May 29, 2021

"Special Nazi law covered the seizure of Jewish and enemy property." - CIR 4 Chapter IX Conclusions and Recommendations

 "Special Nazi law covered the seizure of Jewish and enemy property."

Excerpt from Art Looting Investigation Unit Consolidated Interrogation Report Number 4: Linz



HITLER took extraordinary precautions to clothe all Linz transactions in the appearance of legality. The forms of purchase were regular enough; the Linz Commission paid its bills. Special Nazi law covered the seizure of Jewish and enemy property. HITLER shied away from helping himself to the contents of public art collections. If he had won the war, he might have become less squeamish. One can only guess.

Nevertheless the Sonderauftrag Linz had first claim upon all works of art looted by Germans.

Both actually and potentially it was the major recipient of works of art confiscated or acquired by forced sale. Attachments 6, 7 and 8 establish its high authority. Its claim to anything looted by the SS is announced in Attachment 17, which also names the experts who are to carry out the Führer's right of disposition. Similar directives were issued to the governors of all occupied territories and of all the provinces of Germany (Attachments 15 and 15-A). The claims of Linz were also extended beyond confiscated (beschlagnamt) works of art to those merely safeguarded (sichergestellt). (See Attachment 3.)

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WWII OSS Art Looting Investigation Reports

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OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit Reports, 1945-46
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The National Archives
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