Two Albums Documenting Nazi Art Theft Discovered

Posted on April 3, 2012


During World War II, the Nazis recorded the cultural property and paintings they seized into catalogs. The catalogs have photographs of each confiscated item and were used for Hitler to choose which ones he wanted for his personal collection. Historians estimate there were a total of 100 catalogs.

The Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art announced the discovery of the two most recent additions to the albums. Relatives of two World War II Allied soldiers contacted the foundation in order to return albums that the soldiers had taken from Hitler’s home. One contained works of art and the other  furniture.

These catalogs were turned over to the U.S. National Archives, which now has 43 of the catalogs. Thirty nine of the remaining albums were discovered in the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and were used during the Nuremberg trials to document the Nazi looting. By 1951, the Monuments Men returned more than 5 million stolen objects that were documented in these albums. Robert Edsel, the founder of the Monuments Men, explained, “It was the greatest treasure hunt in history—one that continues to this day.”

Read the full article Photo albums related to Nazi art theft unveiled.

Thanks to Kristina Bauer for her assistance with this post.