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Archive: Case of Nazi Looting: Heirs in America Receive Documents

Archive: Case of Nazi Looting: Heirs in America Receive Documents

In the most comprehensive case of Nazi looting to date from the Goethe and Schiller archives, the manuscripts of Beno Kaufmann, a collector killed by the National Socialists, have been handed over to his rightful heirs. who is in America Klassik Stiftung Weimar announced on Tuesday that it had sent a letter and an insert folder from Kaufmann's collection to the living family at their request.

Classic Stiftung experts have identified 39 letters, a poetry manuscript and an insert folder with the collector's handwritten notes in the holdings of the Goethe and Schiller archive. Other houses also held manuscripts from Kaufmann's collection: Saxon State Library – State and University Library Dresden (SLUB), Free German Bishopric in Frankfurt a. M. and Thuringia State Archives – Weimar Primary State Archives.

SLUB announced that systematic research had uncovered 23 manuscripts from the collection, including a letter written by statesman and poet Eduard von Schenk to author Ludwig Dieck (1773-1853).

According to the Classic Foundation, a total of 66 objects from Kaufman's collection were discovered. There are documents that have not been sent to their respective companies Family Sent to America. So these are legitimately in their collection, it said. SLUB plans to mark the materials there and draw attention to Kaufman's fate through a publication.

Beno Kaufmann was born in Krakow in 1862 and later lived in Berlin and Dresden. He collected coins, books, graphics and manuscripts. The Nazis persecuted him because of his Jewish origins. They eventually deported him to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where he died in 1942.

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According to the foundation, Kaufman has no children. Through long research, the experts of the Classic Stiftung were finally able to trace the descendants of his two brothers living in the United States. An online article by the foundation says that in the future, a bump in Dresden will commemorate Beno Kaufmann.

Since 2010, the Classic Stiftung has been systematically checking its holdings for the appearance of cultural assets. The objective is, inter alia, to identify items that came into the trust's possession as a result of persecution of their rightful owners by the National Socialists. Cultural property must return to the rightful owners or their heirs in accordance with international agreement.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:240227-99-141554/3