C O N F I D E N T I A L
OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF WAR
STRATEGIC SERVICES UNIT
ART LOOTING INVESTIGATION UNIT
OFFICE OF MILITARY GOVERNMENT FOR GERMANY (U.S.)
ECONOMICS DIVISION, RESTITUTION BRANCH
MONUMENTS, FINE ARTS, AND ARCHIVES SECTION
Detailed Interrogation Report
18 September 1946
Subject: HANS WENDLAND
Otto Wittman, Jr.
For MFA & A
C O N F I D E N T I A L
C O N F I D E N T I A L
D I S T R I B U T I O N
War Dept., G-2 2
State Dept., Division of Foreign
Activity Correlation 2
State Dept., Division of Economic
Security Control (for
Retention and distri-
bution to London, Paris,
Rome, and Berne) 6
State Dept., Division for Occupied
Areas, Arts and Monuments
Treasury Dept., Foreign Funds Control 1
* * * * * * *
O.M.G.U.S. (Berlin) (M.F.A. & A. Section) 6
Central Collecting Point, Munich, (U.S. 3rd Army) 2
U.S. Forces, Austria (USACA) (M.F.A. & A. Branch) 2
* * * * * * *
British Element C.C., Germany (M.F.A. & A. Branch) 2
Commission de Recuperation Artistique 3
French Ministry of Justice (Seine Tribunal) 2
Nederlands Ryjksbureau voor de Monumentenzord 2
* * * * * * *
Internal and file 20
C O N F I D E N T I A L
C O N F I D E N T I A L
I. Introduction 1
II. Personal History 2
III. Dealings and Dealer Relations 5
IV Traffic in Confiscated Art 13
V. Personal Assets 23
VI Summary 28
Note: Further references to the subject of this report
may be found in the following reports issued by
the Office of Strategic Services:
1. CIR No. 1, The Einstatzstab Rosenberg
2. CIR No. 2, The Goering Collection
3. DIR No. 4, Gustav Rochlitz
4. DIR No. 6, Bruno Lohse
5. DIR No. 9, Walter Andreas Hofer
6. DIR No. 13, Karl Haberstock
7. Final Report, Art Looting Investigation Unit
C O N F I D E N T I A L
C O N F I D E N T I A L
[p. 1] I. Introduction
Hans Adolf WENDLAND is, in relation to the history of the complex web of art looting and acquisition spun by the Nazis, the most important German figure whose base of operations was a neutral country - Switzerland. He was one of the most agile and informed contacts of Walter Andres HOFER, "Director of the Art Collection of the Reichsmarshall". He figured, whether wittingly or not, as the receiver of confiscated art in the first exchange of paintings from French private collections effected by the Einsatstab Rosenberg, and subsequently participated in three other exchanges with GOERING's agent, playing an important role in the importation of these works of art into Switzerland.
WENDLAND was arrested in Rome by the American Forces on 25 July 1946 at the
request of the American Legation, Berne. After a preliminary interrogation there,
he was transferred to Oberursel near Frankfurt about 22 August. WENDLAND, who
has been on the Allied Proclaimed List during the war, as well as on the Allied
Repatriation List, was returned to Germany in accordance with a request from
the United States Department of State.
On 31 August, WENDLAND was transferred to Wannsee Internment Camp, near Berlin, where he has been under joint interrogation by the undersigned from 5 September to 15 September.
He is to be returned within the next week to the Internment Camp at Oberursel for further disposition.
C O N F I D E N T I A L
[p. 2] II. Personal History
Hans Wendland was born in Neu Ruppin, 28 December 1880, one of a middleclass Prussian family of eight children. His art studies at the University of Berlin from 1901 to 1906 were financed with considerable difficulty. His doctorate was obtained in 1906.
His early intention of becoming a serious art scholar received a set-back when he was dismissed in 1909 from the service of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum for selling for personal profit works of art obtained in Persia while on a museum expedition.
WENDLAND then entered on a career as an art agent, and in 1910, his first indication of the profit to be made in art dealing came when, at an auction in Cologne, a dingy painting by an "unknown master" which he had purchased for 80 marks was discovered upon cleaning to be an early Rubens which he was able to sell for 35,000 marks.
In 1912 he married Agnes Schloettke and moved to Paris but returned to Germany at the outbreak of the war. After a few months of combat action, he received a minor leg wound which resulted in his transfer to Berlin for the duration of the war. There, in the uniform of a lieutenant, he found ample time and opportunity to pursue his art dealings and enlarge his rapidly growing fortune. In 1918 he was sent to Moscow as an Attache of the German Embassy and profited during the Communist Revolution by purchasing art at a low price from the fleeing nobility.
[p. 3] In 1920 WENDLAND moved to Switzerland where he first rented property in Basle, and later, in 1926, acquired a large mansion near Lugano. He lived in considerable style, travelling often to Paris and Berlin in connection with his art transactions. During the early thirties the depression and the settlement resulting from the divorce of his first wife forced him to liquidate most of his assets. In 1933 he once more moved to Paris. A few years later, at the age of fifty-six, he married his present wife, Charlotte, then a mannequin in the shop of Paul DAUNAY, and thirty-four years WENDLAND's junior. They have one son, Hans, born in 1938. In July 1939 when war seemed imminent, he left France and made his way to Switzerland. For a short time thereafter he lived in Italy, but when Italy entered the war, he found it more comfortable to return to Switzerland, where he lived until 1946.
On 1 April 1946 he left Switzerland on an exit permit from the Canton of Geneva and went to Rome, where he remained past the expiration date, 1 June 1946, of his permit until his arrest on 25 July. He offers various confused and conflicting reasons for his flight to Italy, among them the desire to become a Catholic and effect a proposed exchange of certain works of art of religious significance between Switzerland and the Vatican. He professes never to have stated that he was going to Italy on behalf of the Allies, as was suggested by one Swiss source. Perhaps the motive that compelled him to leave Switzerland was, as WENDLNAD implied in the course of this interrogation, the sense of having [p. 4] become a moral outcast in Switzerland. Perhaps also he feared the consequences of another investigation by the Swiss into the art dealings of FISCHER and himself.
[p. 5] III Dealings and Dealer Relations
WENDLAND's methods of dealing have been dependent during most of his career upon his status since 1912 as an Auslandsdeutscher. The peculiar advantages which have accrued to him through his position as a German citizen living for the most part outside his native land played an important part in most of his transactions.
WENDLAND considers himself primarily as a consultant and expert to dealers rather than as an independent dealer. He has never maintained a shop or gallery, but has always preferred to work through other established dealing firms. During most of the '20's WENDLAND had a close working relationship with the German dealer, Karl HABERSTOCK, which ended abruptly in 1927 in a quarrel involving HABERSTOCK's wife.
It was in 1920 that WENDLAND first met in Berlin Theodor FISCHER of Lucerne. FISCHER, like HABERSTOCK, was an important established dealer, and the business arrangements which have continued until now between WENDLAND and FISCHER became of primary importance in the career of WENDLAND. FISHER, through his large gallery and auction house in Lucerne became the most important outlet for the works of art ferreted out by WENDLAND.
WENDLAND has consistently claimed that there was no formal relationship between FISCHER and himself, and that the percentage of participation in the art which they held jointly varied. WENDLAND states that he has no financial interest in the FISCHER firm, and although he constantly refers [p. 6] to their joint dealings in terms of "we did this" or "our pictures" etc., it is very likely that their business relationship was an informal one. Theodor FISHCHER did not incorporate his business until 1 January 1945, and up to that time he is thought by the Swiss to have held all assets in his firm.
WENDLAND has pointed out on several occasions that because of his position as a German citizen resident in Switzerland he was forbidden to sell on the Swiss market, and that it was for this reason that he sold through FISCHER. He has however admitted selling some art in Switzerland, and explains this by saying that he sold only enough to cover his actual living expenses in Switzerland - an arrangement which he feels was legal under the Swiss laws.
Whatever the actual arrangements may have been, it seems true that FISCHER remained the business man and WENDLAND the connoisseur, agent and motivating factor in their joint dealings. Certainly all evidence indicates that it was WENDLAND who chose, and persuaded FISHCER to accept, the looted art which came to the Galerie FISCHER during the war through exchanges with the Germans.
HOFER has stated that during the war WENDLAND was a kind of unofficial "king" of the Paris art world. During his frequent visits to Paris, WENDLAND made his headquarters at the Ritz, where he continued to play his role of entrepreneur, commission man and art agent. Capitalizing upon his German citizenship in a land occupied by Germans, and upon his wide pre-war acquaintanceship in the Paris art market, WENDLAND became a kind of advisor and guide to many of the French dealers anxious to do business with [p. 7] Germans. He gradually formed an informal syndicate of the French dealers, BOITEL, PERDOUX, and LOEBL. HOFER states that the was connected with the DEQUOY-FABIANI combination, and he is known to have had interests in the MANDL-BIRTSCHANKSY group. Just how formalized were these dealing syndicates formed by or participated in by WENDLAND is difficult to ascertain.
A. Aid to Jewish Dealers
In his own defense, WENDLAND claims to have aided Jewish dealers to avoid Geman confiscation of their works of art. WENDLAND states he was able to rescue four paintings belonging to Alfred WEINBERGER from sequestration by the Devisenschutzkommando in Paris in 1941. These paintings, which included a Goya "Portrait of an Old Man", and a Patinir and two others had formerly been sold by WENDLAND to WEINBERGER, and WENDLAND claims that by means of an old catalogue he was able to convince the German authorities that the paintings still belonged to him. The paintings were taken to Switzerland where they all still remain in WENDLAND's possession, with the exception of one painting which was returned to WEIMBERGER.
Another painting which WENDLAND claims he took to Switzerland as his own, was a Velasquez "Portrait of a Neopolitan Princess" which in fact, he says, belonged to Sperling of New York, and was turned over to WENDLAND by LOEBL in Paris. This painting is still in his possession in Switzerland. [p. 8]
An Altdorfer owned by the Jewish dealer, Paul GRAUPE, now in New York, together possibly with several other paintings belonging to the same dealer, were given to WENDLAND by GRAUPE's former partner, Arthur GOLDSCHMIDT. WENDLAND states that the Altdorfer was sent to Carl BUEMING of Darmstadt, who was to transmit it to Switzerland. WENDLAND does not know where it now is.
WENDLAND cites these cases, among others, as examples of assistance to Jewish colleagues at considerable trouble and some danger to himself. It is known, however, that he held a certain financial interest in at least some of those objects, and the possibility must not be overlooked that he may have gained a share in all of the pictures for his trouble. It is significant that of all the objects which WENDLAND obtained in this manner, he can cite only one picture which he has until now returned to its owner.
B. Travel during the War
During the war WENDLAND made six trips to France in 1941 and 1942, and one trip in 1943. The first trip took place in February, 1941, ostensibly for the purpose of securing his property which had been blocked in Paris. The last trip in the spring of 1943 was also made, according to WENDLAND, for the same purpose. WENDLAND admits having made three trips be- [p. 9] tween occupied and unoccupied France during the occupation.
This apparent ease of travel between Switzerland, Germany, occupied and unoccupied France during Germany's most successful years was at once an important factor in WENDLAND's large and profitable transactions, a privilege enjoyed by few other art agents, and a source of serious suspicion of espionage. WENDLAND himself has stated that although he would have liked to have had one, he never held a travel authority from GOERING or any other high Nazi official, a fact that has been corroborated by HOFER.
WENDLAND explains this freedom of travel by saying that he was always able to secure a visa for Berlin from a friend in the German Embassy at Berne. From Berlin, he states, that he was able to obtain the necessary red pass to go to Paris through a Colonel TUEPPEN, purchaser of supplies for the Abwehr. This he claims was possible with a small bribe of four kilograms of chocolate. Passage from occupied to unoccupied France was fairly easy to obtain from minor German officials in Paris through bribery, according to WENDLAND.
C. Suspicions of Espionage
With the exceptions of his first and last trips, WENDLAND says that he always obtained permission to enter France through Colonel TUEPPEN. He professes to have been greatly surprised [p. 10] when he learned during the war that Colonel TUEPPEN was reported to be a paymaster for agents of the German Intelligence Service.
Twice in 1942 WENDLAND was interrogated by the Swiss police regarding suspected espionage - once in the summer of that year, and more intensively on 22 December. Although no formal charges were ever brought against him by the Swiss, it is significant that after the second interrogation the Swiss refused his further exit permits except for the one occasion in 1943 when he went to Paris ostensibly to obtain his own blocked property. It was also after this second interrogation that the Swiss, according to WENLAND, requested him to leave the large hotels where he had been accustomed to live and move to a small city. It was for this reason that he rented the villa at Versoix.
WENDLAND admits that he was a close friend of BUEHRLE, the Oerlikon arms manufacturer, who used his influence to assist WENDLAND in his difficulties with the Swiss. WENDLAND also admits that he made two contributions of approximately 1,000 and 400 Swiss francs to the Nazi Party in 1942 through the German Embassy, Berne, although he denies ever having joined the Party.
It is significant that WENDLAND has stated on several occasions that during the war his patriotism for his native country became more intense, and that he has commented that his [p. 11] second wife, although German, does not seem to be sufficiently patriotic.
Certainly, whatever may be the implications of espionage, it is difficult to believe that his numerous permits to Paris were obtained from Colonel TUEPPEN merely for the price of four kilograms of chocolate.
D. Business Ethics
WENDLAND has admitted to the practice of giving receipts for sums in excess of those actually paid him by HOFER, and to have given HOFER, and to have given HOFER receipts for objects which were not even purchased from him. Paintings which were sold by WENDLAND to HOFER in Paris occasionally came to GOERING bearing receipts purportedly from Frau SCHULTESS, Swiss dealer. In this manner, HOFER was able to obtain Swiss francs from GOERING in payment for bills which he had settled in French francs. While WENDLAND admits having given HOFER false receipts to enable him to obtain Swiss francs, he denies ever having cognizance of the use of Frau SCHULTESS' name in this connection. He excuses this as a common practice in the art market, thus implying that he, at least, has done this on other occasions.
He admits to claiming pictures as his own which in fact did not belong to him in connection with his rescue of Jewish owned art in France. He claims reluctance to reveal all of his trans- [p. 12] actions in France during the war on the grounds that some of the deals represented collusion to evade French taxes, duties, etc., and could therefore be harmful to his French associates. He admits feely transactions in black market exchanges of currency on numerous occasions. He claims to have kept few records or books of his transactions. He claims to have had a special arrangement with the Swiss whereby he paid income tax only on a "standard of living" basis. He speaks frequently of bribery to minor government officials, and has several times suggested to his present interrogators the possibility of certain compromises. [p. 13]
IV. Traffic in Confiscated Art
A. Relations with Einsatzstab Rosenberg
WENDLAND denies any official relationship with the ERR or with any of its staff; and he apparently knew very few of its members. He states that he visited the Jeu de Paume but once during the war, the occasion being during one of his last trips to Paris, early in 1943. He knew, but claims to have been no friend of, von BEHR, whom he describes as "a man that a decent German would not give his hand to. It was not until late November 1942, that he made the acquaintance of LOHSE. The occasion which brought them together was an involved transaction in which WUESTER, in order to make a Delacroix and Courbet from the ERR available to his sponsor, RIBBENTROP, bought from WENDLAND and made available to GOERING through LOHSE and the ERR a Gobelin tapestry and an Albert Cuyp. WENDLAND categorically denies the charge that he had ever through DINGLAGE, informed the ERR of the whereabouts of hidden Jewish property.
WENDLAND states that it was only after late November 1942, when he made the acquaintance of LOHSE, that he began to understand the workings of the ERR. Until that time, he says the secrecy of the affair had kept it well concealed from him. However, if he had no personal friends among the ERR staff at first, WENDLAND was at least intimately acquainted with men like DINGLAGE, von BEHR's cousin, and the collaborator BOITEL, who would have been well able to describe to him the German activities in the Jeu de Paume. He had extensive business relationships with such dealers as ROCHLITZ, BIRTSCHANSKY, LOEBL and others, many of whom have since been in- [p. 14] dicted by the French government as collaborationists and dealers in looted art. Finally he had, while in Switzerland or during his journeys through unoccupied France, the opportunity of knowing Jews whose property had been confiscated or was in danger of it, and, in fact, he points out that he took what he describes as daring steps to rescue this property. It is therefore difficult to believe that a person in WENDLAND's circumstances could have remained completely and innocently unaware that Jewish owned property was being confiscated and used as loot for exchange purposes. Whether he was aware or not, the basic fact remains that WENDLAND acted as a party to at least four exchanges in which he, alone or in connection with Theodor FISCHER, received works of art which had been looted by the Nazis from private art collections.
B. Exchange with the ERR through ROCHLITZ
The exchange occurred 3 March 1941. WENDLAND gave his shares in an alleged Titian, "Man with a Beard" and a Jan Weenix, and he is said by ROCHLITZ to have received six modern French paintings. This took place during WENDLAND's first visit to Paris after the occupation; coincidentally, perhaps, this also represented the first exchange that the ERR had effected.
From evidence presented in DIR 4 and CIR1 of the OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit, the background of this affair may be reconstructed as follows: At the time that WENDLAND arrived on the scene, negotiations were already in progress between LOHSE of the ERR and ROCHLITZ, who had the Titian (?) and Weenix on commission from BIRTSCHANSKY. On 17 February [p. 15] ROCHLITZ had visited the Jeu de Paume and had chosen the 11 modern and impressionist paintings which he wished to receive as payment, and the following day, UTIKAL had written to the Reichsleiter ROSENBERG stating that "LOHSE has proposed an exchange of the Titian for paintings which, according to our German conception, are out of the question for transfer to Germany," and concluding, "In view of its essential importance, I beg to request you, esteemed Reichsleiter, to declare the recommended procedure effective in all future instances." But difficulties had arisen. BIRTSCHANSKY, who held the major interest in the Titian, demanded cash payment, preferably American dollars, rather than payment in pictures. Perhaps too, he balked at the risk involved in receiving confiscated art. The entrance of WENDLAND into this affair at this moment of impasse was, therefore, providential for the Nazis. Without seeing the Titian (which at that time was probably at the Jeu de Paume for Goering's inspection) WENDLAND agreed to buy BIRTSCHANSKY's share (for 12,000 dollars) and to receive, upon consummation of the exchange, six of the eleven modern pictures. These pictures, according to ROCHLITZ' statement in DIR 4, were delivered to WENDLAND in Paris. They were as follows:
Corot Mother and Child (Rosenberg-Bernstein Collection)
Degas Madame Camus at the Piano (Kann Collection)
Braque Still Life (Kann Collection)
Matisse Women at a Table (Rosenberg-Bernstein Collection)
" Still Life ( " )
" Sleeping Woman ( " )
WENDLAND's version of the affair presents substantial differences with that outlined above. He insists that he received only four pictures [p. 16] from ROCHLITZ, namely: the Corot, the Degas, the Braque and one other which he cannot remember, but is sure was not a Matisse. The others went to ROCHLITZ as a commission. WENDLAND states that the exchange had already been effected when he arrived and that he was given to understand that the exchange had been transacted with one of the Rhineland museums. He states that he did indeed wonder which of the museums was involved but felt that it would be indiscreet to ask too many questions. He never did pay BIRTSCHANSKY the full amount promised in American dollars but at some later date made a settlement of the unpaid balance in terms of French francs.
Two years later, according to WENDLAND's version, while visiting at the Berlin apartment of HOFER, WENDLAND was asked to admire a Titian. "That Titian is not authentic" he said, "Where did you get it?" " It came from ROCHLITZ." "Good God," WENDLAND reports himself as having exclaimed, purportedly overcome by the belated realization of the role he had been playing, "then the Titian was intended for Goering and the modern paintings must have been confiscated works of art!"
C. Exchanges with HOFER
WENDLAND or the WENDLAND-FISCHER combination participated in three exchanges with HOFER. Because of the looseness and informality of the business relationship between FISCHER and WENDLAND, effected partly to evade the Swiss laws, it is difficult to assess exactly their division of the profits, and WENDLAND has been evasive on this subject. [p. 17]
The chief reason for the exchanges on Goering's side was the lack of foreign currency, the Reichsbank having decided that henceforth its dwindling supply of foreign credits would have to be used for the purchase of items more essential to the war economy than works of art.
WENDLAND states that the exchange arrangements were always unsatisfactory to FISCHER and himself and that they would have preferred Swiss francs in payment, as had been originally agreed to by HOFER. But, he states, in each case, after the deliveries had been made in good faith on their part, they were informed by HOFER that payment could not be made in Swiss francs but would have to be made in impressionist and modern French pictures. They are represented as having no alternative but to accept. FISCHER himself, according to WENDLAND, never went to Berlin; grumbling, according to WENDLAND, that "he was not going to run the risk of getting a bomb on his head just to see some pictures", but WENDLAND went there and made the choices of pictures.
WENDLAND insists that neither he nor FISCHER suspected the provenance of the pictures. Although they knew that the exchange was being made on GOERING's behalf, HOFER assured them in the name of the Reichsmarshall, that the affair was beyond doubt, legal and honorable. And, as a sign of their good faith in this matter, WENDLAND cites the fact that FISCHER immediately invited art experts and museum officials to see the pictures, began preparing a catalogue and arranging an exhibit. The revelation of the fact that the pictures acquired were loot came, states [p. 18] WENDLAND, late in 1942, the first suspicion emanating from Fritz NATHAN, art adviser of BUEHRLE and a specialist on modern art.
WENDLAND states that FISCHER then made a voluntary report to the Swiss government concerning these pictures, and later at the request of the Swiss turned the pictures over to the museum at Berne. The question as to the knowledge of the provenance of these pictures is of considerable importance, beyond the light it throws on the characters of WENDLAND and FISCHER, since, according to the United States-Swiss Agreement of February, 1946, concerning restitution FISCHER stands to be recompensed by the Swiss government for these pictures if it can be established that he acquired the pictures in good faith.
Exchange No. 1
The actual discussions pertaining to the exchange took place in early summer, 1941. FISCHER-WENDLAND had sold to GOERING through HOFER a shipment of German old masters for which the price of 153,000 Swiss francs had been agreed upon. The pictures were shipped through the Bronner Shipping Company of Basle, some of them arriving in Berlin as early as 2 March 1941. Subsequently HOFER informed FISCHER and WENDLAND that payment would have to be made in modern French pictures. These were chosen by WENDLAND in July 1941 in Berlin and totalled 25 pictures, which had come originally from the LEVY-BENZION, the KANN and the LINDENBAUM collections. Arrangement of the permit to export from Germany was handled by BUEHMING of Darmstadt, a German agent of FISCHER's, who showed the Reichskammer fur [p. 19] Bildende Kunst, the German agency concerned, an official statement that the exchange was being made on GOERING's behalf. The pictures were consigned to Josef BAUMELER, Lucerne, where they arrived on 22 October 1941.
Exchange No. 2
FISCHER-WENDLAND sold three tapestries, Scenes from the Life of Scipio, to GOERING's agent, HOFER, for 100,000 Swiss francs. HOFER had seen the tapestries in Lucerne and submitted photographs to GOERING in Berlin. The tapestries were sent through the Bronner Shipping Co., Basle, and arrived in Berlin 5 January 1942.
After the tapestries arrived, GOERING, once again short of Swiss francs, decided upon another exchange from the stock of Impressionist paintings at his disposal. WENDLAND went to Berlin between April and July 1942 and chose a Corot, a Monet and a Sisley, all from the Rosenberg collection, as settlement for the tapestries. These pictures were dispatched into Switzerland by means of the German diplomatic courier, possibly in August 1942, and came together with the pictures involved in Exchange No. 31 (See below)
Exchange No. 3
This exchange was negotiated in Paris and Berlin early in 1942, during approximately the same months that Exchange No. 2 was occurring. WENDLAND sold to HOFER for 400,000 Swiss Francs: a Rembrandt, "Portrait of an Old Man with Beard", and two Flemish tapestries of the 16th century, de- [p. 20] signed by Lucas van Leyden. The Rembrandt has an unclear history and varying explanations of its acquisition have been reported. WENDLAND states that he first saw it in Nice, in the studio of a man whose name he forgets, "a British subject with an Italian name". Involved in the sale were the son of Leon BIRTSCHANSKY and August L. MAYER, famous art historian who had fled Germany; and WENDLAND states that, as far as he can remember, the sale price was 5,000,000 French francs.
In exchange for the objects named above, WENDLAND and FISCHER received 23 French moderns and impressionists. Once again, states WENDLAND, it was only after delivery had been made in good faith on his part that he learned from HOFER that only half of the agreed price would be paid in Swiss francs and that the other half was to be paid in pictures.
The French Impressionists, which had once again been chosen by WENDLAND during one of his visits to Berlin, were transmitted to Switzerland through the German diplomatic pouch in order to avoid the delay and complications which had arisen during the first exchange. WENDLAND admits offhandedly that the suggestion for this procedure may well have been his. The pictures went with the Foreign Office courier to the German Legation at Berne. There they were turned over by RIEKMANN, chief of the Courier Bureau, to HOFER who had come into Switzerland at the same time. HOFER then accompanied them to Lucerne and there gave them to WENDLAND.
The three French Impressionists of Exchange No. 2 were also in- [p. 21] cluded in this shipment as well as two or possibly three pictures bought by the Swiss arms manufacturer, BUEHRLE, from DEQUOY in Paris. They were a David "Self-Portrait", a Renoir, and possibly an alleged Titian which BUEHRLE stated that he intended to donate to a Swiss museum. WENDLAND claims to be unable to remember the method by which BUEHRLE's pictures were transmitted so conveniently from Paris, but it is possible that WENDLAND had begged this favor for his good friend and powerful protector. It is also possible that the favor was a gesture on GOERING's behalf toward one who had made substantial deliveries of arms to Germany and who may also, as HOFER states, have had an agreement with GOERING regarding the supply of Swiss francs.
D. Four Missing Pictures
When the first shipment of Impressionist pictures arrived in Lucerne late in 1941, WENDLAND noted that four of the finest pictures he had chosen were missing. These WENDLAND names as a Van Gogh "Man with a Pipe", a Jan Steen, and possibly a Van Gogh landscape and a Cezanne portrait. HOFER explained their absence by the cock-and-bull story that they were hanging in GOERING's bedroom and that GOERING's nephew, a lieutenant, had grown too fond of them to bear to part with them. In 1943 WENDLAND accompanied BUEHRLE and a Zurich lawyer to a bank vault in Zurich for the purpose of viewing some paintings which, according to the lawyer who was the custodian of the key to the vault, were being offered for sale by a Dutch firm. The paintings were recognized by WENDLAND as the four missing paintings which were supposed to be adorning GOERING's bedroom, and he ad- [p.22] vised BUEHRLE against buying them. The lawyer was undoubtedly Dr. WIEDERKEHR, and the pictures are probably the following:
Van Gogh "Landscape" No. 39 on the Allied List
sold to BUEHRLE
Jan Steen "Marriage of Cana" No. 70 on the Allied List
Cezanne "Portrait" No. 67 or 69 on the Allied List
Held by Dr. WIEDERKEHR for Alois Miedl.
Van Gogh "Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear" No. 65 on
The Allied List.
WENDLAND admits that he failed to perform his duty, which would have been to notify the Swiss authorities of his discovery, He claims not to remember the name of the lawyer but states that this information can be obtained from BUEHRLE. [p. 23]
V. Personal Assets
Hans WENDLAND has stated during interrogation that he was at one time in possession of a considerable fortune, but that during the past several years these assets have dwindled to a few objects of art, and considerable debts.
While this statement is borne out to some extent by the modest manner in which he had lived in Rome since April 1946, where, he states, he lived on 250 Swiss francs a month, it must not be assumed that the following list of assets as reported by WENDLAND is complete. Even were the list complete, his art possessions would still represent a sizeable fortune.
WENDLAND has refused to reveal the present whereabouts of certain of his paintings on the ground that they are being held for him by Swiss and French friends, who would be open to serious prosecution by their own countries were it known that they are concealing assets of a German national.
Following is a list of WENDLAND's assets, arranged by country, which must be accepted with the above reservations:
Le Coultre Warehouse, Geneva: About 60 to 80 paintings. Of these approximately 30 or more were acquired in France during, or since, the occupation. [p. 24]
Galerie Fischer, Lucerne: About 20 paintings and drawings of which many were
acquired in France during the occupation.
Brenner; A. G. Basle: 1 case of pictures acquired from HEILBRONNER in 1933. Never unpacked.
Wendland's house, Versoix: He claims that there are only a few minor works of art here, together with his own furniture.
Swiss friends: Approximately 20 of his best paintings acquired in France since 1940 are being held for him by about five Swiss friends (probably art dealers). These pictures include the following:
Goya "Portrait of a Child"
Titan/Tintoretto " _________"
van Geyen "Landscape
van der Neer "Landscape"
Several 16th and 17th century paintings of which he can't
remember the titles.
Wendland refuses to reveal the names of these friends.
Following are a list of friends of WENDLAND recommended by him to his wife in an intercepted letter:
Kurt HIRSCHLAND, Geneva, Hotel ___________
Franz HIRSCHLAND, New York, N.Y.
Theodor FISCHER, Lucerne
Emil BUERHLE, Oerliken
Fritz FANNHAUSER, Basle
Frau Dr. Jennie BRIN, Basle
___________BRAND, Geneva (lawyer)
Frl. (?) DIDMER, secretary to his lawyer, Lachanal
Alfred WEINBERGER, Paris or Lucerne [p. 25]
Some of these friends have held or still hold works of art belonging to WENDLAND. It is recommended that all of the above named persons be questioned about WENDLAND's assets.
Bank Accounts and Money Assets: Central Bank, Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse
Credit Anstalt, Lucerne
WENDLAND also had an account with a bank in Geneva, which he claims to have closed out in 1944, and an account with the American Express Co., Lucerne, which he closed upon the United States' entry into the war.
Property: Claims to own no property in Switzerland.
Henry HELFER, Paris, 17 rue David. (WENDLAND claims to have an important part of his possessions here, where he says they are presently blocked by the French).
Mme. WACHER-BONDY, Paris, 23C (?) Boulevard Raspail. Claims to have property and works of art stored here.
WENDLAND may have art assets with the following, but he claims at present not to remember:
Yves PERDOUX, Paris, 178 rue du Faubourg St. Honore and 6 Rue de Teheran.
Allen LOEBL, Paris, 9 rue de l'Echelle
M. O. LEEGENHOOF, Paris, 3 rue de Rennes, and 230 Blvd. Raspail. [p. 26]
Simon MELLER, Paris, 3 rue de General Apport.
Victor MANDL, Paris, 9 rue Boccacor.
It is interesting to note that it was reported in November 1945 that Hugo ENGEL was already in Paris at that time and was said to be collecting WENDLAND's pictures from these sources. WENDLAND denies this and states that he known [sic] nothing of ENGEL's activities.
Bank Accounts and Money Assets.
Westminster Bank, Paris: WENDLAND says he may still have a small balance in this bank, but thinks that it cannot be more than 40,000 or 50,000 French francs.
Achilles Boitel, Paris, rue de Teheran: Boitel, who was assassinated by the French Resistance in 1944, is said by WENDLAND to have been the chief financial figure in the French collaborationist art market. He was a kind of blackmarket banker and money changer, used extensively by WENDLAND for currency manipulations, picture storage, and "cover" office for veiled transactions. WENDLAND claims that Boitel's heirs owe him at least 9,000,000 French francs. Boitel's son-in-law and Boitel's secretary, Roland MAYEUX, probably have further information or records of this.
Carl BUEMMING, Erbach i/Odenwald c/o WORNER. WENDLAND claims that BUEMMING is holding two or three pictures, including the Altdorfer belonging to GRAUPE, for him, but that he has not heard from BUEMMING [p. 27] since the war, and suspects that BUEMMING may have made his way to the United States.
Estate at Wesenberg, near Mecklenberg. WENDLAND states that he believes he still owns this estate, which he purchased in the '20's, but that he seldom used the property and is not sure whether it was sold during the war.
The above comprises WENDLAND's admitted holdings, but must not be considered complete. Not only does WENDLAND's memory seem to fail him badly when he is questioned about details of his assets (whether purposely or not cannot be exactly determined), but also it must be remembered that he has refused to give certain other information on his holdings in order to protect his friends.
He has stated that records and documents pertaining to his assets and his dealings are to be found at his house in Versoix, and that a box of his business records, as well as two or three paintings, are hidden at the house of a friend in Switzerland whose identity WENDLAND refuses to disclose.
His lawyers may be able to give certain other information about his assets.
They are, according to WENDLAND:
Adrien LACHANAL, Geneva
Dr. __________STEINER, Zurich
Dr. Kuno MUELLER, Lucerne (who is also FISCHER's lawyer) [p. 28]
WENDLAND cannot be considered to have been a guiding spirit in the main art looting activities of the times, but he was one of those who were eager to profit from these activities. The exact degree of his culpability in the events in which he figured is difficult to determine. The lack of access to his records concealed in Switzerland and elsewhere and his convenient as well as chronic bad memory, made it well-nigh impossible to pin him down to any exact or definite assertions. During the interrogations he may be said to have proved willing to talk but reluctant to communicate. During the great catastrophe of World War II, WENDLAND - as he has all of his life been able to do - not only avoided the sufferings and misfortunes that most of the rest of the world was undergoing, but was able to make financial capital of them. It is recommended that he be retained in custody until such time as conclusive investigations may be made in Switzerland and France, the full extent and nature of his assets revealed, and the disposition of these assets determined.