May 1, 2021

Names of persecuted Austrian Jewish collectors

How to verify the provenance texts of artworks for names that might indicate a history of Nazi looting or persecution?

There are many potential sources and lists.

In this post, we look an official Austrian report from 2008 that contains names of Austrian Jewish collectors whose art collections were plundered by the Nazis.

The report is in German. Thanks to Google Translate we will share select portions in English.

Vienna, February 1, 2008

To the

Municipal Council Committee for Culture and Science City Senate

Municipal council

Eighth report of the incumbent City Council for Culture and Science on the transfer of ownership of art and cultural objects from the collections of the museums of the City of Vienna and the Vienna Library in the City Hall in accordance with the municipal council resolution of April 29, 1999*

The report is 243 pages long. (see Table of Contents Google-translated into English below**).

In this post we will look at the names of the persecuted Jewish art collectors presented on page 45 of this report. 


About 2,890 objects, that is the majority of the art objects to be restituted and come from 35 collections or parts of the collection (Bernhard Altmann, Stefan Auspitz-Artenegg, Richard Beer-Hofmann, Josef and Auguste Blauhorn, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, Oscar Bondy, Ernst Egger, Hanns Epstein, Friedrich Fischl, Hanns Fischl, Josef Isidor Fleischner, Siegfried Fuchs, David Goldmann, Leo and Helene Hecht, Josef Hupka, Israelitisches Blindeninstitut auf der Hohe Warte, Bruno Jellinek, the Lederer family, Emil Politzer, Ernst and Gisela Pollak, Max Pollak , Franz and Melanie Popper (painting Robert Russ, painting Ferdinand G. Waldmüller), Adolf Guido Redlich (Adolphus Redley), Heinrich Rieger (study Gustav Klimt, painting Josef Dobrovsky, painting Kempf von Hartenkampf, painting Sergius Pauser), Heinrich Rothberger, Alphonse Rothschild, Nathaniel Rothschild, Franz Ruhmann, Josef Simon, Strauss-Meyszner, Strauss-Simon, Josef Ungar, Charles Weinberger, Leopold Weinstein, Ella Zirner), have already received the e returned to the former owners or their legal successors. 

(source: page 45 )

In another 12 cases (Adele Duschnitz, Siegmund Glesinger, Ernst Moriz Kronfeld, Mautner family (Isidor and Jenny Mautner, acquisitions from Oskar Hamel and Dorotheum acquisitions), Alfred Menzel, Stefan Poglayen-Neuwall, Ignatz Pick, Albert Pollak, Heinrich Rieger ( Painting Robin Andersen), Malva (Malwina) Schalk, HR Dr. Josef Thenen, Paul Schwarzstein) the restitution of collections or parts of the collection to the legal successors of the former owners was initiated by informing them accordingly.

(source: page 45 )

In six cases (Univ. Prof. Dr. Victor Blum (watercolor Viktor Stöger), Adele Graf, Alexander Grosz, Otto Herschel, Wilhelm Viktor Krausz, object “from Jewish property” (Jacob Alt, Vienna from the Schwarzenbergpalais)), the The Vienna Restitution Commission was presented with the recommendation to restitute the objects, but has not yet closed these cases because it is not clear who the heirs of the former owners are.

(source: page 45 )

We recommend that the above names be added to the Looted Art Detector Tool so that provenance texts for artworks can be automatically verified for their presence and appropriately flagged.


Image at top of page: published in Der Standard, "Restituiertes Waldmüller-Gemälde wird im Kinsky versteigert", photo credit IM KINSKY

"The "Gierster" painting from 1838 comes from the possession of the Franz and Melanie Popper family, who bought it at auction in 1926. The Poppers marriage - Franz Popper was a Jew - was divorced due to the Nuremberg Race Laws in 1941, and Franz Popper was killed in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Melanie Popper sold the picture to the municipal collections of Vienna in 1942.

The heirs' attempts to get the painting back after the war were unsuccessful for decades. In 2005, the Vienna Restitution Commission decided that the painting should be restituted, and in the autumn of the same year the Wien Museum returned the painting to the heirs, who have now decided on the Kinsky auction." (Der Standard Google translate)

**Table of Contents

1. Introduction 4

2. Vienna library in the town hall 7

2.1. Activity overview 7

2.2 Restitution book 8

2.3. Restitution and search for heirs in the Vienna Library in the reporting period November 1, 2006 to October 31, 2007 11

2.3.1. Direct acquisitions from previous Jewish owners 11

2.3.2. After the end of the war "abandoned" goods were brought to the library 13

2.3.3. Search for previous owners in the context of revision work and

New inventories 14

2.3.4. Cases submitted for resolution 31 Summary report by the Vienna Library in the City Hall on

Books with provenance notes from institutions of the

Jewish Community Vienna 32

2.3.5. Restitution cases completed in the reporting period 36

2.3.6. Acquisitions that cannot be assessed 36

2.3.7. Restitution and the Internet 36

2.3.8 Inquiries to the Vienna Library 39 2.3.9. Preparation of the conference “Libraries in the Nazi Era.

Provenance research and library history 39 2.4. Outlook 42 3. Museums of the City of Vienna 44

3.1. Overview of the status of activities 1998-2007 44

3.2. Restitution and inheritance search in the museums of the City of Vienna

In the reporting period November 1, 2006 to October 31, 2007:

Cases submitted for resolution - overview 47

3.2.1. Leopold Weinstein 49

3.2.2. HR Dr. Josef Thenen 61

3.2.3. Franz and Melanie Popper 67

3.2.4. Malva (Malwina) Shellk 91

3.2.5. Mautner family (Isidor and Jenny Maunter) 100

3.2.6. January 131

3.2.7. Adele dushnitz 140

3.2.8. Herbert M. Gutmann 150

3.2.9. Wilhelm Viktor Krausz 165

3.2.10. Univ. Prof. Dr. Guido Adler 174



3.3. Restitution and inheritance search in the museums of the City of Vienna

In the reporting period November 1, 2006 to October 31, 2007: Provisions and progress in the search for heirs in detail 198

3.3.1. Univ. Prof. Dr. Victor Blum 198

3.3.2. Adele Count 205

3.3.3. Alexander grosz 210

3.3.4. Jean herschel 217

3.3.5. Object “from Jewish property” 220

3.4. List of restitutions 221 and surrenders made in the reporting period

3.5. List of the resolutions passed in the reporting period, objects classified as restitutable to the now fixed

Heirs to follow 222

3.6. List of the resolutions passed in the reporting period, the search for heirs in cases in which the objects are already in

classified as eligible for restitution in the previous reporting period

had been to continue 223

3.7. List of cases submitted in the reporting period without

clear restitution potential 223

3.8. List of the resolution made in the reporting period,

with which the Vienna Restitution Commission for

declared incompetent 223

3.9. Restitution and Internet in the reporting period November 1, 2006

until October 31, 2007 223

3.9.1. Austrian websites 225

3.9.2. Foreign websites 226

3.10. Inquiries to the Museums of the City of Vienna 228

3.11. National and international cooperation 230

3.12. Extended publicity 234

3.13. Outlook 238

4. Summary 239


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