This exhibition, a cooperation between the Jewish Museums of Berlin and Frankfurt, was about the fate of individual cultural artifacts confiscated by the Nazis and their Jewish owners. It originally ran from 19 September 2008 - 25 January 2009 at the Jewish Museum Berlin.
The descriptive text from the Frankfurt Jewish Museum reads:
"Sixty years after the end of the war, looting and restitution of Jewish cultural artifacts is still a topic of burning interest. Numerous open questions and unsolved cases remain and opinions are controversial. The exhibition "Looting and Restitution: Jewish-Owned Cultural Artifacts from 1933 to the Present" narrates the historical events, context, and consequences of the looting carried out by the Nazis throughout Europe. The exhibition tracks what happened to individual cultural artifacts confiscated by the Nazis - from paintings and libraries through porcelain to silverware and private photos - and the fates of their rightful Jewish owners. Alongside well-known names such as the Rothschild family or the art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, lesser known collections such as Sigmund Nauheim's Judaica collection and the pianist Wanda Landowska's collection of historical musical instruments will also be shown.
The exhibition also looks at those who profited from and played an active role in the looting. It highlights Nazi organizations such as "Sonderauftrag Linz" and "Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg" and the disreputable role played by museums, libraries, and art dealers. Not least, the exhibition looks at the endeavors but also the shortfalls and inadequacies of the politics of restitution following the war, and the claims that were not settled at the time which shape the current debate."
For further information, visit the Museum's website. A book accompanying the exhibition includes essays and further case studies. Details of the book can be found here.
Location of exhibition:
Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main
60311 Frankfurt am Main
To mark the closing of the exhibition in Berlin, a conference on 'Jewish Cultural Treasures in Europe after the Holocaust: Restitution and Relocation', was held on 24-25 January 2009. The details are set out below.
PANEL I: CONFRONTING LOOTING AND DESTRUCTION: NEW STRATEGIES
Inka Bertz, Jewish Museum
10:30 Reconstructing Jewish Cultural Landscapes –
The »Tentative Lists« Project 1944–1948
Elisabeth Gallas, Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and
11:15 Hashavat Avedah: JCR, Inc. and the Rescue of Heirless Jewish Cultural Property After WW II
12:00 Lunch Break
13:30 To Whom do the Jewish Cultural Treasures belong after 1945?
Conflict of Interests in the City of
Katharina Rauschenberger, Jewish Museum Frankfurt am
14:15 The situation in
15:00 Displaced on Three Continents.
The Fate of the Material Heritage of the Jewish Community in
Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, Jewish Museum
15:45 Coffee Break
PANEL III: EAST
16:15 What Happened in
Michaela Sidenberg, Jewish Museum in
17:00 Dealing with the Jewish Cultural Assets in Post-War
Nawojka Cieslinska-Lobkowicz, Art Historian and Provenance Researcher, Warsaw/Munich
17:45 The Jewish Historical Institute as a Repository for Jewish Cultural Treasures in
SUNDAY, 25th of JANUARY 2009
10:00 A Matter of Conscience? Legal and Moral Aspects of Dutch Restitution Policy
Julie Marthe Cohen, Jewish Historical Museum,
10:45 The Fate of Jewish-Owned Cultural Treasures in
Laurence Sigal, Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme, Paris
11:30 Looted Jewish Art and Cultural Properties in
The Difficult Restitution and Compensation after 1945
Paola Bertilotti, Sciences-Po, Paris / Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Lyon
12:15 Lunch Break
PANEL V: EAST
13:45 Lviv 1944 – Now. Jewish Cultural Objects and Property. Some Cases and Tendencies
Tarik Cyril Amar, Center for Urban History of East
14:30 Restitution Issues in Post-War
Hildrun Glass, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
15:15 "Disappeared?" The Fate of Jewish-Owned Cultural Artifacts in
16:00 Final discussion: Open Questions, Ongoing Controversies