Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2006

In Osteuropa 1-2/2006

The Destruction of a Culture
Of Collectors, Patrons and Thieves

Isabel von Klitzing, Lucian J. Simmons

Deutsche Fassung


Wars and violent regime change are often accompanied by the redistribution of cultural assets and works of art. Since antiquity, public and private artistic treasures have been stolen. However, one factor stands out in the 1933-1948 period: the thoroughness of raids on private art collections and the deliberate destruction of the culture of patrons and their expertise, which had blossomed between 1890 and 1930. The high standing enjoyed by collecting in the 50 years prior to the Second World War laid the foundation for the plundering that followed. Today, that standing offers many clues that make it possible to reconstruct an artwork’s history of ownership.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2006, pp. 43–54)