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'Nazi-Looted Art from East and West in East Prussia: Initial Findings on the Erich Koch Collection'

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Nazi-Looted Art from East and West in East Prussia: Initial Findings on the Erich Koch Collection


Patricia Kennedy Grimsted


February 2015


The article contrasts long-suppressed details of German art seizures during the Second World War from Ukrainian state museums and Western Jewish dealers, ordered to Königsberg by Erich Koch, Gauleiter of East Prussia and Reich Commissar of Ukraine. While most of the art from Kyiv was destroyed by retreating
Germans when the Red Army arrived (February 1945), here we investigate “survivors.” Initial provenance findings about the collection Koch evacuated to Weimar in February 1945 reveal some paintings from Kyiv. More, however, were seized from Dutch and French Holocaust victims by Reichsmarschall Hermann
Göring and his cohorts, including Jewish dealers Jacques Goudstikker (Amsterdam) and Georges Wildenstein (Paris). Many paintings deposited in Weimar disappeared west; others seized by Soviet authorities were transported to the Hermitage. These initial findings draw attention to hitherto overlooked contrasting examples of patterns of Nazi art looting and destruction in the East and West, and the pan-European dispersal of important works of art.

To read the article, click here.

Author Dr. Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, is Senior Research Associate, Ukrainian Research Institute, Associate, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University; Honorary Fellow, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam; and Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Moscow


International Journal of Cultural Property (2015) 22: 7– 60

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