Events and Conferences :

Looting and Restitution in Libraries (Raub und Restitution in Bibliotheken) 23-24 April 2003

Looting and Restitution in Libraries (Raub und Restitution in Bibliotheken)

23-24 April 2003

Nordbuffet, Vienna Town Hall (Rathaus)

In 2001, the Viennese Municipal and Regional Library restituted the Strauß-Meyszner Collection (sheet music and manuscript scores, correspondence, works of art and objects relating to Johann Strauß) to the heirs. It was subsequently bought back by the Viennese Municipal and Provincial Library, where an exhibition on the collection was scheduled to open in May 2003.

In connection with the exhibition, the Library organised a symposium on looted books and manuscripts to discuss the role of libraries under National Socialism and their post-war involvement in restitution. The symposium was organised in cooperation with the Austrian Society of German Language and Literature Studies and the Association of Austrian Librarians, and was supported by the City of Vienna's Department of Culture.

The symposium papers covered the following issues:

The conference papers can be downloaded from the library's website.

Symposium Programme

Wednesday, 23 April 2003

9:00 Welcoming Speech and Opening
Walter Obermaier (Director of the Viennese Municipal and Provincial Library)
Andreas Mailath-Pokorny (Municipal Councillor for Culture and Science)

Part 1: Disenfranchisement and Looting

9:40 The Disenfranchising of the Austrian Jews under National Socialism
Gerhard Botz, Institute for Contemporary History, University of Vienna

10:00 The Fate of Jewish Libraries in Austria
Evelyn Adunka, Vienna

10:15 Library Policy in the "Ostmark"
Peter Malina, University Library, Vienna

10:30 Discussion

10:50 Break

11:05 The German Library reveals holdings from the Bücherverwertungsstelle Wien (Book Disposal Unit, Vienna)
Grit Nitzsche, Coordination Office for Looted Cultural Assets, Magdeburg

11:20 Looted Jewish Libraries in Belgium (in English)
Daniel Dratwa, Musée Juif de Belgique

11:35 Book Looting in the "Generalgouvernement"
Andrzej Mezynski, Biblioteka Semjmowa, Warsaw

11:50 Jewish Libraries at the Reich Central Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt) 1936-1945
Werner Schroeder, Oldenburg

12:05 Discussion

13:30 Lunch Break

Part 2: The Restitution of Library Holdings after 1945

14:30 Dealing with the Past
Brigitte Bailer-Galanda, Austrian Historians' Commisison

14:50 Export Ban and Heritage Protection
Theodor Brückler, Federal Office of Historical Monuments (Bundesdenkmalamt) Vienna

15:05 The Negotiations on the Strauß Collections in the Viennese Municipal Library
Maria Wirth, Vienna

15:20 Discussion

15:45 Break

16:05 The Library of the Jewish Museum in Prague
Andrea Braunová, Zidovske Museum v Praze

16:20 The Problems of the Restitution of Books to Libraries in Belgium 1945-2002 (in English)
Jacques Lust, Belgische Nationalkommission, Brussels

16:35 Orphaned Jewish Books in post-war Amsterdam (in English)
F.J. Hoogewoud, Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam

16:50 Discussion

17:30 End

Thursday, 24 April 2003

Part 3: The Re-evaluation of "questionable acquisitions" since the 1990s

9:00 The Repatriation of Library Materials - International Experiences (in English)
Norman Palmer, London

9:20 The Situation in Austria
Robert Holzbauer, Federal Office of Historical Monuments (Bundesdenkmalamt), Vienna

9:35 The "Handreichung" (Guidelines) of the Coordination Office for Looted Cultural Assets in Deutschland
Veronica Albrink, Leverkusen

9:50 First Practical Experiences in Germany
Jürgen Babendreier, Bremen University Library

10:05 Discussion

10:30 Break

10:50 The Restitution of the Ex Libris collection of Marco Birnholz
Marianne Jobst-Rieder, National Library of Austria, Vienna

11:05 The Caesar Hirsch Collection
Bernt von Egidy, Tübingen University Library

11:20 The Tracing of Looted Property at Magdeburg University Library: A Report from Practical Experience
Bernd Reifenberg, Magdeburg University Library

11:35 Discussion

11:55 Break

12:15 The "Stürmer Library" in Nuremberg
Jim Tobias, Nuremberg Centre for Research on National Socialism

12:30 Restitution and Searching for Heirs at the National Library of Austria
Margot Werner, National Library of Austria, Vienna

12:45 Restitution and Searching for Heirs at the Viennese Municipal and Provincial Library
Gerhard Renner and Christian Mertens, Viennese Municipal and Provincial Library

13:00 Final Discussion

13:45 End of the Symposium

Contact Details
Christian Mertens
Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek
A-1082 Wien
Tel: +43 (0)1 4000 84920
Fax: + 43 (0)1 4000 7219

Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek (Municipal and Provincial Library of Vienna)
<>, first accessed 27 March 2003.  Link updated 20 July 2007.