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In the East activities were carried out throughout the Occupied Eastern Territories (153-PS), including the Baltic states and the Ukraine (151-PS), as well as in Hungary (158-PS), Greece (171PS), and Yugoslavia. (071-PS)
The function of the Rosenberg Organization included not only the seizure of books and scientific materials specified in the original Hitler Order (171-PS), but the seizure of private art treasures (1015-B-PS), public art treasures (055-PS), and household furnishings. (L-188)
C. Cooperating Agencies.
On 5 July 1940 Keitel (Chief of the OKW) informed the Chief of the Army High Command (OKH) and the Chief of the Armed Forces in The Netherlands that the Fuehrer had ordered that Rosenberg's suggestion be followed, to the effect that certain libraries and archives, chancelleries of high church authorities, and lodges be searched for documents valuable to Germany or indicating political maneuvers directed against Germany, and that such material be seized. The letter further stated that Hitler had ordered the support of the Gestapo and that the Chief of the Sipo (Security Police), SS-Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich, had been informed and would communicate with the competent military commanders. (137-PS)
Keitel issued a further order to the Chief of the OKH, France, on 17 September 1940, providing:
"The ownership status before the war in France, prior to the
respondingly." (138-PS) The above order was extended to Belgium on 10 October 1940
(139-PS), and an identical order was issued by the Chief of the
"Directions for carrying out this order in cooperation with
(149-PS) Dr. Lammers' order of 5 July 1942 declared that the Chief of the OKH, in agreement with Keitel, would issue regulations governing the cooperation with the Wehrmacht and the Police Services for assistance in making seizures. (154-PS)
An official of the Rosenberg Ministry for the Occupied East declared the Wehrmacht to be one of the primary agencies engaged in removing art treasures from Russia. (1107-PS)
Cooperation of the SS and the SD was indicated by Rosenberg in a letter to Bormann on 23 April 1941:
It is understood that the confiscations are not executed by the regional authorities but that this is conducted by the Security Service as well as by the police.
it has been communicated to me in writing by a Gauleiter, that the chief office of the Reich Security (RSHA) of the SS has claimed the following from the library of a monastery:
*.” (071-PS) The above letter also points out that there has been
close cooperation on the widest scale with the Security Service and the military commanders.
*' “This affair (Operations in Salonika) has already been executed on our side with the Security Service (SD) in the most
loyal fashion.” (071-PS) The National Socialist Party financed the operations of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg. (090-PS; 145-PS)
In a letter to Goering, 18 June 1942, Rosenberg voiced the opin. ion that all art objects and other confiscated items should belong to the National Socialist Party because the Party has been bearing the brunt of the battle against the persons and forces from whom this property was taken. (1118-PS)
D. Cooperation of Hermann Goering.
On 5 November 1940, Goering issued an order specifying the distribution to be made of art objects brought to the Louvre. The order lists as second in priority of disposition, “Those art objects
which serve to the completion of the Reichsmarshal's collection" and states that the objects will "be packed and shipped to Germany with the assistance of the Luftwaffe.” (141-PS)
On 1 May 1941 Goering issued an order to all Party, State, and Wehrmacht Services requesting them:
to give all possible support and assistance to the Chief of Staff of Reichsleiter Rosenberg's Staff, Reichshauptstellenleiter Party Comrade Utikal, and his deputy DRKFeldfuehrer Party Comrade von Behr, in the discharge of their duties. The above-mentioned persons are requested to report to me on their work, particularly on any difficulties
that might arise." (1117-PS) On 30 May 1942, Goering claimed credit for the success of the Einsatzstab:
On the other hand I also support personally the work of your Einsatzstab wherever I can do so, and a great part of the seized cultural goods can be accounted for because I was able to assist the Einsatzstab by my organizations." (1015-1-PS)
E. Method of Operation.
The staff of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg seized not only "abandoned” art treasures but also treasures which had been hidden, or were left in the custody of depots or warehouses, including art treasures that were already packed for shipment to America. (1015-B-PS)
Robert Scholz, Chief of the Special Staff for Pictorial Art, described the thoroughness with which the Einsatzstab conducted investigations and seizures:
These seizures were carried out on the basis of preliminary exhaustive investigations into the address lists of the French Police authorities, on the basis of Jewish handbooks, warehouse inventories and order books of French shipping firms as well as on the basis of French art and collection catalogs.
The seizure of ownerless Jewish works of art has gradually extended over the whole French territory."
(1015-B-PS) In the East, members of Rosenberg's staff operated directly behind the front in close cooperation with the infantry. (035-PS)
Von Behr, in a progress report dated 8 August 1944, described the method of seizing household furnishings:
“The confiscation of Jewish homes was effected in most cases in such a way that the so-called confiscation officials went from house to house when no records were available of the addresses of Jews who had departed or fled, as was the case for example, in Paris
They drew up inventories of these homes and subsequently sealed them “The goods are dispatched first, to large collecting camps from where they are turned over, sorted out and loaded for Germany.
work shops were established for cabinet-makers, watchmakers, shoemakers, electricians, radio experts, furriers, etc. All incoming goods were diligently sorted out and those not ready for use were repaired. Moreover special boxes were dispatched for the use of special trades "For the sorting out of the confiscated furniture and goods on the invisible assembly line and for the packing and loading, exclusive use was made of interned Jews. Because of its experience as to confiscation, as to working systems within the camps, and as to transportation, the Office West was able to reorganize their entire working system and thus to succeed in providing for the use in Germany of even things which appeared to be valueless such as scrap paper, rags, salvage, etc.
F. Nature, Extent, and Value of Property Seized.
(1) Books, manuscripts, documents, and incunabula. port on the library of the "Hohe Schule," prepared by Dr. Wunder, lists the most significant book collections belonging to the library and confiscated by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in accordance with the orders of the Fuehrer, as follows (171-PS):
(approx.) Alliance Israelite Universelle....
40,000 Vols. Ecole Rabbinique........
10,000 Vols. Federation de Societe des Juifs de France.
4,000 Vols. Lipschuetz Bookstore, Paris.
20,000 Vols. Rothschild Family, Paris.
28,000 Vols. Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam.
20,000 Vols. Sefardischen Jewish Community, Amsterdam 25,000 Vols. Occupied Eastern Territories...
280,000 Vols. Jewish Community, Greece.
10,000 Vols. "Special Action". Rhineland
5,000 Vols. Other sources.
An undated report on the activities of the Einsatzstab Working Group, Netherlands, lists Masonic Lodges and other organizations whose libraries and archives have been seized. The report states that 470 cases of books had already been packed and reports materials seized from 92 separate lodges of the “Droit Humain”, the “Groot Oosten”, the “IOOF" and the “Rotary Club”. An additional 776 cases containing approximately 160,000 volumes were seized from the International Institute for Social History at Amsterdam. An additional 170 cases were seized from the “Theosophischen Society” and other organizations. (176-PS)
The report further states that the value of the above works is between 30 million and 40 million Reichsmarks. Additional materials to be derived from other sources, including 100,000 volumes from the “Rosenthaliana" collection, are estimated to have a value of three times that of the above, or an additional 90 million to 120 million Reichsmarks. The estimated over-all value is thus between 120 and 160 million Reichsmarks. (176-PS)
(2) Household furnishings. The entire furniture seizure action, known as “Action M”, is summarized in a report of Von Behr, Chief of the Office West, dated 8 August 1944. The report furnishes the following statistics on results up to 1 July 1944:
Jewish homes confiscated.
71,619 Loading capacity required.
.cu. ms.. 1,079,373 Railroad cars required...
26,984 Foreign currency and securities confiscated
.RM.... 11,695,516 Scrap metal, scrap paper, and textiles dispatched
(L-188) The report goes on to list in detail the number of boxes of miscellaneous items seized, including china (199 boxes), curtains (72 boxes), coat hangers (120 boxes), toys (99 boxes), bottles (730 boxes), etc. The report concludes with an itemized statement of the number of wagons dispatched to various cities throughout Germany, to German camps, to SS Divisions, the German State Railways, the Postal Service, and the Police. (L-188)
(3) Works of Art (East). With reference to the work of the Einsatzstab in the Eastern Territories, Robert Scholz reported as follows:
"In the course of the evacuation of the territory several hundred most valuable Russian ikons, several hundred Russian