Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2006

In Osteuropa 1-2/2006

Athena under Attack
Nazi Pillage of Cultural Artefacts in the Second World War

Gabriele Freitag

Deutsche Fassung


The National Socialist pillage of cultural artefacts in the territories occupied by the German Armed Forces and the civil administration was a comprehensive action on the part of military and civil authorities aimed at captured cultural assets. Nazi occupation policy differed considerably in Western and Eastern Europe. After liberation, the losses registered in France, Belgium and the Netherlands were primarily among private art collections, frequently those of Jewish ownership. In Eastern Europe, by contrast, various German authorities – Special Commando Linz (Chancellery) the Art Protection Force (High Command of the Army), Special Commando Künsberg (Foreign Office), Task Force Command Reich Director Rosenberg (the Nazi party Foreign Political Office) and Ancestral Heritage (SS) – also plundered churches, museums, art galleries and libraries and had the pillaged objects sent in part to Germany.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2006, pp. 23–42)