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Staggering Amount of Artistic Loot Stolen from Jews by Nazis Disclosed at Nuremberg

December 19, 1945
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The staggering amount of paintings and other artistic loot stolen from Jews throughout Europe by the Nazis was revealed today in documents presented to the Allied War Crimes Tribunal by American prosecutors.

Among them was a letter sent by Alfred Rosenberg, one of the defendants, to Hitler on April 16, 1943, enclosing photographs of “some of the most valuable paintings which my staff, in compliance with your orders, secured from Jewish art collections in occupied western territories. These photos represent an additional collection of 53 of the most valuable objects of art delivered some time ago to your collection.” Rosenberg added that when he saw Hitler, he would present him with photos of other works of art stolen for him.

A report by the chief of the “German Special Staff for Pictorial Art” said that the art collections of the Rothschilds, the Kahns, the Seligmanns and others yielded 21,903 objects of art of all types, including paintings by Raphael, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Reynolds, Velasquez and many other equally famous artists, as well as tapesteries, furniture and other valuables. The same report said that the furnishings of 70,000 Jewish homes in France had been confiscated and sent to Germany in 674 long trains.

During yesterday’s proceedings, it was disclosed that the 216 documents dealing with the Nazi persecution of Jews which have already been presented to the tribunal comprise less than one quarter of those prepared. The others will be submitted without being read to the court, in accordance with a decision by Presiding Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence. The material will be used in building the conspiracy case not only against the 20 top Nazis on trial here, but also against 600,000 Nazi Party officials.

Included in the mese of documents are all laws discriminating against Jews, as well as evidence that the anti-Jewish legislation and the pogroms of November 1938 were directed by officials of the Nazi Party in high government posts.

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