Companion Book to the Exhibition
Looting and Restitution. Jewish-Owned Cultural Artifacts from 1933 to the Present
Edited by Inka Bertz and Michael Dorrmann commissioned by the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Jewish Museum Frankfurt am Main.
German language edition only
320 pages, approximately 170 illustrations, paperback
Price: 24.90 euros
Wallstein Publishers, 2008
The well-illustrated exhibition book provides extensive information on the historical background to the looting of cultural artifacts and how their loss through persecution is handled today.
Two essays by Dan Diner and Constantin Goschler explore the historical, political, and moral dimensions of confiscation. Seventeen authors, among them experts of international renown such as Michael Bazyler, Patricia Grimsted, Jürgen Lillteicher, and Frank Kuitenbrouwer examine the procedures used by Nazi looting organizations and the often disreputable role of museums, libraries, and art dealers. The first restitutions of cultural artifacts by the Allies just after the war and the restitution procedures of the 1950s and 60s are described, as is the revival of the theme in Europe since the collapse of the Eastern bloc and the Washington conference in 1998.
These articles present the facts of the 15 case stories described in detail in the book. They tell of the often intricate paths from "looting" to "restitution." Involved parties such as heirs, lawyers, museum representatives, and politicians have their say in interviews.