Jun 22, 2021

Bruno Lohse Nazi Art Looter Transcription of ALIU Detailed Interrogation Report NARA RG239 DIR 6

The text below is a transcription of a document in the National Archives concerning Nazi art looting that was declassified in 1975. It concerns the notorious Nazi art looter, Bruno Lohse. This Detailed Interrogation Report was written by Monuments Man and OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit member James S. Plaut in 1945. It detailed the interrogation of Nazi art looter Bruno Lohse conducted from June 15, 1945 to August 15, 1945.

NARA : copy of transcription D. I. R. # 6 - Bruno Lohse, 1945-1946 

A photocopy of the Detailed Interrogation Report Number 6 can be downloaded here: Download PDF

The text, transcribed in a digital searchable text, is below




Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5 NND Project Number 750168 By: NND Date: 1975

D.I.R. #6 - Bruno Lohse    18 pp.





[National Archives symbol]






Ardelia R. Hall - P/AM  Rm. 2024 - SA -16






15 August 1945


J.S Plaut

Lieutenant, USNR



US Chief of Counsel (War Crimes) Dos. Div.    6

J.A. Sect. (War Crimes) 3rd US Army                5

US Group CC (Germany), MFA & A                 4

USFET, MFA & A                                                2

USFAustria (USACA), MFA & A                        2

G-5 Civil Affairs War Dept.                                 2

Roberts Commission                                            2

EWD State Dept.                                                  2

Brit. El. CC Germany, MFA  & A                         4

A.C.A. (British), MFA & A                                   2

M.E.W.                                                                   2

M.I.5.                                                                     2

D.G.E.R.                                                                 4

Commiss. Gen. Netherlands (Ec. Recup.)             2

Internal and File                                                   12


E.O. 11652, Sec 3(E) and 5 (D) or (E)

NND 750065

By CD/EZ NARS, Date 22 May 1975



Note: LOHSE was interrogated at a special investigation center in Austria during the period 15 June - 15 August 1945. This report is supplementary to Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 1, ˝Activity of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in France˝, dated 15 August 1945, which is based largely on his statements, and in which the extent of his own activity is delineated.


(a) Birth, Family and Education

Wilhelm Peter Bruno LOHSE, born 17 September 1911 at Duingdorf, Kreis Herford, Westphalia. Father, August LOHSE, member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (percussion instruments); last known whereabouts: Berlin, April 1945. Mother, Anna Catherine LOHSE, nee HOENEKOP, died 1938. One brother and one sister, Frau NOVITSKI; last known whereabouts: Hamburg (with 3 children). LOHSE´s brother and brother-in-law, NOVITSKI, were both missing in combat on the Russian front late in 1944.

Elementary and intermediate schooling in Berlin. Graduated in 1929. University of Berlin, 1930-1932; studies in art history, philosophy and Germanic culture. 1932, qualified as a teacher of sports. 1933, four months in France studying languages. 1935, University of Frankfort; graduate studies in the history of art. 1936, Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Frankfort. 1936-1939, independent study and art dealing on a small scale in Berlin, using his father´s house as a studio-gallery. 

(b) Political

Upon his return from France in 1933 and resumption of his studies at the University of Berlin, LOHSE was obliged to receive ˝political indoctrination˝in company with all other university students. He stated that in order to avoid the implications of such indoctrination, and because his studies with the deposed professors FISCHEL, NEUMEYER and WEISSBACH had been interrupted, he volunteered to teach sports in the Allgemeine S.S. He joined the Nazi Party in 1937. In 1938 he discontinued sports instruction in the S.S., on the plea of ill health.

LOHSE stated that in 1942, in Paris, he was offered the rank of Obersturmfuehrer in the Allgemeine S.S. and was requested to wear the S.S. uniform. As he was an enlisted man in the Luftwaffe, he was able to decline both the rank and the uniform. He stated under oath that he had never worn an S.S. uniform, but that he had been listed permanently on the S.S. rolls as a qualified and eligible sports instructor. 

(c) Military Service

Drafted 27 August 1939 as a driver in the 4th Feldlazarett Armee, Sanitatsabtellung 532, with grade of private. Served with this unit in the Polish campaign. Transferred 4 September 1940 to a Panzerjagerabteilung and sent to the



Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5

NND Project Number: NND 750168 By: NND Date: 1975


Ersatztrappenteil at Kolberg/Ostsee for convalescent duty, subsequent to a long period in the hospital. 

In February 1941, LOHSE was detached for four weeks' temporary duty with the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, Paris. Transferred 21 July 1941 to the Wachabteilung Hermann Goering, K. Kompanie. Transferred 10 March 1943 to the Stabskompanie des Generals der Luftwaffe, Paris; and on 19 August 1944 to the Fallschirmpanzerkorps Hermann Goering, Berlin (his final military unit).  


(a)  Initial Assignment 

Because of his civilian standing as an art historian, LOHSE was detached from his military unit in February 1941 for four weeks' duty with the Special Staff for Pictorial Arts of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, in Paris. Prior to this time, he stated that he had had no contact with the Rosenberg organization. LOHSE stated that upon his reporting for duty,  D.R.K. Oberfuehrer Baron Kurt Von BEHR, Director of the Paris art staff and Deputy Director of the E.R.R. in the Occupied Countries of the West, had explained to him that, in accordance with a HITLER order, "ownerless" Jewish collections were to be requisitioned and sent to Germany, such confiscation being in accord with a special provision of the German-French armistice signed at Compiegne in 1940

LOHSE stated that von BEHR told him also that the entire operation had been declared secret by HITLER, and that even the basic text of the special article of the armistice was not to be divulged; it had been his original impression, and that of all his colleagues in the E.R.R. in Paris, that the confiscations were entirely legal and carried out by agreement of the French and German governments. 

LOHSE stated that von BEHR had further explained to him that Rosenberg desired prompt action, and that he had therefore been obliged to call upon all available professional art historians to assist in the task. LOHSE was given the initial responsibility for the preparation of a catalog and inventory of the newly confiscated Alphonse KANN Collection. He stated that he found the work uncongenial, and that he requested formally to be returned to his regiment at the end of the stipulated four weeks of detached duty. 

(b) Assignment to GOERING

LOHSE stated that two days before the expiration of his duty, GOERING arrived in Paris to examine the material confiscated to date by the E.R.R. He was given the task of escorting GOERING through the Jeu de Paume, and, as LOHSE's special field was Dutch painting of the 17th century, of acting as docent in this category. LOHSE remarked that GOERING had been impressed by his knowledge in this field, particularly in view of a discussion which took place concerning several disputed pictures on exhibition, and ordered him to come to his office in the Quai d'Orsay. LOHSE reported to GOERING, and was ordered to remain in Paris as a member of the Einsatzstab art staff. GOERING also asked him to make periodic surveys of the Paris art market on his behalf, and to recommend art objects for his acquisition. 

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Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5

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Shortly thereafter, LOHSE received a special document signed by GOERING, authorizing his activity in the Reichs-marschall's behalf and requesting all military, state and Party organizations to facilitate his mission. Several months later, LOHSE was transferred formally to a Luftwaffe detachment. Because of his special mission for GOERING, he was permitted to wear civilian clothes in Paris and to drive a private car; and, whereas his activity with the Einsatzstab diminished because of the new assignment, his stature and independence in the organization were increased thereby. Nominally, he remained a member of the special art staff, without executive authority. 

(c)  Activity after the "Revision"

In August 1942, the so-called "revision" report, prepared by Bereichsleiter Robert SCHOLZ and Abschnittsleiter Hermann von INGRAM, was presented to ROSENBERG. (See Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 1, Chapter II (b).) Upon ROSENBERG's acceptance of the recommendations made in this report, SCHOLZ was given full responsibility for the art staff in Paris. However, in view of the fact that he remained for the most part at the Rosenberg headquarters in Berlin, SCHOLZ made LOHSE and Dr. Walter BORCHERS his deputies for Paris. Von BEHR left the art staff in January 1943 and, for approximately a year from this date, LOHSE enjoyed a quasi-executive position, sharing his professional responsibilities with BORCHERS, and deferring in purely administrative matters to von INGRAM and Dr. BRETHAUER, who had succeeded von BEHR as Director of the E.R.R., Paris. 

Early in 1944, because of a rift which had developed between BORCHERS and LOHSE, and because LOHSE had made continual requests to be returned to active military duty, SCHOLZ dismissed him from the art staff. He was succeeded by Walter REHBOCK. LOHSE was given leave prior to his return to active duty and broke his leg on a skiing holiday. GOERING thereupon ordered him to remain in Paris and to continue work on his special assignment, divorced from the art staff, but remaining under the E.R.R. for administrative purposes. 

(d)  Activity from the Fall of Paris until the German Surrender

In August 1944, during the German rout in France, all male employees of the E.R.R. were ordered to active military duty for defense of the Reich, on 48 hours' notice. LOHSE stated that upon learning of this order he became apprehensive that the swift withdrawal of the E.R.R. staff would result in the abandonment of essential records and a number of valuable art treasures. REHBOCK was absent from Paris and failed to return; and BORCHERS, in panic, dismissed all workers on receipt of the order, preparing to evacuate Paris at once. 

On 8 August, 1944, LOHSE notified GOERING by telephone of the order given the Einsatzstab by the German military commander in France, and was requested to proceed at once to Berlin. On his return to Paris, 10 days later, he found the Einsatzstab headquarters abandoned, and returned to Berlin on 19 August, reporting to GOERING's headquarters. He was transferred to the Herman Goering Fallschirmpanzerkorps, Berlin, on that date. 

A trip to Brussels ensued, for the purpose of recovering personal possessions which had apparently been sent there in the hasty evacuation of the Paris office. LOHSE stated that all his personal possessions were lost in the transfer, and that he recovered nothing. Shortly thereafter, he was given

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permission to go to Merano, Italy, for a week's leave. He had been under medical treatment for kidney stones, and as his condition did not improve, he was advised to undergo an operation in November 1944. The Berlin hospital to which he had been ordered was destroyed in an air raid shortly before his arrival, and he was granted permission to proceed to Hohenschwangau/Füssen to have the operation performed there. At Füssen he lived with Günther SCHIEDLAUSKY and other E.R.R. personnel assigned to the deposit at Schloss Neuschwanstein.

    At the end of the war approached, LOHSE proceeded to Kogl in company with SCHIEDLAUSKY to confer with SCHOLZ, who had as yet received no instructions from the Reichschancellery regarding disposition of the E.R.R. material in the event of an Allied military occupation. In Kogl, it was felt that the Russian advance might soon engulf the area, and SCHOLZ decided that the basic records of the E.R.R., which were stored at Kogl, should be moved to Füssen. Therefore, FLEISCHER, who had been summoned by SCHOLZ, and LOHSE moved part of the material from Kogl to Füssen by truck. LOHSE made two additional trips from Füssen to Kogl and return, collecting further files and photographic records. SCHOLZ revealed to him that he had received orders from the Reichschancellery to destroy all E.R.R. documentary material, an order which he saw fit to ignore.

     LOHSE stated that during his last sojourn at Kogl, SCHOLZ had given him the complete dossier of basic E.R.R. orders, with the request that LOHSE turn them over to the American authorities at such time as Füssen might be occupied. He received also a written order from SCHOLZ, authorizing SCHIEDLAUSKY and other E.R.R. personnel to remain at Füssen and to give the American authorities any assistance or information requested.

      Upon his return to Füssen, LOHSE learned that UTIKAL and a number of the evacuated members of the E.R.R. Berlin staff had been there in his absence. UTIKAL had ordered all E.R.R. personnel to leave Füssen and attempt to escape. SCHIEDLAUSKY, however, had remained. On 2 May 1945, SCHIEDLAUSKY and LOHSE reported to the American Military Government authorities in Fussen, and on 4 May 1945 LOHSE was interned.

(e) Participation in Confiscations

     The initial confiscations of the Einsatzstab were conducted by confidential assistants of von BEHR, who were unaccompanied and unadvised by the professional art historians attached to the special staff. At an undetermined moment, however, (pursuant to the recommendations of the "revision" report) it became standard procedure to have one of the art historians accompany responsible E.R.R. personnel to the premises where confiscations were to take place. LOHSE, as well as BORCHERS, KUNTZ, BAMMANN, Fräulein EGGEMANN, Fräulein von TOMFORDE and other members of the art staff, engaged in this activity. It was their function to control the scope of the confiscation in terms of the intrinsic value of the objects of art under consideration, and to eliminate the irresponsible seizure of miscellaneous, comparatively valueless items.

        LOHSE stated also that at the time of von BEHR's transfer from the E.R.R. to Dienststelle Westen, he (LOHSE) received an order from SCHOLZ and von INGRAM to investigate carefully all addresses which had been collected by von BEHR as potential loci for confiscation, and to ascertain whether these were, in fact, legitimate "ownerless" targets.

      LOHSE was obliged, furthermore, to determine, through the French Commission for Jewish Problems and the Siecherheitsdienst, 




[typed] Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5

NND Project Number: NND 750168 By: Date: 1975


whether the prospective seizures encompassed properties abandoned by Jewish owners.  LOHSE stated that, tot he best of his belief, no seizure was ever effected by the E.R.R. unless the owner had actually fled; but he admitted that this principle was not applied in the indiscriminate confiscations undertaken by von BEHR and the Dienststelle Westen in the course of the [underline] M-Action. [/underline]

All seizures conducted by the E.R.R. subsequent to von BEHR's departure were directed by LOHSE and/or BORCHERS.  FLEISCHER was charged by the removal of the works of art selected by the art historians, from the place of confiscation to the Jeu de Paume.

(For further details, see Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 1, Chapter III (a).)

(f) Initiation of Exchanges

LOHSE shared with von BEHR and SCHOLZ the responsibility for the initiation of certain exchanges of confiscated paintings carried out by the E.R.R. with a number of individuals.  The majority of these were transacted with the German dealer Gustav ROCHLITZ on behalf of GOERING

(For details of exchanges in which LOHSE took an active part, see Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 1, Chapters IV (d) and V; and Detailed Interrogation Report No. 4, Subject: Gustav ROCHLITZ.)

(g) Relations with the E.R.R.  Staff

LOHSE's relations with his professional colleagues in Paris were strained by a series of petty intrigues precipitated by the jealousy of several women members of the staff and by general envy of his favored position in relation to GOERING.  (See Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 1, Chapters II (c) and VI; and see below, Chapter IV.)


(Note:  For full details of LOHSE's purchases for, and proposals to GOERING, see Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 2, " The GOERING Collection.")

(a) In Paris

LOHSE's activity as a special agent for the GOERING Collection was carried out primarily in Paris, from March 1941 through July 1944.  At the outset, LOHSE was limited to the examination of art objects available in the Paris market, and to proposing and exhibiting them to GOERING in the Jeu de Paume on the occasion of GOERING's numerous visits to Paris.  Subsequently, he was empowered for a relatively short time to make independent purchases for GOERING, on the basis of photographs submitted to the Reischsmarschall, and a special fund was placed at his disposal through the office of the Commanding General of the Luftwaffe in Paris.  LOHSE stated that 

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[typed] Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5

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this arrangement was neither satisfactory nor long-lived, in that he was too often embarrassed by GOERING's order, months after objects had been purchased outright from various dealers, to have them returned as unsatisfactory.  Consequently, he reverted to his original status as surveyor for GOERING of works available in the market.

LOHSE's principal connections in the Paris art market the following:

1. Allen LOEBL

Jewish director of the Galerie GARIN (formerly KLEINBERGER).  LOHSE stated that he had met LOHSE through Wilhelm Jakob MOHNEN (see O.S.S./A.L.I.U. "Interim Report on German Looting of Works of Art in France," dated 15 April 1945), shortly after he had arrived in Paris; and that he had made an arrangement with LOEBL, protecting him against anti-Jewish action, in return for which LOHSE received first option for GOERING on any works of art passing through LOEBL's hands. In addition, he secured the release of LOEBL's brother, Manon, from the concentration camp at Drancy on two occasions.

LOEBL was LOHSE's advisor and intermediary in a substantial number of transactions, and "spotted" pictures for him.  It was chiefly through LOEBL that LOHSE became familiar with the Paris art trade, and became acquainted with such other dealers as Victor MANDEL, PERDOUX and ENGEL, who operated as an informal syndicate.  (See Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 3, "German Methods of Acquisition,"[underline]Dealers.[/underline)

LOHSE purchase 5 paintings outright from LOEBL for GOERING, and proposed a number of others. 

2. Gustav ROCHLITZ

LOHSE was the chief intermediary in the series of exchanges conducted by the E.R.R. with ROCHLITZ in GOERING's behalf.  (See Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 1, Chapters IV (d) and V; and Detailed Interrogation Report No. 4, Subject: Gustav ROCHLITZ.)

3. Adolf WUESTER

LOHSE stated that he was on fairly close terms with WUESTER, "amateur" art dealer and special buyer for von RIBBENTROP, who had him installed in the German Embassy in Paris with the nominal title of Consul. LOHSE also met WUESTER through MOHNEN. WUESTER in turn introduced LOHSE to several dealers, notably DEQUOY and FABIANI


French citizen, who had been active as a dealer in Berlin, and from whom LOHSE bought several objects in Berlin for GOERING (see below).  In Paris intermittently throughout the war. 

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Dutch restorer and dealer, active in Paris, and sometime business associate of Dr. Hans WENDLAND.  LOHSE purchased one picture outright from him for GOERING.

LOHSE also made purchases in Paris for GOERING from the following:  MESTRALLET, PERDOUX, LANDRY, BOITEL, Mme. GERARD, and the Hotel DROUOT.

(b) Out of Paris

1. Holland

In addition to his activity for GOERING in Paris, LOHSE made a number of trips to Holland in connection with the acquisition of paintings for the GOERING Collection. He stated that the Dutch art market was not a fertile field for him, in that GOERING's chief buyer and Director of his collections, Walter Andreas Hofer, conducted extensive business in Holland; the Dutch market was further covered for GOERING by Alois MIEDL and the special representative of SEYSS-INQUART, Kajetan MUEHLMANN.

LOHSE stated that he visited Holland the first time on GOERING's orders.  His mission was to proceed to Amsterdam, meet PAT-ZAADE, and take him to Monaco.  PAT-ZAADE had a number of picture which had been shown to GOERING in Berlin and had aroused his interest.  They had been left with a restorer in Holland for cleaning, and were to be taken to Dr. BREDIUS in Monaco for expert opinion prior to possible acquisition by GOERING.  LOHSE stated that on the return trip to Berlin the the cases containing the paintings in question, which had been consigned as Wehrmacht property, were lost somewhere between Paris and Amsterdam, and he was obliged to to to Amsterdam several times in an effort to trace them. 

On the occasion of one of these visits, he met the art dealer, Victor MODRCZEWSKI, whom he had known in Berlin.  MODRCZEWSKI introduced him to Max J. FRIEDLANDER, the eminent authority on Dutch painting, and to the art dealer Jan DIK, Jr., whom LOHSE subsequently discovered to be a partner of MODRCZEWSKI. LOHSE also met WIEDT, a business associate of DIK, at this time.

DIK and MODRCZEWSKI came to Paris in May 1942, after arrangements had been completed by LOHSE, to offer a group of paintings to GOERING.  Three of these figured in an E.R.R. exchange (see Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 1, Chapter V, #17), and five additional pictures were purchased.  

LOHSE stated that a number of the paintings which DIK had brought from Amsterdam to Paris were also lost on the return trip, and that the loss had necessitated his presence in Amsterdam on several other occasions. In the course of these visits, LOHSE obtained expert opinions from FRIEDLANDER on six or seven picture which he planned to propose to GOERING, and stated that he had been able to render FRIEDLANDER certain assistance in his plight as a Jew.  LOHSE was unable to recall exactly how many visits he had made to Holland during the war, but believed the number was between ten and fifteen.  On several occasions, he traveled from Paris to Amsterdam in the GOERING special train, and the majority of

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[typed] Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5

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his visits were merely overnight stops enroute from Paris to Berlin.

Contrary to the assertion made by Alois MIEDL under interrogation in Madrid (see O.S.S./A.L.I.U. report on MIEDL dated 1 May 1945), LOHSE stated that he did not go to Holland on E.R.R. business.

2. Switzerland

LOHSE stated that he had traveled to Switzerland on one occasion, in 1943, traveling from Paris to Basle where he met Dr. Hans SCHNEIDER, the former Curator of the Mauritshuis in The Hague.  The trip had been authorized by GOERING as the result of an argument which had taken place between LOHSE and HOFER over the authenticity of a painting attributed to Brouwer, which GOERING had acquired from DIK on LOHSE's recommendation. HOFER had denied the attribution, and LOHSE had requested GOERING's permission to proceed to Basle and discuss the matter with Dr. SCHNEIDER. LOHSE stated that SCHNEIDER confirmed that Brouwer attribution and that GOERING had retained the painting.  

From Basle he proceeded to Zurich to examine three Cranachs, photographs of which had been sent to Berlin for GOERING's examination by the Frankfort dealer, BOEDECKER.  LOHSE had been told that the pictures were in the possession of a dealer named TRAINE, but on arrival in Zurich he learned that the pictures were no longer available, having been sold some time before.  LOHSE stated that he had transacted no further business in the course of this single visit to Switzerland, and had returned directly from Zurich to Paris.

3. South of France

LOHSE stated that he had traveled to the South of France in connection with the acquisition of works of art for GOERING on five or six occasions.  In addition to the trip made to Monaco in the company of PAT-ZAADE, he when several times to Nice and Cannes to survey the Riviera art market, which the center for Unoccupied France.  He acquired one painting for GOERING from the dealer AQUILARD in Cannes.

(c) General

LOHSE was given a letter of authority dated 21 April 1941 for his special GOERING mission.  The text of this letter was:

"Dr. Bruno Lohse is von mir beauftragt, in Kunsthandlungen, Privatsammlungen und auf öffentliche Versteigerungen Kunstgegenstände zu erwerben.  Alle Dienststellen des Staates, der Partei und der Wehrmacht sind angewiesen, ihn bei der Durchführung seines Auftrages zu unterstützen."


"Dr. Bruno Lohse is authorized be me to acquire works of art from art dealers, private collections and public auctions.  All units of the State, the Party and the armed forces are requested to support him in the execution of his mission.")

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LOHSE emphasized that his activity for GOERING had been hampered constantly by his lack of independence and by GOERING's ultimate reliance in all important transactions on HOFER.  (See Detailed Interrogation Report No. 9, Subject: Walter Andreas HOFER.). HOFER was inclined to deprecate LOHSE's efforts, and to minimize the importance of objects which he proposed to GOERING.  Moreover, the rumor that LOHSE had been chosen by GOERING as future Director of the Carinhall collections aroused HOFER's enmity and created an additional barrier.  GOERING's attitude toward LOHSE was that of a tolerant elder and, whereas LOHSE stated that he idolized GOERING, he admitted that GOERING's reluctance to release him from the special mission had placed him in an anomalous position, both in the GOERING entourage and in the Einsatzstab.

Inasmuch as he was frustrated so often in his attempts to persuade GOERING (through HOFER) of the validity of his proposals, LOHSE felt free to propose objects which he had seen in the Paris art market to other German officials and to German dealers.  Thus, on his recommendation, a number of paintings were acquired for the Fuehrermuseum, Linz, through German dealers with whom he had become friendly.  Among these were Hans W. LANGE, the Berlin auctioneer; Frau Maria ALMAS-DIETRICH, Munich; and Dr. GOEPEL, the special agent for Linz. (For a detailed list of paintings acquired for Linz on LOHSE's recommendation, see Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 4, "Linz: HITLER's Museum and Library."). In addition, LOHSE was instrumental in the acquisition of two paintings for Reichsminister SPEER (companion pieces by Hubert Robert from FABIANI, purchased by the German sculptor, Arno BREKER; and one painting for Reichsleiter BORMANN (a Winterhalter from LOEBL, purchased by Frau DIETRICH).

LOHSE was involved in the complicated affair of the SCHLOSS Collection, confiscated in 1943 by the Vichy authorities and sold subsequently in large part to Germany for the Linz Museum.  GOERING was interested initially in its acquisition, but because of the circumstances surrounding the confiscation and the exorbitant figure asked by the French government, he withdrew.  LOHSE's part in the affair was a dual one. He had been summoned by von BEHR in the initial stages of the transfer and asked to arrange the details of transportation of the collection from Unoccupied France to Paris, on behalf of the German government.  In addition, he was responsible for keeping GOERING informed of all developments.  (For full details of the confiscation, transfer and sale of the SCHLOSS Collection, see Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 4, "Linz: HITLER's Museum and Library.")


The LOHSE case is complicated by the fact that he served in a dual capacity, and that his functions and prerogatives. were never clearly defined.  Although nominally only a corporal in the Luftwaffe and a scholar attached to the Paris art staff of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, his employment on behalf of GOERING gave him responsibility and prestige greatly exceeding that of his colleagues.  Mover over, he has been the target of the following accusations, leveled against him by French and other informants:

(a) responsibility for reckless confiscation of French art properties;

(b) personal theft of valuable works of art;

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(c) threatening and persecution of Frenchman, Jews and other individuals;

(d) active membership in the S.S.

LOHSE has been under interrogation for an extended period. The apparent candors of his statements and the directness of his answers have at all times impressed his interrogators favorably.  On no occasion has he attempted to deny his personal responsibility for acts committed under orders as a member of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, nor has he shown any inclination to minimize the significance of his activity in behalf of GOERING.  His statements concerning colleagues and business associates -- often in the face of accusations made against him by the individual under discussion -- appear to have been made truthfully and without bias.

The statements which form the basis of this report have been made, without exception, under oath.  In the interests of clarity, therefore, it seems advisable to enumerate here the accusations directed at LOHSE from various sources, together with his sworn answers to these charges.

(1)  Relations with Victor MANDL, 9 rue Boccador, 8e, Paris

LOHSE was accused of sending a military truck with a German driver to this address, to take away works of art (tapestries and paintings); and on two occasions, 24 February 1943 and an earlier date, of having dispatched someone to this address to collect 8,000 francs and 200,000 francs, respectively. 

LOHSE stated that he neither conducted business transactions of any kind with MANDL, nor did he ever receive money from him.  He stated that he met MANDL originally though LOEBL and Frau DIETRICH, who conducted all her Paris business from this address.  All pictures purchased by Frau DIETRICH in Paris were brought to MANDL and stored with him.  The sum of 8,000 francs was collected by one of LOHSE's assistants as a service to Frau DIETRICH, who was absent from Paris at the time, so that a bill could be paid for her.  Similarly, the sum of 200,000 francs was collected to pay for a picture which had been acquired by Dr. GOEPEL.

As indicated above, LOHSE acted from time to time as an intermediary for Frau DIETRICH, GOEPEL, LANGE and others.

(2) LEFRANC and the SCHLOSS Collection

LOHSE was accused of acquiring for himself, in company with the dealer/agent LEFRANC, three paintings from the SCHLOSS Collection.

He stated that he had received neither paintings nor compensation from the SCHLOSS transaction.  Two small paintings which he had recommended to Frau DIETRICH -- a probable Rembrandt and a Judith Leyster -- were purchased by her and subsequently bought by Alfred ROSENBERG from E.R.R. funds, because a question of authencity of these pictures had arisen, and SCHOLZ had recommended to ROSENBERG that the purchase would vindicate LOHSE.  ROSENBERG had also felt that LOHSE had erred in making available to Frau DIETRICH paintings which might eventually be wanted for the Linz Collection, and it was his intention to give them to Linz.  LOHSE stated that Frau DIETRICH sold these paintings to ROSENBERG without profit.

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[typed] Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5

NND Project Number: NND 750168 By: Date: 1975


A third picture (Dutch 17 c. [underline] Portrait of a Woman [/underline]) was given back to LEFRANC and subsequently acquired by Dr. GOEPEL for Linz.  LEFRANC was the agent officially delegated by the French government to handle the details of the sale, and receive for sale all objects which had not been held back by the Louvre or chosen in the initial group for Linz.

(3) BELTRAND Appraisals

The absurdly low appraisals made by M. Jacques BELTRAND on paintings confiscated by the Einsatzstab which had been selected for the GOERING Collection, have been condemned by all sources.  LOHSE has denied categorically that he attempted to influence BELTRAND in his appraisals, and stated that BELTRAND, a timid and negative individual, made the low appraisals out of fear of the Germans, notably GOERING.

There is ample documentary evidence to prove that HOFER, on at least one occasion, persuaded BELTRAND to lower his figures (see Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 2 "The GOERING Collection."). LOHSE stated that the appraisals were a source of constant wonder to SCHIEDLAUSKY and him, and never reflected the value of the works in question.

(4) Relationship with Baron Olivier ALLARD, 59 Boulevard Exelmans, Paris

LOHSE was accused of clandestine traffic in paintings with Baron ALLARD.

He stated that ALLARD, a Belgian subject, was a close friend and sports companion.  ALLARD ran into financial difficulties and wished to sell some of his pictures.  LOHSE stated that he had asked FLEISCHER to call for these pictures in order to show them to Dr. RADEWROHER and to LANGE.  As the pictures were not sold, LOHSE said that he had them returned.  He admitted freely his efforts in ALLARD's behalf.  

(5) Relation with LEEGENHOEK, 230 Boulevard Raspail, Paris

It has been alleged that LOHSE had frequent business relations with the dealer LEEGENHOEK.

LOHSE stated that he had never bought pictures from LEEGENHOEK, as HOFER frequented this gallery as GOERING's agent. He admitted that he had visited the gallery frequently to see LEEGENHOEK's pictures.  LOHSE denied categorically that LEEGENHOEK had ever transacted business with Einsatzstab Rosenberg.

(6) Projected Exchange with FABIANI and DEQUOY

LOHSE has been accused of attempting to promote a large exchange with the dealers DEQUOY and FABIANI, involving paintings confiscated by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, and of planning mutual profits with the two dealers.  It was stated that 52 modern pictures were delivered to DEQUOY on the premises of the former WILDENSTEIN Gallery, 140 rue de Faubourg St. Honore, Paris, 0n 26 January 1944, and that, three days later, 8 additional modern pictures were delivered there.  The 60 confiscated paintings were to be exchanged for 7 paintings of the 18th century:  1 landscape attributed to Hubert Robert/Boucher; 4 pictures by Guardi; and 2 by Pannini.  The 7 paintings were 

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[typed] Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5

NND Project Number: NND 750168 By: Date: 1975


given an aggregate evaluation of 2,000,000 francs, and it was stated that LOHSE and the two dealers intended to resell the 60 confiscated paintings for approximately 20,000,000 francs, the profits o be divided equally among them. The informant further stated that the transaction wad blocked by SCHOLZ, who arrived from Berlin just in time to nullify the proceedings. 

That this exchange was projected has been confirmed by various sources, including LOHSE.  LOHSE stated that SCHOLZ, who in 1941 had prepared a list of confiscated French 19th and 20th century paintings which the E.R.R. could use for exchange or sale purposes had approved the transaction in principle.  LOHSE stated that the DEQUOY-FABIANI paintings were to be acquired by the Einsatzstab for Linz.  The transaction, according to LOHSE, was nullified by certain of this colleagues in the E.R.R., who informed SCHOLZ that the exchange would be disadvantageous to the Einsatzstab.  LOHSE denied that he had ever discussed with FABIANI or DEQUOY any question relating to personal profits. 

He further denied that the 7 paintings offered by the dealers had an aggregate value of 2,000,000 francs, and stated that the Huber Robert/Boucher alone had been sold subsequently to LANGE in Berlin for 3,500,000 francs, and resold by LANGE to Linz for an even higher price.  He stated further that GOEPEL had desired the exchange for Linz, and had written a statement to this effect; that WUESTER had appraised the modern pictures offered; and that the appraisal was very much lower than 20,000,000 francs.  He added that 10 paintings had been offered by DEQUOY and FABIANI in this exchange, and that 9 had been subsequently acquired for Linz by purchase.  (See Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 4, "LINZ: HITLER's Museum and Library.")

(7) Relations with LOEBL and the Galerie GARIN, Paris

The transfer of LOEBL's private art library to GOERING has been the subject of much conjecture. LOHSE and HOFER have both been accused of making demands on LOEBL for the library, and one source has indicated that the Galerie GARIN (LOEBL's firm) acted as an intermediary for the sale of an important library to GOERING.

Recently discovered documents and LOHSE's own statements establish the fact that LOEBL offered his own library to GOERING as a gift, probably to influence the Reichsmarschall in his favor.  The offer was transmitted through LOHSE and HOFER to GOERING, but GOERING declined to accept the gift and ordered the library acquired instead through exchange.  Accordingly, an Utrillo painting confiscated by the E.R.R. was given to LOEBL, in what amounted to a token exchange for his library.  (For further details, see Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 2, "The GOERING Collection.")

LOHSE has also been accused of requesting the Sicherheitsdienst, through GOERING, to permit him to employ Allen and Manon LOEBL in his own interests.  LOHSE admitted that he had made a request to the Sicherheitsdienst, but of a different nature -- namely, in order to protect the LOEBLs from further persecution.

(8) Activiy for HIMMLER

Several informants have stated that LOHSE, in addition to his activity for GOERING, was responsible for the acquisition of works of art for HIMMLER and other high Party members.

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[typed] Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5

NND Project Number: NND 750168 By: Date: 1975


In the course of his work with the Einsatzstab, LOHSE participated in the arrangement of exchanges which resulted in the acquisition of paintings by HITLER, BORMANN and RIEBENTROP.  None of these was initiated by him.

LOHSE stated that his connection with HIMMLER was limited to the following incident.  

He was asked by GOERING on one occasion to go to Amsterdam to examine two Dutch collections, those of the dealers VAUDSTRA and SIMONS.  He made the examination, and bought nothing form the collections, either for GOERING or for anyone else; but it was rumored that his had bought both collections in their entirety.  The S.S. had already taken steps to confiscate the two collections, which consisted mainly in antique furniture and rugs, together with a few unimportant paintings.  LOHSE was obliged to visit the collections in the company of an S.S. Hauptsturmfuehrer named PIETSCHMANN.  According to LOHSE, both collections were purchased subsequently by HIMMLER through the German Commission for The Netherlands, and were used to furnish the S.S. establishments in Germany.  

(9) Relations with Mlle. SEKATSKI, 9 rue Jean Moreau, Paris (XVIIe)

LOHSE stated that he met Mlle. SEKATSKI on 17 September 1943 (his birthday) on the French Riviera. He was with her constantly thereafter in Paris, and made one trip with her -- to the Riviera -- early in 1944, Mlle. SEKATSKI paying her own expenses.  LOHSE regards Mlle. SEKATSKI as his fiancee.  He has denied emphatically that she had any connection with the E.R.R. or that she was ever supported by him.  He has described her as a Frenchwoman of Polish origin who was strongly anti-Nazi and an active worker for de Gaulle, a circumstance which occasionally caused him difficulty with the German authorities.

(10)  Travel 

It has been alleged that LOHSE traveled extensively in Switzerland, Italy and Spain during the wary, and one source stated that he had been involved in German intelligence service activities in Spain.

LOHSE stated that he has never been to Spain; that his only trip to Italy was made in the autumn of 1944, when he went to Merano for a week's convalescent leave, and that he was never in Italy on business.  He stated further that his only trip to Switzerland took place in 1942 (see above).

(11) General 

LOHSE stated under oath:

(a) that he never received a commission of any kind from any dealer; that he did not do so because he wished to become an independent art dealer after the war, and hoped -- through being of service to people prominent in the German art world, such as Frau DIETRICH, LANGE, Dr.  GOEPEL, and several of the directors of the Rhineland museums -- to benefit in the long run.

(b) that he never retained for himself any object confiscated by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg.  He admitted, in this connection, that his Paris apartment at 3 Avenue Matignon was

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[typed] Declassified per Executive Order 12958, Section 3.5

NND Project Number: NND 750168 By: Date: 1975


refurnished during one of his absences from the city by Fraulein EGGEMANN with a few pieces of furniture and rugs confiscated through the M-Action but that this material had been returned to the Dienststelle Westen before he left Paris. 

(c) that he made no profit whatever through any transaction in which he was involved.  He stated that he received as remuneration in Paris the normal Army pay of a corporal, with an additional 500 marks monthly salary from the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, and a per diem allowance of 15 marks.  He accepted no gifts from dealers or other individuals in "reward" for his services.  He purchased 3 small Dutch 17th century paintings from ROCHLITZ for 75,000 francs, and was told by ROCHLITZ that these were being sold to him "at cost".  In addition, he received as a gift from BELTRAND two woodcuts by BELTRAND himself.

(d) that he never threatened or persecuted Jews, Frenchmen or other individuals. It has been alleged that LOHSE helped LOEBL, SCHOELLER and Mme. CAILLEUX in order to profit financially thereby.  In this connection, he denied having bought or acquired any works of art from CAILLEUX or SCHOELLER; the LOEBL relationship has already been cited.  


LOHSE's flat denials of the more serious charges directed against him as an individual have been made under oath.  It is recommended that every effort be made to bring under interrogation those individuals in a position to verify his statements, principally such erstwhile colleagues in the Einsatzstab as BORCHERS, ROSSKAMP and Fraulein WEBER (all presumably under house arrest in St. Georgen/Attersee (Austria)), and those dealers and other persons in Paris with whom he was in contact.  Whereas LOHSE appears to have been victimized in large measure by the jealousy of his colleagues, there can be no doubt that he played a leading part in the confiscation of Jewish art properties conducted by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in Paris. 

It is recommended, therefore, that he be held as a material witness in such war crimes proceedings as may be directed against the Einsatzstab Rosenberg personnel, and that, if tried as a war criminal, the severity of charges brought against him be determined by the extent to which his complicity in Einsatzstab operations is judged to have been criminal. 

If LOHSE's statement that he received no personal profit whatever from the transactions conducted on behalf of GOERING is finally confirmed, his activity for GOERING may be regarded in the same light as his duty with the E.R.R. -- namely, the performance of an assignment under orders.


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