Holocaust-Era Assets

Military Agency Records

1. Received looted pictures from France, including those looted by the ERR from the Paul Rosenberg Collection. [Back to text]

2. A Swiss national involved in the importation into Switzerland in 1943 of the Matisse "Open Window," confiscated by the ERR from the Paul Rosenberg Collection, as well as being involved in other exchanges with the ERR. Was executed by the French Government as a German agent. [Back to text]

3. Emil Buehrle of Oerlikon, Switzerland, a German munitions magnate and owner of the Oerlikon arms factory, believed to have been a naturalized Swiss. Believed to have been an important recipient of looted works of art by purchase from Fischer and Wendland; advised principally Nathan and Montag; and, made direct purchase in Paris from Dequoy. [Back to text]

4. Painter and amateur dealer, longtime pre-war resident of Paris. Chief agent in France for acquisition of works of art for von Ribbentrop. Intimate contacts with von Behr and Lohse. Acted as expert for ERR on French 19th century painting. Appointed art adviser to the German Embassy on July 16, 1942, with the rank of Counsul. With Rochlitz, probably the leading intermediary for German official buyers in the Paris art market. Traveled in Switzerland, Sweden, and Spain purchasing works of art. [Back to text]

5. Well-known Jewish art firm whose collections were seized by the Germans. [Back to text]

6. Served as Reich Governor of Austria from March 1938 till April 30, 1939, Deputy Governor-General of Poland (1939-1940), and Reich Commissioner of the German-occupied Netherlands from 1940 to 1945. [Back to text]

7. Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) was the High Command of the entire German Armed Forces. [Back to text]

8. Owner of publishing firm "Editions d'Art." On the Proclaimed List. Imported a large number of works of art from France during the German occupation. Suspected strongly of having smuggled additional objects into Switzerland through diplomatic channels (possibly South American) and illicit border activity. [Back to text]

9. Hungarian Admiral and Regent of Hungary during most of World War II. He brought Hungary into the Axis alliance, but when he began negotiating with the Allies in 1944 for an armistice, Hitler forced him to resign as regent. [Back to text]

10. Clara Veraguth of Zurich, received paintings from the looted Bernheim Jeune collection through her son-in-law Jannink in 1941. [Back to text]

11. Member of well-known Dutch family, involved in banking activities in Paris during the occupation. [Back to text]

12. Chief of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) in France. [Back to text]

13. German art dealer active in Paris, France beginning in 1933. He was a chief participant in exchanges of paintings confiscated by the ERR, and an important recipent of loot. He was a close friend of Bruno Lohse. [Back to text]

14. Austrian Nazi, who, after the incorporation of Austria into the Reich, was made state secretary for internal security in vienna. On January 30, 1943, Hitler named him chief of the RSHA (Reich Central Security office), as successor to Heydrich who had been assassinated in May 1942. He set about his task of rounding up Jews for extermination with great enthusiasm. In February 1944, was appointed head of the Abwehr., and made it part of the RSHA. Researchers may find useful Ernst Peter Black, Kaltenbrunner: Ideological Soldier of the Third Reich (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1984). [Back to text]

15. SS-Obergruppenfuhrer and chief of administration in the SS Main Office (SS-Hauptampt). He managed the economic empire that included the administration and supply of the Waffen-SS, all concentration and labor camps, and all economic enterprises. He also supervised the melting down of gold teeth taken from inmates. [Back to text]

16. From 1938 to 1945 he was head of the Party Foreign Affairs Department. On July 17, 1941 he was appointed to serve also as Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. In this position he promoted the Germanization of Eastern people under brutal conditions, supervised slave labor, and arranged the extermination of Jews. His "Rosenberg Task Force" (Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg) began in October 1940 to confiscate the great art treasures of occupied Europe. Researchers may find useful Alfred Rosenberg, Selected Writings (London: Jonathan Cape, Ltd., 1970); Robert Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race: Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi Ideology (New York: Mead, 1972). [Back to text]

17. The Einsatzstab Rosenberg (ERR) was headed by Alfred Rosenbeg and tasked by Hitler with confiscating selections of the great art treasures of France and other occupied countries. Rosenberg was guided in his actions by Hermann Goering and Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel. In his report to Hitler in 1944, Rosenberg indicated that between October 1940 and jul 1944 his organization had appropriated 21,903 art objects of all kinds, including 5,281 paintings; 5,825 handmade objects, such as porcelains and coins; several hundred icons; and, 2,477 pieces of furniture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. [Back to text]

18. Deputy Chief of the ERR in Paris, France [Back to text]

19. Governor-General of Poland during World War II, beginning in October 1939. He confiscated Polish property and expropriated Polish-owned art for his own use. [Back to text]

20. Frau Wismer May, an ardent Nazi and well-connected in high Party circles, was associated with the art section of the German Embassy in Paris, France. She was director of Ferval S.A. of Geneva, Switzerland, which was established on October 17. 1939. [Back to text]

21. German Criminal Police agency, headed by Arthur Nebe. [Back to text]

22. The SD (Sicherheitsdientst) was the Security Service of the SS founded in 1931 and directed by Reinhard Heydrich, who also became responsible for the Gestapo in 1936. The SD also headed the Einsatzgruppen, the special action (or extermination) squads. After Heydrich was assassinated in 1942, Himmler ran the RHSA (Reich Security Administration) and the SD until January 1943, when he turned them over to Kaltenbrunner. In June 1944, RSHA/SD absorbed the military intelligence agency (the Abwehr), thus becoming the sole intelligence service of the Nazi Party. [Back to text]

23. Austrian Jewish art dealer, active in France and Switzerland in official German interests. Was a close collaborator of Wendland, and Haberstock's chief Paris agent. [Back to text]

24. Researchers may find useful Ulf Olsson, Stockholms Enskilda Bank and the Bosch Group, 1939-1950 (Stockholm, Sweden: The Foundation for Economic History Research within Banking and Enterprise, 1998). [Back to text]

25. Chief of Swiss Military Intelligence. [Back to text]

26. The Swiss Bank secrecy law is part of Article 47 of the comprehensive Swiss Bank Act of 1934. This Article apparently had some of its origins with the Nazis gaining power in Germany in 1933. The Nazis began issuing a series of laws designed to impose tight monetary controls. They were enacted with the idea of regaining value for the German mark. But the return to economic stability was made difficult by a massive flight of capital out of Germany. Many Germans, fearful of the Nazi regime, converted their savings into harder currencies on deposit in other countries. Many Germans deposited their funds in Swiss banks. The Nazis, concerned with this flight of capital, enacted laws to reverse the flow of funds. Germans were forbidden to send money abroad or to hold funds in foreign accounts. Those who owned accounts abroad were required to disclose the accounts to the Nazis. To not make a report or not arrange for the repatriation of the funds subjected one to the death penalty. The Gestapo, was assigned the responsibility for seeking out and gaining possession of the funds and punishing the transgressors. Gestapo agents were sent to numerous countries, including Switzerland, with instructions to find German-owned bank accounts. The agents employed various means to obtain information from bank employees, including bribes and threats. Agents would sometimes attempt to make deposits to the credit of a suspected account holder. In the event that the deposits were accepted by the bank, the existence of the account was considered confirmed. Once an account was discovered, the Gestapo would instruct the owner to request the immediate withdrawal of the assets, to be returned to Germany. The Swiss bankers announced that they would not longer accept withdrawal orders from German citizens unless the owner of the funds appeared in person and alone. In 1934, the Nazis tried and executed three German citizens for the crime of owning foreign bank accounts. The Swiss, realizing that bank information leaks could result in further execution, enacted Article 47, or the bank secrecy act. To some degree, the legislation merely provided the legal basis for what had formerly been general practice among Swiss banks. It was significant, however, in that the law provided severe criminal penalties for violators. The law also provided severe penalties for those compromising secrecy by negligence as well as for anybody attempting to induce others to break the confidentiality of customers' deposits. Michael Arthur Jones, Swiss Bank Accounts (New York: Liberty House, 1990) pp. 36-37; Robert Kinsman, Your Swiss Bank Book (Homewood, Illinois: Dow Jones-Irwin, 1975) pp. 221-223. For a somewhat substantive analysis of the adoption and implementation of the bank secrecy laws see Nicholas Faith, Safety in Numbers: The Mysterious World of Swiss Banking (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1982). [Back to text]

27. Treasurer of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) 1925-1945. [Back to text]

28. Known by the OSS code name "George Wood," Kolbe was an aide in Ribbentrop's liaison office with the German military high command. During the last two years of the war he provided OSS in Bern, Switzerland, with copies of some 1,600 cables from the German Foreign Ministry. In early 1945 he escaped to Switzerland. [Back to text]

29. This spy ring consisted of some 100 pro-Soviet Germans who penetrated important military and political offices in Berlin. The network was discovered by the Abwehr in 1942 and most of its leaders were executed for treason. Researchers may find useful. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The Rote Kapelle: The CIA's History of Soviet Intelligence and Espionage Networks in Western Europe, 1936-1945 (Washington, DC: University Publications of America, 1979). [Back to text]

30. State Secretary and economic specialist in the Foreign Office. Served as Hitler's personal adviser on economic affairs and the chief liaison between the Nazi Party and the business world. [Back to text]

31. Press Counselor of the German Legation, Stockholm, Sweden, 1939-1942, and at Brussels, Belgium, 1942-1944. [Back to text]

32. Diplomat, early Hitler adviser on foreign affairs, and SS General. Served as Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia from March 18, 1939, until August 25, 1943. [Back to text]

33. Lt. Gen. Baron Hiroshi Oshima served as Japanese ambassador to Germany 1938-1939 and 1941-1945. [Back to text]

34. The Department of State on October 3, 1945, initiated consultation among the American republics concerning the collaboration of Argentina with enemy agents for espionage and other activities damaging to the war effort of the Allies. The results of the investigation, obtained from records of the U.S. Government, those of Germany and Italy, and from interrogations of Germany and Italian officials responsible for activities in and with respect to Argentina were set forth in a memorandum, Consultation Among the American Republics With Respect to the Argentine Situation, commonly known as the "Argentine Blue Book." For detailed records relating to the publication see the General Records of the Department of State (RG 59), under the heading "Records Relating to the 'Argentine Blue Book'." [Back to text]

35. Deputy leader of the Nazi Party and after Goering the No. 3 man in Nazi Germany until May 10, 1941, when he left Germany and flew to Great Britain, apparently seeking a negotiated peace settlement. Researchers may find useful James Douglas-Hamilton, The Truth About Rudolf Hess (Albany/Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Co., 1993). [Back to text]

36. Became Rumania's prime minister in September 1940 and after King Carol's abdication established a Fascist-style dictatorship in conjunction with the Fascist Iron Guard organization. He fought with the Germans when they invaded Russia in June 1941, but after the German defeat at Stalingrad in January 1943, he began peace negotiations with the Allies. In August 1944 King Michael had him arrested and an armistice was signed. Eventually he was tried and executed for collaboration. [Back to text]

37. Village in southwestern France where in July 1944, the Germans summarily shot all the males, burned women and children alive in the church, and razed the village. Some 1,000 French perished in this massacre. [Back to text]

38. For additional Dwork/Druker records see this guide for records contained in the National Archies Gift Collection (RG 200). [Back to text]

39. Born Josip Broz, in Croatia, Tito, who became the leader of the Communist Party in Yugoslavia in October 1940, led partisan forces in Yugoslavia during the war against the Germans as well as other Yugoslav groups. [Back to text]

40. Meeting for nine days in April 1943 by British and United States officials to discuss the plight of European Jewry and the refugee problem posed by the Final Solution. Generally believed the only concrete result of the conference was the opening of a refugee center in North Africa. The conference final report was not made public at the time for fear of aiding the Axis and harming refugees. [Back to text]

41. President of I.G. Farben; chairman of the board of numerous firms including Deutsche Laenderbank A.G. of Berlin and deputy chairman of the board of numerous firms including Deutsche Industriebank of Berlin and Vereinigte Stahlwerke A.G.; and member of the board of American I.G. Chemical Corporation (later General Aniline and Film Corporation), Bank for International Settlements, Deutsche Bank, and Metallgesellschaft A.G.. Also served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Deutsche Reichsbank. [Back to text]

42. Member of the management of I.G. Farben and officially Herman Schmitz's right-hand man and key person with Deutsche Laenderbank (the house bank for I.G. Farben). [Back to text]

43. German art dealer, who served as art adviser to Hitler and as a member of the Commission on Degenerate Art. [Back to text]

44. Vice Consul in the German Consulate General in Bern from 1940 to 1944 and supplier of information to Dulles and the OSS. After the failure of the July 1944 plot against Hitler he took refuge in Switzerland and later was a leading prosecution witness at the Nuremberg Trial. Researchers may find useful Hans Bernd Gisevius, To the Bitter End trans. by Richard and Clara Winston (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1947). [Back to text]

45. Researchers may find useful Robert Murphy, Diplomat among Warriors (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1964).[Back to text]

46. Walter Stucki was to Swiss envoy in Paris, France and later in Vichy during the 1938-1944 period and during 1945-1945 was the head of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs of the Political Department. During 1945 he was head of the Commission for Swiss-Allied negotiations and in 1946 served as the president of the Commission for Swiss-Allied negotiations in Washington, D.C. [Back to text]

47. Memo indicates that Switzerland was a fruitful source for fiscal and economic intelligence, for the following reasons "1. It was neutral throughout the war, attracting a. refugee and dissident people of great wealth and large international holdings, b. large amount of 'Escape Capital,' including Safehaven, c. Numerous Intelligence agents from all belligerent countries. 2. Its banking laws permitted the use of 'numbered accounts,' which has been an invitation to all interests, both private and public, to route clandestine transactions through Swiss Banks. 3. There are literally thousands of Swiss Holding corporations which are ideal for a. Cloaking Axis assets, b. Forming illegal cartels, c. Promoting cartelization through the control of basic patents. 4. It has great Insurance and Re-insurance companies through which significant Intelligence can be secure. 5. It is an International Banking Center and therefore valuable for the production of leads toward Fiscal Intelligence from neighboring countries." [Back to text]

48. Chief of the Abwehr [German Military Counter-Intelligence] in Portugal. [Back to text]

49. Several hundred messages sent by Allen Dulles from Bern that are included in this entry as well as several OSS entries have been transcribed and published in part or whole in Neal H. Peterson, ed. and commentary, From Hitler's Doorstep: The Wartime Intelligence Reports of Allen Dulles, 1942-1945 (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996). [Back to text]

50. The List was used to indicate censorship, import, export, contraband, and other controls that transactions in which a name on the List was concerned required special watching. [Back to text]

51. Heinz Guderian, German General promoted to Chief of the General Staff of the OKW (Army High Command) on July 21, 1944. He was dismissed by Hitler on March 21, 1945. [Back to text]

52. Perlinger was the chief rival of Juan D. Peron who, early in 1944, led a 'palace revolution' in Argentina and seized control of the Government. [Back to text]

53. The Director's Office records are described earlier in the finding aid. [Back to text]

54. Between September 1942 and March 1943 Masson met three times with Schellenberg. Masson also met frequently with Allen Dulles, head of the OSS in Bern. [Back to text]

55. Photographer for Hitler and the Nazi Party, and with publisher Max Amann, the man responsible for the Fuehrer's wealth. Hitler gave him responsibility for helping selecting painting for the Annual Grand Art Show. [Back to text]

56. Director-General, Bavarian State Museums, and authority on German art; chiefly active as adviser on official purchases. [Back to text]

57. Hermann Goering's personal secretary. [Back to text]

58. OSS staff member at Bern, Switzerland, specializing in labor-based penetration operations against Germany. [Back to text]

59. Term used for all economic and financial intelligence, some of which is of Safehaven interest. [Back to text]

60. Hitler desired to create in Linz, a provincial capital in Alpine Austria, a monumental museum to be made up of a seris of colossal buildings housing the most important European works. In June 1939 Hitler appointed Dr. Hans Posse, then director of the Dresden Museum, to be in sole charge of acquiring art works for the Linz Museum. Posse with a sizable budge began acquiring works and stockpiling them in the basement of the Fuhrerbau in Munich, the massive building that serve as Hitler's headquarters there. By the end of the war Posse had acquired, often with the assistance of the ERR, more than eight thousand items. Researchers may find useful Charles De Jaeger, The Linz File: Hitler's Plunder of Europe's Art (Exeter: Webb & Bower, 1981); David Roxan and Ken Wanstall, The Jackdaw of Linz: The Story of Hitler's Art Thefts (London: Cassell, 1964). [Back to text]

61. Fritz Kolbe, code named "George Wood," was an assistant to Karl Ritter who was responsible for liaison between the German Foreign Ministry and the German military. Beginning in August 1943, he took hundreds of top German diplomatic and military documents to Allen Dulles, OSS station chief in Bern, Switzerland. OSS Bern cabled the Kolbe's material to Washington with the disgnation "Kappa." At OSS headquarters, the material was reorganized by subject and distributed as the "Boston Series." Kolbe's information was regularly forwarded to the White House. [Back to text]

62. Researchers may find useful David MacIsaac, Strategic Bombing in World War Two: The Story of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (New York: Garland, 1976). [Back to text]