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State and University Library Returns Book to DGB

The State and University Library (SuUB) was again able to hand over a book to the rightful owner through systematic searches for Nazi loot. Pen drawings by Julius Mühlfeld, published 1873, are now in the possession of the German Trade Union Confederation in Bremen.

The book originally belonged to the Arbeiter-Zentralbibliothek Bremen, whose holdings were confiscated by the Nazis in 1933. The library had more than 16,000 books available to all trade union members.

Project Team Member Finds Ownership Note

The fact that Julius Mühlfeld’s work is an unequivocal case of Nazi looting could be proven by the systematic examination of the SuUB library holdings from the years of acquisition from 1933 to 1948. Project collaborator Volker Cirsovius found the ownership note of the Arbeiter-Zentralbibliothek Bremen in the book. Until its dissolution in 1933, this library was operated as a trade union library by the Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (confederation of general trade unions in Germany), whose legal successor is today’s German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) in Bremen. The SuUB therefore handed the book over to Annette Düring, chairwoman of the German Trade Union Confederation in Bremen.

From Bernburg to Georgia

According to research in the context of the current Nazi looting project, the title came into the possession of the then Bremen State Library in 1939 as a gift from the German Labor Front, the union of employees after the crushing of the trade unions during the Nazi era. It remained there until 1942 when it was moved to Bernburg an der Saale along with other valuable library books. The aim was to protect the library stock from the effects of war. In the postwar period, the book was brought to Georgia by the Red Army. As part of a large restitution from Tbilisi, the SuUB received this volume back in the mid 1990s.
Maria Elisabeth Müller, Director of the State and University Library Bremen, is pleased that the systematic search for Nazi loot has also enabled this book to be handed back to its rightful owner.

Additional Information: www.suub.uni-bremen.de/infos/ns-raubgut/

Contact:
Anke Winsmann
Public Relations Officer at the Bremen State and University Library
Tel.: +49 421 218-59572
E-mail: oeffentlichkeitsarbeit@suub.uni-bremen.de

 

Two Women with a book
Maria Elisabeth Müller, Director of the State and University Library Bremen (right), handed the book over to Annette Düring, chairwoman of the German Trade Union Confederation in Bremen.