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the property, accept releases, sign receipts, and supervise the delivery. The örst mission to arrive was that of the Netherlands. They were soon joined by representatives of France and Belgium, and before mid-April 1946 regular missions had arrived from all the eligible nations except Greece and the USSR.

Between July 1945 and mid-April 1946 the eligible nations filed 1029 claims.

483 claims were partially or entirely located. The dispersal of German central records and the disorganization of German communications at the end of the war made the task of location difficult. In some cases location was established by U.S. officials acting on information received from the claimant nations; sometimes property was found incidentally by occupying troops; sometimes German civilians voluntarily reported possession of foreign property.

Releases were issued on 403 claims, and 202 were entirely or partially delivered. The Netherlands filed the most claims with 319, or 31 per cent. of the total; France led in the number of deliveries with 80, or 39 per cent. of the total. 137 claims were dropped for reasons of duplication, location of the property outside the U.S. Zone, etc.

The range in the types of property discovered and restored has been wide and interesting. The largest single category (next to works of art, treated in Chapter 7) has been industrial equipment. Rubber-manufacturing machines have been returned to Belgium, 10,000 hand tools to the Netherlands, drills, lathes, and planers to other claimants. On 8 March 1946, 40 carloads of heavy machinery were moved from Bavaria to the Peugeot Automobile Works in Sochaux, France; on 10 April a Norwegian freighter at Bremen picked up 1,000 tons of transformers, construction parts, motors, and copper and aluminum rails which the Germans had removed from the Nordisk-Lettmetall aluminum and magnesium factory.

Another important class of restitutable property is scientific equipment, represented by laboratory apparatus from Carolinen University and instruments belonging to the Chemical Institute of Prague, Czechoslovakia; the laboratories of the bacteriological, veterinary, chemical, and biological departments of the University of Cracow, restored to Poland from Roth in Bavaria; and the large Leyden Magnet, returned to the Netherlands.

In the category of water transport, claims have been received for ships' gear from the Polish port of Gdynia, ships' gear from Norway, inland and sea-going barges and tugs from several nations. Almost all claimant nations have requested the return of their railroad rolling stock, especially freight cars.

Rolling stock is, however, to be distinguished from other restitutable property in two important respects. First, the operating efficiency of rail transportation requires constant movement of cars around Europe without regard for national boundaries or the ownership of the cars. Second, rolling stock is so badly needed in the U.S. Zone of Germany that the removal of foreign rolling stock without an equivalent return of German rolling stock from abroad would either drain the German economy or require greater use of American cars. "Straight” restitution of rolling stock has, therefore, been limited to the return of certain special types of cars not needed in the U.S. Zone and of unserviceable cars which could not be repaired in the Zone within a reasonable period of time. All other movement of rolling stock has conformed to the arrangements of the European Central Inland Transport Organization (ECITO) and to the policy of the Transportation Corps, which first instituted "car-forcar" exchange and then sought to re-establish a system of rental, which might be called “in-place” restitution.

The U.S. Zone also contained considerable numbers of valuable blooded horses and sheep that belonged to herds and flocks originally moved from the territory of nations eligible for restitution: thoroughbreds from France owned by the Aga Khan, Lord Derby, Baron Edouard Rothschild; Lorraine stallions; Polish racing horses; Ukrainian caracul sheep. Restitution has entailed identification problems and legal problems springing from the fact that many of the animals now alive were born in Germany, often of one German and one foreign parent.

The history of the removal of the French thoroughbreds illustrates one method whereby the Germans sought to cloak their looting operations. They paid for the horses at the rate of 3,000 francs. for a mare and 30,000 francs for a stallion; the money was, however, paid not to the owners but to the Vichy Government, which then repaid it to Germany as occupation cost.

Restitution has been made of two carloads of geographical maps issued by the Red Army General Staff; of plans of the disposition of the lands of the collective farmers of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic; of ten tons of archives representing the entire French documentation of the Maginot Line; of 801 sacks containing Russian roubles; of Polish industrial gold and platinum.

Restitution activity is expected to increase in the coming months. On 20 April 1946 the Ministerpräsidenten of the Länder published a German Law requiring all Germans to declare all property in their possession that might be subject to restitution, and the analysis of these declarations is divulging significant quantities of restitutable items, especially in the form of consumer's goods. Although restitution alone cannot play the major role in the enormous task of European reconstruction, it is furnishing the United Nations with important and well-appreciated assistance toward economic and cultural recovery.

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Some of the priceless paintings looted from various countries which were invaded by the Germans, which have been returned to their original owners by Restitutions Branch.


he greatest problem at present in connection with European cultural objects is the sorting out and returning to their proper homes, of the works of art, archives and libraries which were displaced as a direct result of the war. In the U. S. Zone scarcely a single important movable art object remained fixed.

Military Government is concerned with this problem not only because the displaced objects include loot, taken from the territories of our Allies, from other areas formerly occupied by Germany, from non-Nazi Germans and from our own nationals, but also because the civil organization under the Ministers of Education concerned with the various cultural agencies in Germany must be reconstituted so that the German people may take over this responsibility for themselves.

Germany systematically looted works of art not only to enrich the cultural holdings of the country itself, but to satisfy the aesthetic sensibilities of individual collectors.

Nazi looting techniques in the Eastern part of Europe differed widely from their methods in the West. In Poland and Russia, Germany attempted to wipe out their cultural heritage. German policy prescribed the looting of public collections only in the U.S.S.R. and Poland. Cracow was almost completely plundered, and its works of art either transported to Germany, as in the case of the famed Veit Stoss Altar, or destroyed and scattered, as were so many of the town's museums, libraries and private collections.

In the West, where Germany hoped one day to obtain full collaboration, the marks of destruction were considerably less apparent. But seizure of private collections of Jewish or absentee owners, carefully supported by the conquerors' pretexts to legality, made famous the name of Reichsleiter Rosenberg and his “task force", and supplied fresh fields to such operators as Alois Miedl, who managed to make off with the major part of the well-known Goudstikker collection of Holland.


Locating the Loot

When, during the last months of the war, Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Officers found that a great proportion of the movable art treasures

Superstructure of the salt mine at Kochendort where the Germans hid their loot.

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