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Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust-Era Assets (PCHA)

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Title
Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust-Era Assets (PCHA)

Description
The PCHA has made available a number of research resources compiled during its term of operation. These are:

  • A searchable computer database listing over 9,000 art claims filed with the US by 1956. The list was compiled at the time by Ardelia Hall, the Arts Advisor of the United States Department of State. The database is online and also available on microfilm at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in College Park, Maryland. A description of the content is here.
  • PCHA report 'The Mystery of the "Hungarian Gold Train"' 14 October 1999 provides an account of the seizure in Werfen, Austria on 16 May 1945 by forces of the US army of a train containing paintings and other valuables mostly taken from Hungarian Jews by Adolf Eichmann's Nazi forces and Hungarian collaborators, and tells the fate of that property in US hands. Despite national and international obligations to return looted works of art to the country from which they were taken, the US did not adhere to that policy on the grounds that the property's ownership and origin could not be identified. The Hungarian Jewish community contested this view, but it was overridden and the property, excluding the paintings, was auctioned in New York. The report also notes that US forces in Austria had previously appropriated assets from the train and that their subsequent disposition is unknown. Other objects were sold in the US Army Exchange stores and property in the Military Government warehouse was stolen. 1,100 paintings were transferred to the Austrian government, and their location is not known today.
  • A listing of Federal and State Laws regarding Holocaust Restitution covering the years 1998-1999. These are online at http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/pcha/lawsinfo.htm.
  • 'Linz: Hitler's Museum and Library Consolidated Interrogation Report No.4 15 December 1945', the report of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU). The report is reproduced online in its entirety. The research involved interviews with many of those who carried out Nazi policies on looting and reviews of available documentation. The author of the report was S Lane Faison, a member of the ALIU. The report includes a history of the ALIU, recommendations for action and a 'Biographical Index of Individuals Involved in Art Looting.'
  • 'The Göring Collection Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 2 15 September 1945', the report of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU). The report is reproduced online in its entirety. The author of the report was Theodore Rousseau.

    Sources

    Presidential Commission on Holocaust-Era Assets <www.pcha.gov>, first accessed 1 December 2002.  Link updated 17 July 2007. Further updated 28 January 2013 to http://pcha.ushmm.org/index.htm

    Claremont McKenna College California <http://hist.claremontmckenna.edu/jpetropoulos/linztable.html>, accessed 17 July 2007. Link no longer available, but updated 28 January 2013 to http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/pcha/linztable.html

    Claremont McKenna College California <http://hist.claremontmckenna.edu/jpetropoulos/goering/linztable.html>, accessed 17 July 2007.  Link no longer available, but updated 28 January 2013 to http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/pcha/goeringtable.html

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