Showing posts with label ALIU. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ALIU. Show all posts

May 17, 2021

Buried for more than half a century

Altaussee Salt/Art Mine discovery after WW II
Lieutenants Kern & Sieber, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

What must it have been like for Samson Lane Faison, Jr., James S. Plaut, Theodore Rousseau, Jr. and Jean Vlug to watch their reports on Nazi art looting and art dealer networks be buried and lost?


The ALIU reports contained names, dates, places, specific events, artworks - crucial information for tracking down looted art. 

All classified. Hidden away. Inaccessible. Unknown. Unexplored.

What lesson could these museum men possibly have learned from Washington's treatment of their historic work?

When, in 2001, the reports were to be published on microfiche, Dr. Greg Bradsher contacted S. Lane Faison, to tell him the news that their work would finally be public and to ask permission to give Faison's phone number to journalists who might want to know more. Bradsher described the conversation in a blog post for the National Archives:

On April 23, 2001, I phoned Professor Faison and told him the National Archives was issuing the next day a press release announcing the release of Microfilm Publication M-1782, “OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit Reports, 1945-46.”  I told him the microfilmed records—including the detailed, consolidated, and final reports—were being made available on May 8, the 56th anniversary of the U.S. Army’s discovery of the salt mine at Alt Aussee, Austria, where the greatest concentration of Nazi plunder from Western Europe was concealed.  I asked him if he minded me making his phone number available if I received press inquiries about the records and the work of the ALIU.  He said at his age it was tough enough to get up to change the television channel, much less answer the phone regarding things he had done ages ago and which were well-documented in the records we were making available. So, yes, he did mind.

-  "An Office of Strategic Services Monuments Man: S. Lane Faison"

 This is the seventh in an ongoing series of posts on real-life Monuments Men. Today’s post is by Dr. Greg Bradsher. See related posts on Sir Charles Leonard WoolleyWalter J. HuchthausenSeymour J. PomrenzeMason HammondEdith Standen, and Karol Estreicher. 

Nov 8, 2017

Art Looting Investigation Unit: mentions of the Bauer Collection in the Final Report

What do the Art Looting Investigation Reports say about the looting of the Bauer Collection? How easy - or difficult - is it to access this information today, in 2017?

Can one search the archives via internet and retrieve the information?

Here is the result of a simple test: looking for information on the seizure of the Bauer collection in one of the ALIU Reports, the "Final Report". This report contains, notably, a list of names of suspected Nazi era operators.