Researching Holocaust-Era Assets at NARA
Researching Holocaust-Era assets at NARA can be a daunting task, in part because of the vast quantity of records, some 20 million pages of textual records (as well as nontextual records) directly or indirectly relating to Holocaust-Era assets. These records were created or compiled by over 30 federal agencies. Researchers using these records, first and foremost, must remember that the records follow or reflect functions and activities and are not, at the macro level, arranged according to subject; they are arranged by the entity that created or received the records. So researchers need to know which government agency or agencies were responsible for certain functions and activities. This information can be gained by various means, including, and especially, by looking at published and unpublished National Archives finding aids, by communicating with others involved in similar research, and using the research tools on NARA's website. Additionally, researchers should consult secondary literature. Besides providing information about subjects of interest, books, articles, and reports often provide specific citations to NARA's holdings. Researchers should also take the time to study the contents of these web pages as it will save them time later as they navigate NARA's holdings of records relating to Holocaust-Era assets.
Papers and speeches about doing research in the National Archives relating to Holocaust-Era Assets
Articles in The Record
- Searching for Records Relating to Nazi Gold, Part I. The Record, May 1997, by Greg Bradsher.
- Searching for Records Relating to Nazi Gold, Part II. The Record, May 1998, by Greg Bradsher.
- Documenting Nazi Plunder of European Art: Records in the National Archives Provide Research Base for Tracking Works Seized During War. The Record, November 1997, by Greg Bradsher.
- Searching for Documents on Nazi Gold. The Record, May 1997, by Greg Bradsher.
Articles in Prologue
- Monuments Men and Nazi Treasures: U.S. Occupation Forces Faced a Myriad of Problems In Sorting Out Riches Hidden by the Third Reich (Summer 2013)
Tells the true tale of the men and women of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFA&A) Section of the U.S. Army, also known as "Monuments Men."
- Archives Receives Original Nazi Documents That "Legalized" Persecution of Jews (Winter 2002)
Describes how the records of the U.S. Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality came into the possession of the National Archives.
- A Time to
Act: The Beginning of the Fritz Kolbe Story, 1900–1943 (Spring 2002)
Recounts how Kolbe, a mid-level official in the German Foreign Office, supplied the Allies with some of their most important intelligence of World War II.
of War Returned: U.S. Restitution of Nazi-Looted Cultural Treasures to the
USSR, 1945–1959 (Spring 2002)
The story of how the United States undertook an unprecedented program of cultural restitution in an effort to restore displaced treasures to the countries from which the Nazis had confiscated them.
Looted Art: The Holocaust Records Preservation Project (Summer 2002)
The Holocaust Records Project is providing greater access to the records that tell the story of artworks and artifacts damaged and looted during World War II.
Gold: The Merkers Mine Treasure (Spring 1999)
American troops discover gold and art in a German mine at the end of World War II.
Papers and Other Information:
- Berenbaum, Michael. Testimony before the Nazi War Criminals Interagency Working Group, June 24, 1999.
- Bradsher, Greg, German Administration of American Companies, May 9, 2000. (Revised June 6, 2001)
- Bradsher, Greg. Archivists, Archival Records, and Looted Cultural Property Research. Paper presented at the Vilnius International Forum on Holocaust-Era Looted Cultural Assets, Lithuania, October 3, 2000.
- Bradsher, Greg. Art Looting Records and Research at the National Archives. Presented to the National Archives Assembly on April 17, 2001.
- Doing Looted Art Research at the National Archives. Talk given at the Provenance and Due: A Workshop/Conference, New York University, April 29, 2000. Sponsored by the International Foundation for Art Research and New York University.
- Bradsher, Greg. Holocaust-Era Assets Records and Research at the National Archives. Speech given by Greg Bradsher at the Conference on "New Records-New Perspectives: World War II, the Holocaust, and the Rise of the State of Israel" (December 13-16) Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, December 14, 1998.
- Bradsher, Greg. Investigative Reporters, the National Archives, and the Search for 'Nazi Gold' and Other Treasures. Speech given at the annual meeting of the Investigative Reporters and Editors, Kansas City, Missouri, June 5, 1999.
- Bradsher, Greg. Nazi Gold: The Merkers Mine Treasure. Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration, Spring 1999, vol. 31, no. 1.
- Bradsher, Greg. Research, Restitution, and Remembrance: The Federal Government and Holocaust-Era Assets 1996-2001. Speech given to the B-nai Israel Synagogue, April 20, 2001, Wilmington, North Carolina.
- Bradsher, Greg. Researching Holocaust-Era Assets Records 1996-1998. Presentation Given at the Society of American Archivists' Government Records Section Meeting, September 4, 1998, Orlando, Florida.
- Bradsher, Greg. Speech given at the annual meeting of the Society for History Government, Archives II, College Park, Maryland, March 19, 1999.
- Bradsher, Greg.Turning history into justice: Holocaust-Era Assets Records, Research, and Restitution. A "War and Civilization Lecture" given at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina, April 19, 2001.
- Bradsher, Greg. Turning history into justice: the search for records relating to Holocaust-Era Assets at the National Archives. Paper given at the Society of American Archivists, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 27, 1999.
- Kleiman, Miriam. My Search for "GOLD" at the National Archives. Paper given at the Society of American Archivists, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 27, 1999.
- Marchesano, Louis. Classified Records, Nazi Collecting, and Looted Art: An Art Historian's Perspective. Paper delivered to the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, June 24, 1999.
- Rickman, Gregg. The Truth Shall Set You Free: The Archives and the Swiss Bank. Paper delivered at the Society of American Archivists, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 27, 1999. Rickman later discussed his new book, Swiss Banks and Jewish Souls, at the National Archives' Author Lecture and Booksigning event on September 9, 1999.
- Sullivan, Steve. Marta's List: The Pursuit of Holocaust Survivors' Lost Insurance Claims.
- Truman Library opens papers on Post-World War II Jewish history. The Harry S. Truman Library has opened three manuscript collections that relate to different aspects of the history of the Jewish people in the years following World War II.
Related Posts on The Text Message Blog
The Text Message, which features posts related to NARA's holdings, includes many entries related to the subject of Holocaust-Era Assets research.
The Record, a newsletter put out by the National Archives and Records Administration, suspended publication with the September 1998 issue. 1998 issues are available online.
Holocaust-Era Assets: Conference & Symposium Papers & Proceedings
Papers and Proceedings relating to the National Archives and Records Administration's Holocaust-Era Assets Symposium and Conference held in December 1998.
- Available in hardcopy
Symposium Proceedings. Available on videotape
Symposium Papers: December 1998
- Dugot, Monica. Holocaust-Era Looted Art: Sources, Resources, and Documentary Evidence.
- Feldman, Gerald D. Insurance in the National Socialist Period: Sources and Research Problems.
- Friedman, Max P. Holocaust-Era Assets, the Archives and Non-Archival Resources.
- Latham, Ernest "Tyger." Conducting Research at the National Archives into Art Looting, Recovery, and Restitution.
- Lillie, Catherine A. Researching Unpaid and Unclaimed Holocaust-Era Insurance Policies: Documentary Evidence for Claims.
- Murphy, Greg.Insurance Research at the National Archives.
- Trooboff, Hannah E. Researching Swiss Refugee Policy.
- Wythe, Deborah.Record keeping in Museums.