She Tracked Nazi-Looted Art. She Quit When No One Returned It.Historians in the News
tags: Holocaust, Nazis, Germany, art
BERLIN — For three years, Sibylle Ehringhaus, a veteran provenance researcher, worked with the Georg Schäfer Museum in northern Bavaria to examine the ownership history of its 1,000 oil paintings and several thousand drawings, prints and watercolors.
Mr. Schäfer, the industrialist whose collection is displayed there, had bought much of the art in the 1950s in Munich, then a hub for dealers who had had relationships with the Nazis. Among those from whom he purchased works was Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer.
Ms. Ehringhaus’s job was, in part, to determine just how much of the collection had a tainted provenance.
But last year, she said, she began to ask herself why the city of Schweinfurt, which manages the museum, had bothered to hire her.
After she had identified several plundered works, she said, no one seemed to have any plans to return them to the heirs of the original Jewish owners.
Increasingly, she said, she began to feel her work was unwelcome. She was denied access to historical documents vital for her research, she said, and forbidden to contact colleagues at another museum with a research inquiry. So in December she rejected an offer to extend her contract for another year.
comments powered by Disqus
- How a New Kung Fu TV Series Is Reclaiming Much More Than Just the Martial Arts
- Challenging the Massive Gender Imbalance on Wikipedia: Volunteers Write Women Back into History
- Marshall D. Sahlins, Groundbreaking Anthropologist, Dies at 90
- Review: ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’ Rewrites a Brutal History
- The Union Battle at Amazon Is Far from Over
- U-M Medical Historian Says It Appears History Is Repeating Itself In Our Current Pandemic
- The Health Care Crucible (Review)
- Register for Profs and Pints with Denver Brunsman: The 1814 Burning of Washington
- The First ‘Vaccine Passports’ Were Scars from Smallpox Vaccinations
- Unsung and Unknown — Graphic Biography Details Life of First Black Lieutenant Governor, Oscar Dunn