justice Department
Total of Seized Non-business Assets as of June 30, 1953 Total of Seized Non-business German Assets as of June 30, 1953
Cash and Bank Accounts


Other (Cash and Bank Accounts, Securities, and Insurance Policies)




Insurance Policies


Other $41,136,000
Estates and Trusts


Estates and Trusts


Real Property


Real Property


Total Seized [non-business assets]

 $219,965,000 10

Total Seized [non-business German assets]

 $187,709,000 11

The disposition of seized property included returning the property, returning the proceeds from the sale of the property, or paying compensation for it when it was determined that such "return should be made or such compensation should be paid." Seizure, however, also meant that property could be "administered, liquidated, sold or otherwise dealt with in the interest of and for the benefit of the United States," which permitted a determination that nothing would be returned.12

By 1947, the OAP began returning seized property of all kinds--including cash, patents, interests in estates and trusts, copyrights, securities, and real property--to claimant individuals and businesses. By 1958, approximately 3,700 return orders had been issued to divest assets. These returns can be compared to the over 5,000 vesting orders issued during the war and the 14,000 or more issued thereafter to reveal that only about one in five assets seized was returned even by 1958.13 Of this group, only about 20 percent represented assets seized during the war, as indicated by the dates of the related vesting order numbers.

The Office of Alien Property made the following statement about the effect of postwar vesting on victims' assets: "After the...amendment to the Trading with the Enemy Act in 1946 authorizing the return of vested assets to persecutees of the Nazi regime despite their technical enemy status, this Office took great pains to avoid vesting the property of such persons."14

The postwar vesting by the APC, and its successor OAP, explicitly excluded victims' assets, but the Commission staff believes that victims' assets are likely to have been caught up in the pool of assets taken by the 5,000-odd vesting orders from 1942 to 1945. The staff estimates the value of released vested victims' property at $17 million.15 This figure includes: $15 million16 estimated to have been released to owners, and $1.5 million 17 that was never claimed and was retained by the APC and transferred to the War Claims Fund. The Commission staff believes that it is likely that this $1.5 million belonged to victims of the Holocaust who could not submit claims for it. Finally, $500,00018 was turned over by legislation to the Jewish Reconstruction Successor Organization in 1962. By 1954, the War Claims Commission had received a total of $75 million from the disposition of seized German and Japanese assets.

Gold and Non-gold Financial Assets in Europe

The U.S. government came into contact with victims' non-gold financial assets in Europe as well as in the United States. American troops removed caches of gold and non-gold financial assets from Germany and Austria and forwarded them to the Foreign Exchange Depository (FED) in Frankfurt, Germany. U.S. forces sent 121 shipments of monetary gold, non-monetary gold, and non-gold financial assets to the FED between April 1945 and December 1950, when the FED was closed.19 In addition, one shipment of non-gold financial assets was released directly from the Salzburg Military Government Warehouse to the International Refugee Organization (IRO).

The FED closing report provides the best evidence for estimating the amount and value of gold and non-gold financial assets that passed through the direct control of the U.S. government:

Table 3:
Gold and Non-gold Financial Assets Controlled by the United States in Europe



Total Value Controlled (including Gold)



Total Restituted to Countries



Total Released to IRO



Total Restituted to Individuals



Total FED Incoming Shipments



Direct Restitution (with Silver)



Sent to the TGC from FED



Of this, Prussian Mint Bars



Gold was the most valuable and liquid of the assets encountered by U.S. troops in the spring of 1945. The price of gold was stable at $35 per ounce in otherwise turbulent times. Among the 121 shipments of assets received at the FED, a significant number were known to have included assets of Holocaust victims. In the first year of FED operations, 22 of 77 shipments contained items clearly identifiable as loot taken from victims by Hitler's SS.21

Despite the detailed inventories of the FED and the precise estimates of incoming and outgoing shipments at Frankfurt, questions remain about the extent of victims' gold included in the gold that came under U.S. control. A Finance Division officer described the difficulties inherent in any attempt to quantify victims' gold:

No attempt has been made as yet to evaluate the SS loot but from a cursory inspection of the contents of a few containers, it is apparent that the total value is a very large figure....Much of the gold bullion cannot be traced, it having been deliberately melted and recast into new bars by its captors....The questions of restitution and reparations are inextricably conjoined in that all claims for reparations must be reduced by the extent of restitution effected. This necessitates accurate accounting and evaluating of assets which are likely to be the subject of restitutions.22

In 1998, following the study on Nazi-looted gold and its restitution coordinated by then Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stuart E. Eizenstat, the Tripartite Gold Commission (TGC) liquidated its accounts (amounting to 5.5 tons in the fall of 1996) and contributed their value to a fund to compensate Holocaust victims.23 These contributions are supposed to reflect the presence of looted gold in the gold that was shipped to the TGC. The United States pledged an additional $25 million to this fund.24

Art and Cultural Property

The restitution records of the Office of Military Government for Germany, United States (OMGUS) and United States Forces Austria (USFA) officials permit the following estimates of the number and value of art and cultural property controlled by U.S. government agencies in Europe.

 Table 4: Estimated Restitution of Works of Art and Cultural Objects by the United States, 1945--1948

 Estimated Number of Objects

 Estimated Value of Objects

Restitution of Works of Art from OMGUS CCPs to German Owners



External Restitution of Art from OMGUS CCPs



Total Works of Art Restituted from OMGUS 25



Restitution of Books from OMGUS CCPs to German Owners



External Restitution of Books from OMGUS CCPs



 Total Books Restituted from OMGUS 26



 Restitution of Works of Art from USFA to Austria 27

 No numbers available


 External Restitution of Works of Art from USFA

 No numbers available


 Total Restitutions from USFA

 No numbers available


 Total Objects Returned (Art Objects and Books) from OMGUS and USFA 28

 6,280,000 plus unknown number from Austria


The OMGUS art experts gathered this information through 1948 and USFA restitution officials collected it through 1949. OMGUS reported in 1948 that U.S. forces discovered 10.7 million objects with an estimated worth of $5 billion. The same report, however, states that OMGUS restituted $2.1 billion. There is no historical evidence of the methodology used to arrive at either figure, or that the methodology used to arrive at both figures was the same. Of the assets under the control of OMGUS, individual objects had an average value based on category of asset (art object or book) and type of restitution (external or internal) of between $27.27 and $1,041.67. None of the information provided contributes to an evaluation of how many of these assets came from victims.

The Commission staff estimates--based on later restitution records of the American-run central collecting points--that in addition to the restitution figures cited above, between 1948 and 1952, 100,000 art objects were restituted from OMGUS to German owners; 60,000 art objects were externally restituted from OMGUS; 700,000 books were restituted from OMGUS to German owners; and 426,000 books were externally restituted from OMGUS. Including these figures would increase the estimated value of the assets restituted. Using the average values for assets (by category and type of restitution), the values would be increased by $46.9 million for artworks restituted from OMGUS to German owners; $62.5 million for artworks externally restituted from OMGUS; $19.1 million for books restituted to German owners; and $14.2 million for books externally restituted from OMGUS. In sum, this estimate increases the overall total number of objects restituted from 6.3 million objects worth $2.1 billion to 7.5 million objects worth $2.2 billion.

Organization of the Report

This report is organized to answer the questions that Congress posed in the Commission's governing legislation:

* Chapter II, From Nazi Expropriation to U.S. Control, sketches the historical context of the 1930s and 1940s, including the Nazi regime's persecution and extermination of vast numbers of persons, the expropriation of their possessions, the development of U.S. policy on the battlefield as the Army discovered caches of looted property, and the competing concerns of the U.S. military as it attempted to maintain law and order and disarm and demilitarize enemy forces while securing and organizing looted assets in preparation for restitution.

* Chapter III, Assets in the United States, describes how the U.S. government sought to prevent foreign-owned and foreign-controlled economic and financial assets in the United States from being used by the Nazis to finance their war effort. The United States adopted policies designed to preserve and protect those assets until the war's end, when they were released. Within this framework, the United States moved as early as 1940 to establish effective economic and financial control mechanisms. This chapter focuses on the specific policy areas and tools used to control financial assets already in the United States and those flowing into and out of the country. The pertinent government agencies cast a wide net in their efforts to control these assets and transactions; the assets of the victims of Nazi persecution were, to a certain extent, also caught in this net.

* Chapter IV, Assets in Europe, describes the activities of American troops as they liberated large areas of the Third Reich during the final days of World War II in Europe. U.S. troops encountered large quantities of art, gold, and other valuables--looted and otherwise--left behind by the defeated Nazi regime. U.S. forces discovered these assets in salt mines and farmers' fields, as well as in more prosaic locations like banks. Unprepared for the volume, as well as the range and quality of this property, the United States Army had to develop mechanisms to control, inventory, and manage these assets until American officials determined how the assets should be dealt with.

* Chapter V, Restitution of Victims' Assets, examines American efforts to restitute property in Europe and the United States. The restitution program began in Germany in the summer of 1945 and became a complex operation, involving numerous intra- and intergovernmental policy discussions, the crafting of legislation to govern restitution by the Military Government, and the creation of special courts to handle the restitution of Aryanized real property. The United States also encouraged the Austrian government to restitute looted property. Within the United States, the end of the war permitted the unblocking and defrosting of the assets that had been held by the government since 1940. While the government was aware of the special needs of victims, and enacted legislation to expedite the return of frozen property, the system worked only imperfectly. The bureaucracy in the Office of Alien Property worked very slowly and deliberately and discouraged claimants who would have benefited from a more rapid and compassionate response. On average, the OAP took over three years to resolve victims' claims. It is also clear that the officials heading the War Claims Fund argued forcefully against the use of vested assets to fund the settlement that Congress proposed to reach with the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization (JRSO), until the amount of money involved was minimal. Although much of the documentary evidence pertaining to restitution does not distinguish between victims' and non-victims' assets, wherever possible the focus in this chapter remains on the policies and procedures implemented specifically for victims, their heirs, or the organizations established to receive heirless property.

* Chapter VI, Heirless Assets and the Role of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc. (JCR), describes the activities of the JCR, which was responsible for the distribution of Jewish books and other cultural property to Jewish communities and non-Jewish libraries in the United States.

* Chapter VII, Conclusion, identifies the most significant themes of the report and outlines issues for further study that, for reasons of time and cost, the Commission was unable to examine as completely as it would have liked.

Endnotes for Chapter 1

1 For purposes of this report, "Holocaust-era assets" means assets that were in existence between 1933 and 1945, whether or not they belonged to victims. "Victims' assets" is a more limited category comprised of Holocaust-era assets that belonged to victims.

2 A Treasury Dept. census of foreign-owned assets in the United States as of June 14, 1941 indicated that $8.5 billion was blocked, including $8 billion in foreign-owned assets, and $500 million in assets held by foreign nationals resident in the United States. $4 billion in gold, cash, and bank accounts; $2 billion in securities; and $2 billion in direct investment were blocked as foreign-owned assets. Data taken from U.S. Treasury Department, Census of Foreign-Owned Assets in the United States (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1945), VII. Data concerning the assets of foreign nationals resident in the U.S. and for the value of gold, cash, and bank accounts is from the U.S. Treasury Department, Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of theFinances (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1942), 159. These figures are reported in 1941 dollars.

3 The exact total in the document is given as $343,823,000. This total includes shipments from the U.S. Zone of Austria and is given in 1950 dollars. Office of Econ. Affairs, Fin. Div., "Foreign Exchange Depository, Status as at C/B, December 15, 1950," NACP, RG 260, Box 400, FED, Disposal Accounts [219600]. The numbers that appear in brackets throughout this report refer to documents compiled and numbered by the Commission in the course of its research.

4 OMGUS, Prop. Div., "Staff Study on Transfer of Functions and Personnel dealing with MFA&A and Libraries from Property Division to Education and Cultural Relations Division," Sept. 10, 1948, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 344 [118985 - 9008]. This report values the objects discovered in repositories (which it numbers at 10.7 million) but does not provide a methodology for the valuation nor does it specify whether it includes objects in Germany or Austria, or both. The figure is reported in 1948 dollars.

5 Census of Foreign-Owned Assets, 1945, 14 - 15.

6 Census of Foreign-Owned Assets, 1945, 14; and Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1942, 159.

7 Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1949, 99; Memo from Robert J. Schwartz, Treas. Dept. to Donald Sham, OAP, Justice Dept., Feb. 2, 1949, NACP, RG 131, Entry 66 - A - 816, Box 53, File TFR 600. Figure for estimated total blocked as of June 1, 1948 from all reports submitted through Jan. 14, 1949 is given as $981 million.

8 U.S. Justice Dept., Annual Report of the Attorney General of the United States, 1953, 65 [333621 - 634].

9 Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Treas. Dept., Blocked Foreign Assets in the United States: Summary Report of 1983 - 84 Census of Blocked Property, May 1985, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26.

10 OAP Annual Report, 1953, Table 3, 14. Other data are calculated from the table.

11 OAP Annual Report, 1953, Table 3, 14, Table 6, 18. Other data are calculated from this table.

12 Specimen copies of vesting orders from 1942 and 1943 can be found in Otto Sommerich, "Recent Innovations in Legal and Regulatory Concepts as to the Alien and his Property," American Journal of International Law 37 (1942), 67, and in Martin Domke, Trading with the Enemy in World War II (New York: Central Book Co., 1943), 467 - 68.

13 APC Annual Report 1945, 9 [322954 - 3090]; OAP Annual Report 1958, 82 [324619 - 718]; OAP Annual Report 1953, 147 [324089].

14 Letter from Paul Myron, Dept. Dir., OAP to Congressman Arthur G. Klein, Aug. 10, 1956, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), World Jewish Congress (WJC) Papers, Box C294 [116923 - 925].

15 Ibid. The Commission staff calculated this figure by taking 22 percent of the total of 11,000 JRSO claims for heirless property vested by the APC between 1942 and 1946 plus the few OAP orders vesting persecutee property between 1946 and 1953 (2,420 claims) and multiplying by the average value of the JRSO claims ($7,240) for a total of $17,520,800. For derivation of 22 percent see "Assets Under U.S. Government Control in the United States: Policy and Practice, Annex I-- OAP Claims Survey: Results and Analysis," August 7, 2000, 2 - 3, Washington National Records Center (WNRC), Suitland, MD, RG 131 -- Acc. 65F1063, FFC, Vesting Orders Number 1 - 19, 312 issued between March 1942 - April 1953. Twenty-two percent was the same percentage found by the OAP in their investigation of 808 JRSO claims filed regarding owners originating in Germany.

16 Calculated by multiplying the average value of persecutee claims ($7,420) by the number of persecutee claims (1,293) attached to the vested property in the 754 vesting orders (out of 11,000 filed) that the JRSO judged to be relevant to pursue for heirless assets ($7,420 x 1,293 = $15.5 million).

17 Derived by subtracting the estimated number of victims' assets released to owners and the $500,000 given the JRSO ($15.5 million + $.5 million = $16 million) from the estimated total of victims' assets ($17.5 million) = $1.5 million. The total of $1.5 million that was transferred to the War Claims Fund can be calculated from a different perspective. Once again applying the random sample results of 22 percent to the 1,293 relevant JRSO claims, 284 JRSO eligible claims for heirless property are derived. Multiplying the 284 claims by the average amount of one claim derived from the random sample study, $7,420, one gets $2,056,160 (284 x $7,240 = $2,056,160). This total is virtually the same figure that the JRSO arrived at in a very different investigation of the OAP vesting orders.

18 Lump sum settlement for heirless property vested by the APC (1942 - 1946) agreed to between the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization (JRSO) and the OAP, Justice Dept. in P.L. 87 - 846, Oct. 22, 1962, 76 Stat. 1114 - 1115.

19 "Register of Valuables in the Custody of the Foreign Exchange Depository," NACP, RG 260, Fin. Div., Box 469 [114094 - 109].

20 Office of Econ. Affairs, Fin. Div., "Foreign Exchange Depository, Status as at C/B, December 15, 1950," Disposal Accounts, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 400 [219600]. The total includes shipments from the U.S. Zone of Austria.

21 "Data re: S.S. Loot," NACP, RG 260, Fin. Div., Box 50, Gold and Silver (Hungarian Restitution) [305154 - 156].

22 Memo from Capt. Paul S. McCarroll to Exec. Officer, Fin. Div., OMGUS, USFET, "Foreign Exchange Depository," Jan. 24, 1946, NACP, RG 260, FED, Box 399, History of FED [227403 - 406].

23 Ambassador Louis Amigues, "The Closing of the Tripartite Gold Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold," Proceedings of the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1998), 64 - 65.

24 Stuart E. Eizenstat, "Review of Gold issues, Research and Resolution," Proceedings of the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets, 62.

25 OMGUS, Prop. Div., "Staff Study on Transfer of Functions and Personnel dealing with MFA&A and Libraries from Property Division to Education and Cultural Relations Division," Sept. 10, 1948, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 344 [118985 - 9008] [hereinafter the "Staff Study"].

26 "Staff Study," Sept. 10, 1948, NACP, RG 260, Ardelia Hall Collection, Box 344 [118985 - 9008].

27 Rpt. of the U.S. High Commissioner for Austria, Vols. 45, 46, 47, 3 Q 1949, July 1949, "Estimated Value of Completed Restitutions from U.S. Zone Austria and U.S. Vienna Area as of 31 July 1949 (in dollars)," NACP, RG 84, Entry 2082, Box 5 [119041]. Many works of art discovered in Austria were transferred to Munich for identification and restitution (such as the nearly 27,000 from the Alt Aussee mine that went to the Munich CCP). Other works remained in Austria, from where they were restituted. No information is available concerning the number of artworks or books restituted by USFA. The only numbers available report that 5634.50 metric tons of art were restituted, of which 3576.25 metric tons (63.5%) were restituted to Austria. The figure as stated in the report for restitution of art assets to Austria is $145,628,800; for restitutions to other nations, the figure stated in the report is $9,662,990.

28 This number reflects the addition of the total number of art objects and books restituted externally and to German owners from the OMGUS operated Central Collecting Points. The estimated total value reflects the value of the restitutions made by both OMGUS and USFA.

Home / Contents