Provenance Research

Since 2010 the Klassik Stiftung Weimar has been systematically investigating its holdings and numerous collections in chronological order in search of cultural assets seized through Nazi persecution (so-called "Nazi-confiscated property").

The Klassik Stiftung Weimar is working together with the persecuted victims or their heirs to seek fair and just solutions. In 2011 this task was incorporated into the mission statement of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar.

Following many years of generous project funding awarded by the German Lost Art Foundation, the Klassik Stiftung Weimar continued its investigation of suspected Nazi-confiscated cultural assets in 2017, solely financed through its own budgetary resources. The research activities are firmly anchored in the institutional structures of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar. The cross-departmental working group "Nazi-confiscated assets" was established for this purpose. Since 2014 the Klassik Stiftung Weimar has benefited from the expertise and evaluation of an advisory board comprising representatives of provenance research (Anja Heuß, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart), contemporary historical research (Frank Bajohr, Institute of Contemporary History in Munich and Sybille Steinbacher, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main/Fritz Bauer Institute) and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Jens Hoppe).

Ornate bookplate displaying the name of its former owner Dr Hermann Türck. In autumn 1933 the Thuringian State Library purchased 83 volumes of Türck’s academic library from an antique book seller., Klassik Stiftung Weimar
Letter from Reinhard Heydrich to Fritz Sauckel, the Nazi Reich Lieutenant in Thuringia, dated 16 July 1941. In the letter, Heydrich requests that Sauckel kindly forward the two enclosed letters by Goethe to the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv., Klassik Stiftung Weimar
Acquisition Book of the Thuringian State Library in Weimar for the Year 1933, Klassik Stiftung Weimar

Current status

Provenance researchers have largely concluded their investigation of items acquired by predecessor institutions of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar between 1933 and 1939. Two historians are now investigating the provenance and the acquisition contexts of items obtained between 1940 and 1945. A legal advisor is currently involved in locating heirs or legal successors and preparing restitution proceedings.

The Klassik Stiftung Weimar informs the German Lost Art Foundation whenever an item is identified as Nazi-confiscated property or when the legitimacy of acquisition cannot be proven without doubt. These items can be viewed online at www.lostart.de. If there are grounds to suspect that books in the collection at the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek were confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution, they are added to the library’s own "Nazi-confiscated property" online catalogue.

Contact

Projects of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Free State of Thuringia, represented by the State Chancellery of Thuringia, Department of Culture and the Arts.

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