Displaced Cultural Treasures as a Result of World War II and Restitution Issues : a bibliography of publications by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted
On May 28, an official meeting in The Hague celebrated the restitution by the Russian government of a series of Dutch archives that were stolen by the Nazis during WW II and subsequently confiscated by the Soviet security organs. Together with other records taken from many European countries, they were stored in a top-secret repository in Moscow -- constructed by German POWs -- where they remained hidden until 1991.
The IISH received about 70 folders containing the records of a number of pacifist and anti-militarist organizations active in prewar neutral Holland, most notably:
- Amsterdamse Vredesraad
- Vereniging voor Volkenbond en Vrede
- Bond voor Internationale Vriendschap
- Vereeniging voor Internationale Vriendschap en Wereldvrede
- Vereeniging voor Internationale Vriendschap en Wereldvrede Amsterdam
- Stichting Vredeskamer in 's-Gravenhage
- Kring Amsterdam van de Nooit Meer Oorlog Federatie
- Humanitaire en Idealistische Radio Omroep
The restitution is the result of negotiations that started in 1992, shortly after the demise of the Soviet Union. Not everything that was lost has now been recovered, but there is hope that more may be found.
Earlier publications on the fate of these archives are listed below.
Archives back in Amsterdam, April 18, 2002
Restitution Announcement in The Hague, January 30, 2002.
Seminar on the possible restitution of Dutch and Belgian archives by Russia, held at the IISH on September 24, 2001.
Russia's 'Trophy' Archives - an Update on Restitution Issues / by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted
Text (PDF file, 114 Kb.)
Back from Nowhere : The Restitution of Looted Belgian Collections (1991-2001) / by Michel Vermote
Text (PDF file, 39 Kb.)
Looted books found in Minsk : P. Kennedy Grimsted informs on lost libraries in Russia.
Lecture November 5, 2003 - text in Dutch