Holocaust-Era Assets

Art Provenance and Claims Research Project

Descriptive List of Key Records

Photographic Collections

(a)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Photographs Taken by the Munich Central Collecting Point, OMGUS, of Artworks Appropriated by Germany During World War II, 1945–1947 [NARA Still Picture Series 260-MP].

Description: This series contains images produced by the Munich Central Collecting Point as cultural objects were received from various places discovered in the zone controlled by the Office of Military Government for Bavaria. Contact prints from the negatives were attached to various property cards as described in NARA Microfilm Publication M1946, Rolls 153–266, [A1, Entries 520-523]. The art objects had been taken by the Nazis for the Linz Museum in Linz, Austria, from the vast Rothschild collection located in museums and in private collections throughout France; from the National Museum in Kracow (Cracow), Poland; and from other institutions and collections in Europe. The artworks of many noted artists found in this series include those of Francois Boucher, Pieter Bruegel (both the Elder and the Younger), Canaletto, Lucas Cranach, Edgar Degas, Eugene Delacroix, Anthony van Dyck, Frans Hals, Jean August Dominique Ingres, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Vermeer, and Antoine Watteau. For types of artwork photographed, see the appendix. Items of interest include Persian rugs (Tabriz), armor for horses, 5th-century Byzantine and Roman statuary and jewelry, Chinese porcelain and figurines, and Meissen ceramics. Famous personalities represented in this series include Queen Marie Antoinette (in a painting by Lebrun, no. 1012), Napoleon (as Consul, painted by Ingres, no. 1285/2), and the French writer Diderot (in bust form, no. 21479). This series consists of original negatives created by the MCCP and a set of modern prints created more recently by the National Gallery of Art in cooperation with the National Archives. Only the prints were microfilmed as part of this publication.

Dimensions: Prints: 2" x 2" to 8" x 10". Negatives: 4" x 5" to 7" x 9".

Arrangement: Prints and Negatives: Numerical by the number given by the Munich Central Collecting Point for each item. The items had initially been given a number by workers at the original site where they had been found; this number, usually identified as “Aussee” (although other names are found), denotes the site at the town of Alt Aussee where the objects were found. This number always follows the Munich number. In several instances a group of objects were given the same Munich number, but had different Aussee numbers. In these instances, the prints are filed by the Munich number, and thereunder by the Aussee number.

Finding Aids: Cross-reference list for Munich-numbered negatives which contain Linz numbers on them is located in the NARA Research Room.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: Copyright restrictions. The institutions which own the artworks may have placed restrictions upon photographs.

Volume: 33,000 images.

This series is available on NARA Microfilm Publication M1946, Rolls 266–334.

(b)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Photographs of the Restitution of Art and Other Activities at the Munich Central Collecting Point, 1945 [NARA Still Pictures Series 260-MCCP].

Description: The photographs in this series depict the restitution of artworks, including the first shipments of objects to France and Holland; views of Galleries I and II at the Königsplatz in Munich, where the Nazis held exhibitions of stolen artworks; photographs of artworks looted from Italy and found in Bavaria; and several views of objects bought by one Bornheim for Hermann Göring. This series consists of negatives and prints. Only the prints were microfilmed as part of this publication.

Dimensions: Prints: 3" x 4" to 8" x 10". Negatives: 8" x 10".

Arrangement: Prints: Alphabetical by subject.

Finding Aids: Folder list in NARA Research Room and with records.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: None.

Volume: 118 images.

This series is available on NARA Microfilm Publication M1946, Roll 334.

(c)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Photographs of Artworks and Decorative Objects Processed at the Marburg Collecting Point, 1945 [NARA Still Picture Series 260-MAR].

Description: The photographs in this series show the vast amount of cultural treasures, confiscated by Germany during World War II, which were documented and restituted from the Marburg Collecting Point after the war. These black and white reproductions were photographed on a contract basis for OMGUS by the German art institution Foto-Marburg. Shown in these photographs are paintings and drawings, ceramics, metalware, and sculpture. Each photograph contains a brief caption or title of the artwork in German (some are also in English). Negatives for these photographs apparently remain in the custody of Foto-Marburg.

Dimensions: 2" x 2" to 8" x 10".

Arrangement: Numerical by Marburg CCP-assigned number. This number appears to have been used to document the artwork or object as it was processed.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: Copyright restrictions. Institutions which own these artworks may have placed restrictions on their use. In addition, from related records found in RG 260, Series 260-MT, Foto-Marburg appears (though this has not been verified) to retain reproduction rights for the photos, as it kept the original negatives of these photographs.

For references purposes, researchers will have access to the microfilm publication in place of the original photographs.

This series is available on NARA Microfilm Publication M1948, Rolls 26–28.

Volume: 1,300 images.

(d)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Photographs of Drawings, Paintings, and Decorative Objects, 1945–1949 [NARA Still Picture Series 260-M].

Description: The black and white photographs in this series were produced in order to establish a documentary record of the vast amount of fine art treasures confiscated by the Nazi government during World War II. The treasures photographed in this series apparently were processed at the Marburg Collecting Point after the war. The photographs themselves were produced by a German company, Foto-Marburg, under contract with OMGUS. The drawings and paintings represented here form an extensive collection of German, Italian, Dutch and French masterpieces from the 14th through 19th centuries. Among the many artists whose work is photographed are Rembrandt, Vermeer, Brueghel the Elder and Younger, Van Dyck, Watteau, Boucher, Rubens, Dürer, Van Gogh, Monet, Hals, Van Eyck, and Gainsborough. In addition to drawings and paintings, decorative objects such as sculptures, tapestries, ceramics and metalware were also photographed. At the end of this series is a group of photographs taken of objects belonging to the Berlin Schlossmuseum Welfenschatz. Each photograph in this series contains a caption in German, reference numbers linking the object to its home repository, an abbreviation for the institution, and the negative number assigned by Foto-Marburg (example: Mar. 193689).

Dimensions: 4" x 5" to 8" x 10".

Arrangement: By type of media, thereunder by surname of artist or geographic location.

Finding Aids: A box list is in the Finding Aid Drawer and with records.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: None. Institutions which own these artworks may have placed restrictions on their reproduction. DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE INSTITUTION.

Volume: 2,500 images.

Location: Stack 532: 041/16/7/17/3, 26 containers.

(e)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Photographs of Artworks Looted for the Museum of German Culture, Linz, Austria, ca. 1940–ca.1944 [NARA Still Picture Series 260-L].

Description: This series consists of photographs of artworks that were either stolen or requisitioned for placement in Adolf Hitler’s planned Museum of German Culture in his hometown of Linz, Austria. These photographs were apparently taken by the Special Staff for Pictorial Art in the Operational Headquarters of Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg. The Special Staff for Pictorial Art was entrusted with finding all art treasures belonging to Jewish people in the occupied Western and Eastern territories, and for inventorying and transporting them to Germany. This activity soon extended, as well, to public institutions without any particular Jewish connection. This series of photographs forms an extensive group of 15th to 19th century art produced by German artists.

The majority of the artworks reproduced in this series consist of paintings of still life, allegorical and classical scenes, landscapes, and portraits. In addition, there are a few photographs of classical Greek and Roman sculpture and French furniture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Artists whose work appears in this series include Franz von Stuck, Franz von Lembach, and Hubert Lanzinger. The vast majority of the photographs have no captions. Artworks of interest in this series include portraits of Otto von Bismarck (Number 74), Martin Luther (Number 82), profiles of Bach and Beethoven done in relief (Number 307), and profiles of Haydn and Mozart in relief (Number 308).

The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section of OMGUS apparently removed negatives from this series that related to artworks maintained at the Munich Central Collecting Point; these are now in the Munich collection of negatives (now Record Group 260, series 260-MP). Orange cards interfiled in the Series 260-L negatives indicate that an item was removed, and the Munich number assigned to it.

Dimensions: Negatives: 5" x 7" and 7" x 9". Prints: 7" x 9".

Arrangement: Negatives were arranged in a straight numerical sequence by the Special Staff for Pictorial Art, but NARA has separated the negatives into two groups by size: 5" x 7" and 7" x 9". Prints and Negatives: Numerical by the Linz number.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: Copyright restrictions. Institutions which own the artworks may have placed copyright restrictions upon photographs.

Volume: 3,000 images.

Location: Stack 532: 041/15/4/16/4, 83 containers.

(f)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Photographs Taken by the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point, OMGUS, of Artworks Appropriated by Germany During World War II, ca. 1945–ca. 1947 [NARA Still Picture Series 260-WA, 260-WB, and 260-WC].

Description: The photographs in these three series were produced by the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point (CCP), located in the Office of Military Government for Hesse. The entire photo collection of the Wiesbaden CCP was arranged in three groups by negative size: Series 260-WA consists of 7" x 9" negatives; Series 260-WB, 5" x 7"; and Series 260-WC, 4" x 5".

The artworks photographed constitute a vast collection of 15th centry to 18th century paintings and drawings, and illustrate the extent of Nazi plunder of cultural treasures. Artists whose works are represented in series WA, WB, and WC include Hieronymus Bosch, Sandro Botticelli, Francois Boucher, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Canaletto, Lucas Cranach, Edgar Degas, Albrecht Dürer, Anthony van Dyck, Thomas Gainsborough, Hans Holbein, Joshua Reynolds, and Tintoretto. Portraits, landscapes, and religious scenes are subjects most commonly encountered in these works of art. Artwork and cultural objects of interest include Botticelli illustrations from Dante’s Divine Comedy, Rembrandt drawings, and Hungary’s Crown of St. Stephen, as well as the orb and scepter. There are no original prints for this series.

Dimensions: Series 260-WA: 7" x 9"; Series 260-WB: 5" x 7"; Series 260-WC: 4" x 5".

Arrangement: By number assigned by the Wiesbaden CCP.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: None. Institutions which own the artworks depicted in these photographs may have placed reproduction restrictions on them.

Volume: 260-WA: 145 images; 260-WB: 300 images; 260-WC: 640 images.

Location: 260-WA: Stack 532: 041/18/6/18/6, 3 containers; 260-WB: Stack 431E: 011/1/6, 4 containers; 260-WC: Stack 431E: 011/1/9, 3 containers.

(g)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Photographs of Artworks Restituted by the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point (CCP), 1945–1949 [NARA Still Picture Series 260-WLA].

Description: These 35mm negatives comprise one group of what the Wiesbaden CCP termed its “Leica” series, depicting views of artworks destined for restitution to their proper owners. Each negative jacket provides a brief caption that indicates the name of the owner institution, as well as a title for the artwork, or its medium. A caption list (Record Group 260, Series 260-WLX) provides a listing of the artworks, and also gives the numbers for each shipment in which the artworks were returned to their owners. Captions on the negative jackets and in the caption list are in German. There are no original prints for this series.

Arrangement: Numerical by roll number, thereunder by frame number.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: Copyright restrictions. Institutions or individuals which own the artworks pictured in this series may have placed restrictions upon reproductions of photographs.

Volume: 4,000 images.

Location: Stack 431E: 011/1/10, 3 containers.

(h)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Photographs of Artworks Appropriated by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) in France, 1940–1944 [NARA Still Picture Series 260-ERR].

Description: The negatives in this series were produced by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (Operational Headquarters of Reich Leader Rosenberg), an organization headed by Nazi Party “philosopher” Alfred Rosenberg during World War II which procured, illegally, masterpieces of artwork and other cultural property from countries in Europe occupied by the German armed forces. The ERR maintained a Special Office for Visual Arts in Berlin, to which records of cultural property procured by the ERR were sent. These negatives document the extent of the systematic plunder of various artistic works, primarily paintings, from private and public collections in France. Many types of fine art are represented in this series, including paintings; tapestries and other textiles; drawings and sketches; pieces in gold, silver, and bronze; and furniture. The time span for the objects photographed in this series, judging from the subject matter and styles, seems to run from the 17th century to the 1930's. Works by Paul Gaugin and Picasso, as well as photographs of Louis XVI period furnishings, are found in this series.

The ERR meticulously documented each artistic treasure which they stole, assigning each photograph of each artwork an alphabetical designator for the last name of the owner or institution from which it was stolen. For example, negatives for artwork appropriated from one Lindenbaum are identified with an “Li” designator. Items from each collection were then given numbers. Inventory cards were then typed up giving the name of the artist, the title of the work or a description of the object, the alphabetical designator and object number, the type of medium in which the work was created, its dimensions, and the date of the inventory. Inventory cards for these negatives, and other related records, may be found among the textual records for Record Group 260.

Interpositives have been made from these negatives. There is a great discrepancy between the number of interpositives and the number of negatives. The vast majority of the negatives produced by the ERR were on nitrate base film, from which these interpositives were made in the 1980s. These nitrate negatives were then disposed of. The remaining original negatives which are in this series are from other processes (see below); interpositives have also been made from them. Prints from these negatives may be found in Record Group 260, Series 260-ERRA.

Many of the original negatives constituting Record Group 260, Series 260-ERR, were removed during or after the war and were allocated to other groups of records. Notations on the original “out slips” filed with some of the negatives indicated that the missing negatives were given a “Munich” number. This number relates to the numbers found on items in Record Group 260, Series 260-MP. After the war, the Munich Central Collecting Point (MCCP) of OMGUS collected artworks recovered from the ERR, and related photographic materials; there may have been an ERR facility in Munich from which many of the MCCP's records came. Negatives noted as missing in Record Group 260, Series 260-ERR, may be in Record Group 260, Series 260-MP. A list has been made by NARA which notes those ERR negatives which may be found in Record Group 260, Series 260-MP.

Dimensions: Negatives: 5" x 7" and 7" x 9". Interpositives: 4" x 5".

Arrangement: Alphabetical by institution or owner designator, and thereunder numerical.

Finding Aids: List of ERR negatives found in Record Group 260, Series 260-MP, is filed with this series.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: Copyright restrictions. Institutions or private owners of the original artworks may retain rights to the use of reproductions and should be consulted.

For reference purposes, researchers will have access to the microfilm publication in place of the interpositives.

This series is available on NARA Microfilm Publication M1943, Rolls 28–37.

Volume: 6,710 images.

(i)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Photographs of Artworks Appropriated by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg in France, Used by the Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, 1945 [NARA Still Pictures Series 260-ERRA].

Description: The photographs in this series consist of copy prints made from the contents of 39 original albums which were compiled by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (Operational Headquarters of Reich Leader Rosenberg), an organization headed by Nazi Party “philosopher” Alfred Rosenberg during World War II which procured, illegally, masterpieces of artwork from the countries of Europe occupied by the German armed forces. After the war, these photographs were solicited by the Office of the Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality from the Central Collecting Point of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section (MFAA) of OMGUS in Munich. These photographs were presented as part of Series 6, “Prosecution Exhibits,” at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in November 1945. The first 37 of the original 39 albums are among the textual records of Record Group 260. The fate of albums 38 and 39 is unknown.

The photographs in this series illustrate the magnitude of the Nazis’ plundering of artistic treasures from Europe, as well as their methodical recordkeeping of this activity. Each photograph (which is a reproduction of each original album page) shows the original artwork and caption information (in German). Most pieces are identified by the name of the artist, the title of the work, the approximate time period, the dimensions of the piece, and the medium in which the artwork was crafted. Many types of fine art are represented in this series, including paintings; tapestries and other textiles; porcelain and enamelware; drawings and sketches; faience and majolica; gold, silver, and bronze pieces; clocks, furniture, and jewelry. The time periods for these artworks range from 5th century A.D. Egyptian Coptic textiles to late 19th century Impressionist paintings and sketches.

Artists whose works are found in this series include Francois Boucher, Pieter Brueghel, Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Eugène Delacroix, Thomas Gainsborough, Francisco Goya, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Edouard Manet, Jean-Francois Millet, Claude Monet, Rembrandt van Rijn, Benjamin Reynolds, Auguste Rodin, Peter Paul Rubens, John Russel, and Antoine Watteau. The original negatives for this series were made in the German Embassy in Paris by the ERR; these negatives now constitute Record Group 260, series 260-ERR.

Dimensions: 8" x 10".

Arrangement: In folders which correspond to the contents of the original albums. Most folders contain a photograph of an inventory sheet written by the ERR which lists (in German) the contents of each album. Each print contains an image of the German caption for the artwork. This caption includes the original alphanumeric designator assigned each artwork by the ERR (see the description for Record Group 260, Series 260-ERR, for more information). Prints in each folder were apparently numbered by the Office of the Chief Counsel (or by the State Department) with a four-digit number which contained the album number and the sequential photo number (example: 0142, where 01 is the album number and 42 indicates that it is the 42nd image in the album). The numbers are written on the reverse of each print. There is one image per album page.

Finding Aids: A folder/album list in NARA Research Room and with records.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: Copyright restrictions. The institution or individual who owns the artworks may retain rights to their reproduction, and should be consulted.

For references purposes, researchers will have access to the microfilm publication in place of the original photographs.

This series is available on NARA Microfilm Publication M1943, Rolls 38–40.

Volume: 2,087 images.

(j)
Record Group & Series: Records of the U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (RG 260); Office of Military Government, U.S. Zone (Germany) (OMGUS); Property Division; Restitution Branch; Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section; Photomechanical Reproductions of Works of Art Transferred From Germany to the United States, 1945 [NARA Still Picture Series 260–GU].

Description: This series consists of halftone reproductions accessioned from the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFAA) Section, Office of Military Government for Germany (OMGUS). The reproductions were once housed in three albums which have been disassembled. The reproductions appear to have been cut out of a German publication and then affixed onto notebook sheets of paper. Shown in the reproductions are paintings that were removed from Germany by the United States Government. The works of art were sent to the United States in 1945 for safekeeping until their rightful ownership could be ascertained. According to a press release included in the series, the transferred works of art were not objects readily identifiable as looted art. The U.S. Government recognized that while the issue of ownership was investigated, expert personnel was not available within the U.S. Zone to ensure the safety of the works of art. Moreover, the art was stored under condition deleterious to their well being.

The paintings represented in these records are from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods and the 17th and 18th centuries. In keeping with the style of the times, most of the earlier paintings have religious themes. Works by well-known artists of the periods—Italian, German, Flemish, French, Spanish and Dutch—are well represented. Medieval artists whose paintings are represented in this series include Jan van Eyck, Roger van der Weyden, Petrus Christus, Jean Fouquet, Pietro Lorenzetti and Giotto di Bondone. Renaissance painters include Fra Fillippo Lippi, Andrea Mantegna, Masaccio, Sandro Botticelli, Raphael Santi, Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein, and Pieter Brueghel. Paintings by Michelangelo da Caravaggio are representative of the Baroque period. Among the 17th century painters whose paintings are reproduced here are Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Vermeer, Peter Paul Rubens and Diego Rodriquez de Silva y Velazquez. Jean Antoine Watteau paintings are examples of 18th century art.

Dimensions: From 2-1/8" x 4-1/4" to 5-1/4" x 8-1/4".

Arrangement: Alphabetical by name of artist.

Access: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: Possible copyright restrictions. Some or all of the material in this series may be subject to copyright or other intellectual property restrictions. Institutions or other owners of the works of art documented in this series may retain rights to the use of reproductions and should be consulted.

Volume: 202 items.

Location: Stack 532: 041/15/3, 1 container.

Top of Page

PDF files require the free Adobe Reader.
More information on Adobe Acrobat PDF files is available on our Accessibility page.

Holocaust-Era Assets >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.