Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen (previously known as Staatsbibliothek der Freien Hansestadt Bremen) (State and University Library of Bremen)
Research into Nazi-confiscated cultural
property in the library's collection
Following a complaint in 1991 by political scientist and Judaism researcher Klaus von Muenchausen to the Bremen Senate, the library began undertaking research to identify looted books in its collection. Since her appointment in 1991, Elfriede Bannas has undertaken extensive research at the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen. The research has brought to light 1,500 volumes (1,200 titles), all of which entered the library's collection in 1942. Over 230 volumes included notes by the owners who amounted to 45 different families. Some of the previous owners were identified with the help of records at the Bremen State Archives (Staatsarchiv Bremin ), and through advertisements published internationally, which showed that many of the books had been part of the household effects of fleeing Jewish families and that they had been confiscated and auctioned in 1942. To date, 140 books have been returned to nineteen families. In 1993, for instance, several books were returned to the heirs of Leipzig music publisher Henri Hinrichsen.
Research into cultural property missing from
Since 1996 25,000 books have been returned to the library from countries which were formerly part of the Soviet Union. Details of the library's war-related losses and the materials recently returned can be consulted on the library's website under: A-Z/Geschichte der Bibliothek, section 5 (Restitutionsbestände).
Dr. Jürgen Babendreier /Dr. Thomas Elsmann
Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen
Tel:+ 49 (0)421 218 2601
Fax:+ 49 (0)421 218 2614
http://www.suub.uni-bremen.de in German, sections in English
Jürgen Babendreier,'Jüdische Buch- und Lebensspuren', in Koordinierungsstelle für Kulturgutverluste (ed.), Beiträge öffentlicher Einrichtungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zum Umgang mit Kulturgütern aus ehemaligem jüdischen Besitz (Magdeburg: Koordinierungsstelle für Kulturgutverluste, 2001), 38-55. Text in German, Summary in English
<http://www.suub.uni-bremen.de >, accessed 17 December 2002