“Seven Crates of Jewish Material”. On Looting and Rediscovery, from 1938 to the Present

  • history
  • religion
  • judaica
  • holocaust

An exhibition of the Jewish Museum Munich in collaboration with the Museum für Franken – Staatliches Museum für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte, Würzburg, sponsored by the German Lost Art Foundation, and supported by the Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen in Bayern.

80 years after the November Pogrom of 1938, the whereabouts of many objects looted from synagogues at that time still remains unknown. During inventory work in 2016 in the Museum für Franken in Würzburg, a number of ritual objects were recorded whose provenance posed questions. Since then, a research project has been able to determine that numerous objects, including Torah ornaments, Hanukkan lamps, Seder plates, and many more, came from seven synagogues in the region.

These objects can be seen in the exhibition and their histories traced. It clearly shows that an important objective of the November Pogrom organized by the Nazi regime was the looting of Jewish property and a consequent enrichment, from which many museums also profitted. At the same time, taking the Würzburg case as an example, it investigates the question as to why it has taken such a long time for a systematic and thorough processing of this Judaica to be undertaken. The objects in these important holdings are documented in depth in an accompanying catalogue.

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