Books and Publications


NS-Raubgut, Reichstauschstelle und Preussische Staatsbibliothek - National Socialist Plunder, Reich Exchange Office and the Prussian State Library


Hans Erich Bödeker, Gerd-Josef Bötte, eds


December 2007


This book comprises the papers delivered to the Berlin Symposium of the same name on the 3rd and 4th May 2007. 

The book describes the control exercised by the National Socialist state over academic libraries and analyses their collaboration, in particular in the theft of books and the identification of 'Enemies of the Reich'. In addition, it deals with aspects of the identification and restitution of books stolen and confiscated between 1933 and 1945.  This account presents the provisional findings of a research project conducted since 2006 by the Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Max Planck Historical Institute/Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

The publication is divided into four sections:

Section I. “Institutional configurations” contains a paper by Jan-Pieter Barbian (director of the Duisburg Municipal Library) on the political control of research libraries under the Nazi regime; and a paper by Martin Friedenberger (historian and civil servant at the Federal Ministry of Finance) on the methods of seizure of the Reich finance administration.

Section II. “The Reich Exchange Office and the Prussian State Library” contains a paper by cultural historian Cornelia Briel on the relationship between the Reich Exchange Office and the Prussian State Library 1934-1945; and a paper by Karsten Sydow (director of the Library of the Topography of Terror Foundation, Berlin) on the accession journals of the Prussian State Library with regards to Nazi-looted property and the Reich Exchange Office.

Section III. “Reich Exchange Office, Prussian State Library and Libraries” contains three papers: one by Christina Köstner (University Library of Vienna) on the National Library in Vienna and the Reich Exchange Office; a second by Bernd Reifenberg (University Library Marburg) on Nazi-looted property among the books transferred from the Reich Exchange Office and the Prussian State Library to other libraries, using Marburg as an example; and a third by historian and journalist Hans-Joachim Lang on the Reich Exchange Office, the Prussian State Library and the Gestapo as suppliers of books to Tübingen University Library.

The last section, Section VI. “Problems posed in provenance research”, contains a paper by Heike Pudler (State Library of Berlin) on transactions concerning the restitution of Nazi-looted property at the State Library of Berlin; and a paper by Olaf Hamann (State Library of Berlin) on Nazi-looted property among library collections taken by Soviet “Trophy Commissions” in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.

The book has no index.  It is published by Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-598-11777-0. 

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