Around 100 of the 12,000 volumes in the law section of the Saxon State Library - State and University Library (SLUB) Dresden have come into the collection illegally. In the course of a project on provenance research funded by the German Center for the Loss of Cultural Property Foundation, they were identified as Nazi looted property, the SLUB announced Tuesday. The books, as well as the lives and fates of their former owners, will be traced in an exhibition titled "Fateful Pages" starting Thursday.
SLUB has been systematically checking its holdings for illegally acquired books from the National Socialist era since 2011. According to the information, indications of current or former ownership are provided by stamps, handwritten names, signatures, notes or similar. But also information on fates, private or professional success, persecution and suffering were found in the research on the origin between November 2021 and August 2022.
"It is about books that were looted, expropriated or left behind during National Socialism, due to persecution for religious, political or ethnic reasons," said curator Nadine Kulbe. The goal, she said, is to systematically find them in the SLUB's vast holdings and return them to their rightful owners or their descendants. In the law library, only about two percent of provenance features in books pointed to Nazi looted property.
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