During the second World War, the Nazi party wanted to eradicateall of the Jewish culture, this included the stories, the houses, the works ofart, and most importantly, the people. During this horrible genocide of notonly the human beings themselves, but also the history and culture of thepeople of the Jewish religion.
Before and during the second world war, the naziparty was eradicating works of art that was made or represented factors of theJewish religion. This was known as Nazi plundering, starting in 1933 andfinishing at the end of the second world war (1945). Nazi plundering refers tothe theft and destruction as it is organized looting of valuable artifacts fromthe Nazi party. The looting came throughout the countries that they wouldconquest during the second world war. Adolf Hitler himself coined the word ‘degenerate’ by referring to Jewish art, as he believed that it was an insult to the art form. He wanted allforms of art, valuable or not, to be taken back into the property of the Naziregime, and this was because he wanted all the most valuable artwork to be heldin his new museum in his hometown in Linz, Austria, called the Führermuseum. His goals were both financial and cultural. Not onlydid Hitler want to enrich the Third Reich and its leaders with exquisite andculturally significant treasures, but he also intended to repatriate artworksonce stolen from Germany, sell lootedart that did not reflect the Reich’s ideals, and demonstrate the artthat he believed was worthy to be called art according to his perspective.
(USMM, 2017) In Mein Kampf, Hitlerferociously attacked modern art as degenerate, including art forms such as: Cubism, Futurism and Dadaism allof which he considered the product of a decadent twentieth century society. Toretrieve the artworks, Adolf Hitler had a special team called the Kunstschutz,which were specifically told to gather artwork from families, often forcefullyand bring them back for the good of the Aryan race.although most plunder was acquired during the war. In addition togold, silver and currency, cultural items of great significance were stolen,including paintings, ceramics, books, and religious treasures. Although most ofthese items were recovered by agents of the Allied forces retaliation squad tothe Kunstschutz called; Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (MFAA, alsoknown as the Monuments Men), many of them are still missing. An example of thisis how they have recently discovered in 2013 in a Munich grubby apartment, over1 billion euros worth of art, being inthe possession of an 80-year old man, which has participated in selling theseproducts in the black market for a substantial amount of money (Spiegel, 2013). Even to this day, There areinternational efforts searching and trying to identify stolen art forms fromthe Nazi plunders and ultimately return the objects to their rightful owners,rightful heirs or respective countries.
Art collections from prominent Jewishfamilies, including the Rothschilds, the Rosenbergs, the Wildensteins and theSchloss Family were the targets of confiscations because of their significantvalue, since they were one of the most prominent Jewish families in the world.Also Jewish art dealers sold art to German organizations, usually under duress,as they would be heavily persuaded to do so, and often with blackmail. Theofficers of the Kunstschutz would raid a house of a Jewish family and steal thevaluables without any permission from the respective owner, and even if theowner denied them entry, they would break in and take what they wanted, usingviolent methods if necessary. They would kick down the door to plunder any ofthe artworks that would represent any form of art that would interest AdolfHitler.Even though there have been attempts forreparations towards the people affected by the Nazi plundering, there havestill been some people and artifacts that have not been accounted for and thereis a possibility that these artifacts will never return to their rightfulowners, and the people affected by these crimes will never see justice forthese actions.