The German National Library recently became a member of the “Looted Cultural Assets” cooperative. Founded in 2016, the network consists of ten libraries from Germany and Israel which are working in partnership to research and return books seized as a result of Nazi persecution. The joint database allows the provenance researchers in the cooperative to pool their knowledge, share it between their libraries and work together to investigate cases of suspected looting. The results of their research are also made available to the public insofar as the statutory data protection regulations and the need to protect the interests of victims of Nazism allow. The cooperative is thus making an integral contribution that will allow people to come to terms with persecution and expropriation during the Nazi era and lay the foundations for fair and just solutions.
Thanks to the LCA database, the provenance researchers at the German National Library have already been able to obtain valuable information leading to the clarification of a restitution case. We are therefore all the happier to be able to contribute our research to the cooperative, since this means it will be shared still more effectively throughout the network and we will be able to live up to our responsibility as an institution charged with the task of preserving cultural assets.
We are looking forward to sharing knowledge and experience with our colleagues at the partner libraries!