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Documentation Centre for Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of World War II Victims

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Title
Documentation Centre for Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of World War II Victims

Summary relevant until 2012 -see below for current Status of the Centre
The Documentation Centre for Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of WWII is a research institution which was created in Prague in 2002 as part of the Institute of Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The main task of this Centre consists in researching sources in Czech and foreign archives concerning Jewish property seized between 1939 and 1945. The Centre plans to trace Jewish property during and after World War II and its subsequent displacement in Czech and foreign archives and museums.

The work of the Centre aims to clarify the confiscation mechanisms of the Nazi administration and throw light on cultural assets appropriated by Nazi Germany.

The Centre also aims to provide sources for other research and to foster a deeper interest in the destiny of Jewish individuals and communities during World War II.

Another objective is to compile lists of looted art which will be of use to the general public, scholars, cultural institutions and government.

The Centre's website currently contains two partial lists of deported property. One is a List of paintings and works of art confiscated by the Gestapo (completed in 1947) (in Czech).  Names of collectors on the list whose property was confiscated are:

Alfons Waisar, Praha
František Francl, Praha
Milada Šamalová, Praha
Dr. Bedřich Zuckermann, Praha
Dr Josef Bondy, Praha
Evžen Fleischner, Praha
B. Kovařík, Praha
Prof. Dr. Robert Salus, Praha
Kolbenova, Praha
Bedřich Herschmann, Praha
Elbogenova, Praha
Ing. Mořic Eisler, Brno
Marie Matoušová, Praha
Hugo Rotha, Toronto, formerly Praha
Filipína Barthová, Praha
Dominik Dlouhý, Praha
JUDr. Václav Vaněk, Praha

The list also includes many works of art whose owners are not recorded.

The second list on the Centre's website, also only in Czech, is a Partial list of Hans Meyer's Collection

In September 2007 the Centre published 'Návraty pameti' or 'Bringing Back Memory', which documents the several hundred artifacts in the collection of the Museum of Applied Arts in Prague that had belonged to Jewish owners before the German occupation in World War Two.  The book tells the story of both the objects and their owners.

Contact Information
Documentation Centre for Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of World War II Victims
Puškinovo námestí 9
160 00 Prague 6
Czech Republic
Tel.: +42 0 2 243 111 59
Fax: +42 0 2 243 111 59
Email: centrum@usd.cas.cz
http://www.centrum.usd.cas.cz/index.php

Source
Documentation Centre for Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of World War II Victims, September 2007.

Documentation Centre for Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of WW11 Victims - New Status October 2012
Up to the end of 2011 the Centre, set up by the Czech government, was a department of the Institute of Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. By Government resolution no. 683 (14 September 2011) the status of the Centre was changed to that of a 'public benefit organization' which came into existence on 6 February 2012. Its main source of funding remains the state budget of the Czech government through the Czech Ministry of Culture.
October 2012: New Research Role for Claimants
The Centre, formerly working solely on behalf of the Czech Government, has now become a 'public benefit organization'. While the Centre continues to research and document looted cultural assets on behalf of the government, museums, state, regional and municipal bodies, it has expanded its role to provide research for claimants free of charge. A claimant or their representative may now submit a request for a Research Report to be carried out provided that they consent to the conditions under which the services for public benefit are provided. These are that "the information found by the Centre in connection with such a case is provided not only to the applicant but also to state bodies and state research/cultural institutions affected by the particular restitution case." The Report can be used as the basis for a restitution claim and will be provided both to the claimant and to the institution concerned. The Centre will also provide the Report to a Court in the course of any legal proceedings.
For full details, click here.

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