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New Website “Art, Looting, and Restitution” Commemorates the Victims of Persecution and Expropriation

29.01.2024

The recently launched website Art, Looting, and Restitution: Forgotten Life Stories is a project by the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (in collaboration with Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg and Bayerischer Rundfunk) aimed at commemorating the victims of persecution and expropriation.

The disenfranchisement and persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany also saw them divested of their possessions. Financial hardship often forced those persecuted to sell their belongings, and those who managed to flee had to leave a lot behind. The ways in which looted art made its way into public collections are as varied as the fates of the people from whom it was taken.

A selection of these oft-forgotten personal histories can now be explored on the website kunst-raub-rueckgabe.de. Additional stories and films are already in the works and will be uploaded as they are completed, coming together to form a media library of remembrance.

Educational Materials for Schools and Other Learning Settings

The striking stories presented on the website are complemented by educational materials for schools and other learning settings that have been developed by the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. Each set of material focusses on a specific individual story of persecution, which serves as a starting point for exploring more complex topics such as the Reich Flight Tax, postwar reparations policies, or the restitution of stolen art by museums.

#WeRemember on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz is taking part in the #WeRemember campaign, organised by the World Jewish Congress to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust as part of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Photos used in the campaign depict locations or objects that play a role in the Art, Looting, and Restitution: Forgotten Life Stories project. In this way, the Stiftung (along with the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen and the broadcasters rbb and BR) seeks to honour some of the people of Jewish heritage who once enriched German cultural life.