Oberfinanzdirektion Berlin:

Regional Finance Office, Berlin (Oberfinanzdirektion Berlin)

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Title
Regional Finance Office, Berlin (Oberfinanzdirektion Berlin)

Description
Because they often document the confiscation of art objects, the records created in connection with the Federal Restitution Law (Bundesrückerstattungsgesetz-BRüG, 1957) are a highly useful resource for provenance research. These restitution records are located in various locations across Germany. However, about 80 percent of them are located in Berlin and the Regional Finance Office, Berlin (Oberfinanzdirektion Berlin) holds approximately one million. It may therefore be wise initially to address queries to them. They may eventually be able to suggest further locations of relevant restitution records. Because of the way in which their archives are set up, queries should include the first and last names of the injured party, their date and place of birth, as well as any other details that may help to identify them. The files generally contain property appraisals, witness statements and certificates from various agencies and ministries.

Recently, a list of art objects mentioned in the restitution records was compiled. Due to the sheer number of records, the list is not complete. To date, it includes approximately ten thousand objects. It will be published on the Lost Art Internet Database at <www.lostart.de>, accessed 22 October 2002, to facilitate broader access to this information.

Contact Information
Queries regarding records need to be made in writing.
Oberfinanzdirektion Berlin 
Referat V41- Archive
Fasanenstr. 87
10623 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0) 30 3181 4101 (Frau Pieper)
Fax: +49 (0) 30 3181 1460

Sources
Guidelines (February 2001) concerning the implementation of the "Joint Declaration by  the Federal Government, the Länder (Federal States) and the National Associations of Local Authorities on the tracing and return of Nazi-confiscated art, especially Jewish property" from December 1999, p.14-5. Handreichung vom Februar 2001 zur Umsetzung der "Erklärung der Bundesregierung, der Länder und der kommunalen Spitzenverbände zur Auffindung und zur Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogenen Kulturgutes, insbesondere aus jüdischem Besitz" vom Dezember 1999, p.14-5

French Commission for the Victims of Spoliation resulting from anti-Semitic legislation in force during the Occupation (Commision pour l'Indemnisation des victims des spoliations intervenues du fait des législations antisémites en vigeur pendant l'occupation): <http://www.civs.gouv.fr>, accessed 22 October 2002. (a French site, also available in English and Hebrew).

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