Explanations of terms from the field of provenance research and Proveana's four research contexts.

An overview page with all terms is also available.



The first relations between European colonial powers and African communities in what is now Cameroon can be traced back to the start of European expansion in the 15th century. An increasing number of German trading posts settled on the coast in the mid-19th century and, in 1884, the Germans finally manifested their claim to power in "Cameroon" by signing imperial treaties known as →“Schutzverträge”. The →Berlin Conference of 1885 resulted in the initial delimitation of colonial borders, and the territory was then significantly expanded as a result of the Morocco-Congo Treaty of 1911. The German influence was initially limited to the coastal areas; only after the →“protection force” (Schutztruppe) had been established in the 1890s this led to an expansion of German colonial influences.
In the First World War, Cameroon was occupied by British and French troops. The League of Nations split the mandate between France and Great Britain. The part administered by France gained independence in 1960, while the parts formerly governed by France and Great Britain were merged to form the Republic of Cameroon in 1972. (JH)

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts


  • Cultural goods confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution
  • Cultural goods displaced as a result of war

Center for Old Scientific Bookstock

The regional and administrative reform of 1952 resulted in the closure of almost all small and medium-sized historical libraries, including state, princely, council, school, archive and monastery libraries. Most of their book holdings were handed over to the Zentralstelle für wissenschaftliche Altbestände (Center for Old Scientific Bookstock), which was founded on 1 January 1953 as a duplicate exchange office within Gotha State Library at Friedenstein Castle. From there, non-commercial offers were made to libraries, scientific institutions, museums and shops (e.g. the →Zentralantiquariat der DDR (Central Antiquarian and Second Hand Book Dealers' Office of the GDR) in Leipzig). Its ongoing task was to support scientific libraries in processing the holdings they had acquired and in registering or exploiting the book stocks that had been "released" in a variety of ways.

In 1959, the Central Office for Old Scientific Holdings became a separate department within the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek (German State Library) in East Berlin. Its books were then sourced, mostly voluntarily, from the holdings of public collections that were often unprocessed or had not been inventoried. The books were also mixed up with items confiscated by the Nazis, objects from salvaged castles and palaces, the belongings of those who had fled from the GDR and other pieces. Any copies that were not requested by other institutions or trading companies were gradually pulped. The Central Office for Old Scientific Holdings also processed pulping requests from other libraries. In 1977, it was asked by the Ministry of Culture (MfK) to step up its role in "soliciting and negotiating" with scientific libraries for the purpose of utilizing old holdings, "so that the Zentralantiquariat der DDR can be supplied more extensively with dispensable literature from duplicate stocks". It was not until 1995 that the Central Office for Old Scientific Holdings was closed at the State Library. (MD)

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Central Antiquarian and Second Hand Book Dealers' Office of the GDR

In 1959, the Zentralantiquariat der DDR (Central Antiquarian and Second Hand Book Dealers' Office of the GDR), located at Talstraße 29 Leipzig, became the central regulating bookshop for the import and export of antiquarian printed matter and works of art. As part of the "Volksbuchhandel" (People's Book Trade), it acquired antiquarian books, magazines, individual items (e.g. maps and graphics) and the entire holdings of closed libraries. The books were housed at ten warehouses in Leipzig, from which they were initially sold using lists and catalogs (and at auctions between 1975 and 1989); over time, however, items were packed into containers and sent mainly to major customers in the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin. In addition to items confiscated by the Nazis, the inventory also included objects from salvaged castles and palaces, the belongings of those who had fled from the GDR, private collectors’ items and spoiled library stocks. One of the sources of the Zentralantiquariat der DDR was the →Zentralstelle für wissenschaftliche Altbestände (Center for Old Scientific Bookstock). The Zentralantiquariat der DDR was privatized in 1991 and currently operates as "Zentralantiquariat Leipzig GmbH" with a branch and mail order services (Zschocherschen Straße 79c). A set of records on the central management of the Volksbuchhandel in the GDR can be found in the Main State Archives of Saxony – State Archives of Leipzig (reference code 21113). (MD)

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Central Collecting Point

These were the depots used to collect property that had been confiscated by the Nazis. Central Collecting Points were set up in the British and American zones of occupied Germany after the Second World War. The most famous CCPs are in Baden-Baden, Celle, Marburg, Munich and Wiesbaden, as well as the Offenbach Archival Depot. Immediately after the war had ended, the Allies scoured the country and discovered thousands of →relocation sites for German libraries and museums. In accordance with the London Declaration of 1943, the Western Allies transported "abandoned" cultural property to CCPs, where it was then documented and, if possible, returned to its place of origin or original owner. (SL, UH)

  • Cultural goods confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution
  • Cultural goods displaced as a result of war

Central Office for the Protection of National Property

Zentralstelle zum Schutze des Volkseigentums (Central Office for the Protection of National Property) was founded by virtue of a decree issued by the Deutsche Wirtschaftskommission (German Economic Commission) on 12 May 1948. It was based within the Ministerrat (Council of Ministers) of the GDR (Berlin, Klosterstraße 47). It was responsible, among other things, for ensuring the administrative regulation of all →national property, including the subsequent registration of →sequestrated and expropriated property, and for processing objections to confiscations. Its duties were handed over to the →Amt für den Rechtsschutz des Vermögens der DDR (Office for the Legal Protection of the Assets of the GDR, AfR) on 18 August 1966. (MD)

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Charter of protection

In the context of German colonial history, the term "Schutzbrief" (charter of protection) refers to a procedure whereby private individuals or legal entities were assured "protection" for the enforcement of claims and actions. Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck modelled this on similar procedures in the field of British colonial history. For example, Carl Peters received a "Schutzbrief" (charter of protection) for the →Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft in which the →German Empire assured it of its "protection" and in return transferred sovereign powers to it in the territories it administered. (JH)

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts

Collection depot

After the end of the Second World War, the →Trophy Brigades of the Red Army gathered cultural assets from the →storage sites at collection depots for subsequent transport to the Soviet Union. The military authorities of the western occupation zones also set up collection depots, the so-called →Central Collecting Points. Unlike at the CCPs, no clarification of ownership or preparation of return was carried out at the collection depots in the →Soviet Occupation Zone. Important collection depots included Depot No. 1 at the Berlin Schlachthof, Schloss Friedrichsfelde, Packhaus No. 16 at Stettiner Bahnhof in Berlin, Schloss Sanssouci, Schloss Pillnitz and the depot at Heerstraße 5 in Leipzig. (MO)

  • Cultural goods displaced as a result of war

Collection manuals

As most of the collectors in the colonies were untrained, scientists wrote manuals for scientific observation and collecting to explain exactly what the museums needed and how to obtain the items. The first of such manuals in Germany is thought to have been published in 1875 by the geophysicist and naturalist Georg Neumayer under the title “Instructions for Scientific Observations on Travels”. It contained numerous individual chapters on various fields of science. One of them was written by Rudolf Virchow as a detailed introduction to anthropology, ethnology and prehistoric research. When a new edition was published in 1914, the corresponding sections were written by Felix von Luschan. His “instructions” were also available as a separate special edition. The guide included a highly detailed explanation of what needed to be collected, how it was to be obtained and what additional information had to be recorded and documented. In view of the vast scope, it can hardly be assumed that any collector was actually able to obtain all the information he wanted. Nevertheless, the manual was an important aid. (SF)

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts

Collection reconstruction

This is a specific type of project funded by the German Lost Art Foundation. It is possible to reconstruct private collections or holdings which were confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution or which were divided up or destroyed during the Nazi regime and which are of general fundamental importance. Those involved in the reconstruction efforts not only investigate the circumstances surrounding the loss of the collection, but also determine the exact scope of the collection and identify the associated items and their current whereabouts. Since 2017, private individuals have also been able to receive project funding from the German Lost Art Foundation to research their lost property. (SL)

  • Cultural goods confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution

Colonial Council

The “Colonial Council” (Kolonialrat) was an advisory body that existed in the German Empire from 1890 to 1907 and 1911 to 1913, advising the →“Imperial Colonial Office” (Reichskolonialamt) and its predecessor institutions on colonial affairs. Its members were appointed by the Chancellor of the German Empire. However, the colonial companies that had been granted an →“charter of protection” (Schutzbrief) or had established major economic enterprises in the →“protectorates” were also able to nominate members for the Colonial Council from their own ranks. (SF)

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts

Colonial goods

The term colonial goods is used to describe the food and luxury items that were imported to Europe from colonies mainly in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century (e.g. sugar, tea, coffee, tobacco, rice, cocoa and spices). These products were sold by merchants in grocery stores specializing in colonial goods. Colonial goods were very often advertised with colonial and racist stereotypes. (SF)

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts

Colonial revisionism

Even before the →Treaty of Versailles was signed, the German National Assembly (Nationalversammlung) had protested against the takeover of the German colonies by the victorious powers, condemning it as an “annexation”. In the Weimar Republic, the reclamation of the colonies was advocated by the governments, representatives of almost all political parties, a number of colonial federations and associations, youth organizations, academic groups, and various companies and banks involved in overseas trade. One of the most important organizations was the →German Colonial Society (Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft). The movement lost support in the mid-1920s; many of the stakeholders aligned with the Nazi Party, which established an Office of Colonial Policy (Kolonialpolitisches Amt) in 1934. However, its efforts were limited to internal discussions and propaganda and reaped no practical results. When the military situation deteriorated in 1942/43, the Nazi leaders prohibited further considerations on the topic. The “colonial desires” were rekindled after the Second World War, but these were ultimately quashed by the independence of many African states in the 1960s. However, traces of colonial revisionism can still be seen in various contexts to this day.

The main revisionist arguments were economic, demographic and socio-political in nature; some described colonies as a necessary source of raw materials and sales, while others demanded a new “German habitat” with reference to völkische ideology and the now discredited study of eugenics. The actual colonial past was idealized and glorified; the relationships of subordination were not discussed and the number of victims was understated in comparison to the colonies of other countries. When the victorious powers accused the Germans of implementing a failed colonial policy, this was dubbed a “colonial lie of guilt” by the revisionists themselves, who countered this argument by emphasizing the supposed cultural, economic and scientific achievements of German colonialism.

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts


This is the practice of acquiring domination over another country (→colony), usually by way of invasion, whereby fundamental decisions about the way of life of the colonized peoples are subsequently made by a culturally different minority of colonial rulers, who mainly take into account their own external interests and often implement such decisions by force. In modern times, this was usually associated with ideological justification doctrines based on the conviction held by colonial rulers that they were culturally superior (→racial science). The almost global colonization process that emanated from Europe in the mid-15th century is also known as →“European expansion”. (SF)

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts


A colony is a political entity newly created by means of invasion whose foreign rulers are in a permanent state of dependence on a remote “motherland” or imperial center that claims exclusive rights of “ownership” to the colony. Colonies are often integrated into an overarching colonial empire. Osterhammel classifies three major types of colonies. “Exploitation colonies” are usually acquired by military conquest and are exploited for economic gain and the pursuit of foreign policy objectives (demonstration of power). They are characterized by an autocratic and paternalistic form of government exercised by the colonial power, but its representatives only have a small presence in the colony itself. By contrast, “maritime enclaves” often arise from naval operations and serve to develop trade routes and expand the colonial ruler’s logistical power; the assumption of cultural and political power is of secondary importance in such colonies. Finally, “settlement or settler colonies” are characterized by the permanent and increasing presence of settlers from the “motherland”, who subsequently shape the fate of the colony. These three types are not mutually exclusive; there are also transitional forms of colonies that cannot be assigned to a specific type. (SF)

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts

Color scale

  • Cultural goods confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution

Commercial Coordination Division (in the East German Ministry for Foreign Trade)

"KoKo" was the unofficial abbreviation for a special division in the GDR run by the Ministry of Foreign Trade (MAI) which was known as the Bereich Kommerzielle Koordinierung (Commercial Coordination Division, official abbreviation: BKK). In 1976, the division started reporting directly to the Economic Secretary in the Politburo, Günther Mittag, but was closely linked to the →Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (Ministry for State Security, MfS) in terms of its personnel and structure. Ever since the division was founded in 1966, it was run by Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski. The sole purpose of this special division was to "maximize the generation of capitalist foreign currencies beyond the planned economy of the state", as established in Decree 61/66 of the Chairman of the Ministerrat (Council of Ministers). KoKo used numerous companies for different areas of activity, such as →Kunst und Antiquitäten GmbH (Art and Antiques Ltd., KuA) for selling works of art abroad in exchange for foreign currency. The companies associated with the KoKo division could operate with no regard for laws and regulations (i.e. detached from the planned economy and away from the public eye). A separate "Arbeitsgruppe BKK" (BKK task force) within the MfS was responsible for observing the BKK division. (MD)

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Commission for the Protection of Art

In the narrower sense of the word, the Kunstschutzkommission (Commission for the Protection of Art, KSchG) refers to a commission set up by the GDR’s →Ministerium für Kultur (Ministry of Culture, MfK) which was renamed the Kulturgutschutzkommission (Commission for the Protection of Cultural Assets) in 1980. Its purpose was to prevent the nationally valuable cultural heritage of the GDR from being lost through emigration, sale or destruction; it pursued this goal by issuing export permits and preventing the export of cultural assets. The legal basis for its work was the Act for the Protection of Cultural Property (KSchG) of 3 July 1980, which was the first culmination of the discussions that began in 1978 to reflect on the GDR’s national cultural heritage. The law was intended to prevent old holdings from public collections from being sold abroad, which had been attempted on numerous occasions. In the broader sense of the word, this term refers to a group of experts in the GDR who had been consulted on bequeathed and abandoned items (→desertion from the republic) to secure cultural assets of national and regional significance for museums, and unofficially for exports and the procurement of foreign currency (→Commercial Coordination Division). Such a commission was officially appointed at every museum the size of a district museum. (MD)

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Commission for the Protection of Cultural Assets

For more information on the Kulturgutschutzkommission (Commission for the Protection of Cultural Assets), please refer to the →Kunstschutzkommission (Commission for the Protection of Art).

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Compensation and Equalisation Payments Act

The "Entschädigungs- und Ausgleichsleistungsgesetz" (Compensation and Equalisation Payments Act, EALG) was passed on 27 September 1994 as an "omnibus bill" that combined various regulations such as (in Article 1) the "Entschädigungsgesetz" (Compensations Act, EntschG) to regulate unresolved property issues in the event of impossibility of in rem restitution for property expropriated in the GDR (i.e. between 1949 and 1990) and (in Article 2) the Ausgleichleistungsgesetz (Equalisation Payments Act, AusglLeistG) for compensation claims due to irreversible acts of expropriation committed during the Soviet occupation (1945-1949). In accordance with Section 5 AusglLeistG, movable (i.e. returnable) assets (e.g. works of art, decorative art, household effects, libraries, archives) were to be returned to their previous owners upon request, unless they had voluntarily surrendered their ownership of such items through legally binding transactions such as sales, donations or the like. The legal regulation did not reveal which previous owners or legal successors were actually entitled to make such a claim; various questions relating to property and inheritance law first had to be clarified in cooperation with the claimants, the state and district archives and the Ämtern zur Regelung offener Vermögensfragen (Offices for the Settlement of Unresolved Property Issues, ARoVs and LARoVs), which sometimes proved to be a long and winding process. However, cultural heritage institutions were permitted to delay the return of such items to beneficiaries under certain conditions (→usufruct). (MD)

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Confiscatory taxes

In the GDR, collecting was officially tax-free when done privately (i.e. outside an occupation or during retirement). Although it was fundamentally possible to sell collector’s items, the sellers were not allowed to generate substantial income through such sales or to act as dealers (e.g. by purchasing numerous items and selling most of them shortly afterwards).

Nevertheless, the state government denied a number of outstanding private art collections in the GDR the status of a collection and effectively confiscated them through premeditated income tax assessments. This was always based on the allegation of commercial art dealing (i.e. running an unregistered warehouse) and the price speculation associated with such trades. The amount of tax owed usually corresponded to the value of the collection, which the collector was then forced to have impounded by the tax investigation authorities.

Before the collections were confiscated, an inventory was taken in secret by the →Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (Ministry for State Security, MfS) for the purpose of determining their current value. The scope and whereabouts of each collection were known to either the MfS or →Kunst und Antiquitäten GmbH (Art and Antiques Ltd., KuA) through years of experience in the field. The results of the current value assessments were usually included in the court files and a copy was handed out to those accused at the start of criminal tax proceedings. The confiscated collections were subsequently exploited by KuA. This arbitrary application of tax law began in the early 1970s and peaked in the 1980s. Some (partial) files from tax proceedings can be found in the Federal Archives (BArch DL 210), while others can be found in the archived administrative documents of the former councils of districts, towns, cities and municipalities (in the Department of Finance). (MD)

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Ulf Bischof: Die Kunst und Antiquitäten GmbH im Bereich Kommerzielle Koordinierung, Berlin 2003 (zugleich Diss. Berlin 2002), S. 152-318.

"Das Kunst-Stück der DDR. Wie ein staatseigener Betrieb Bilder und Antiquitäten zu Devisen macht" in: art – Das Kunstmagazin, Jg. 6, H. 2, 1984, S. 72–75.

Thilo Richter: "Man wollte uns kaputt machen", in: Lausitzer Rundschau, 27.03.2019.

Cultural Association

The Kulturbund zur demokratischen Erneuerung Deutschlands (Cultural Association for the Democratic Renewal of Germany), which became known as the "Deutscher Kulturbund" (German Cultural Association) in February 1958 and as the "Kulturbund der DDR" (Cultural Association of the GDR) in 1974, was founded by Johannes R. Becher on 4 July 1945 and approved by the →Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) on 31 July 1945 with the intention of "reviving intellectual life in Germany". The Cultural Association’s magazine ("Aufbau") was first published under Soviet license in September 1945. In its first promising years, it managed to attract renowned collaborators and authors such as Paul Wegener, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, Theodor Plivier, Georg Lukács, Ferdinand Friedensburg and Hans Fallada. The association had "the task of uniting all members of the intelligentsia", but its activities were ultimately banned by the other occupying powers towards the end of 1947 due to the increasing monopolization campaigns led by the →Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschland (Socialist Unity Party of Germany, SED) and the growing number of non-communists leaving the country.

The Kulturbund soon had local groups in almost all GDR towns and cities, as well as university groups at all universities, under the aegis of which various interest groups and study groups could form. The members of the Kulturbund referred to themselves as  Bundesfreunde (friends of the association), and the interest groups and study groups were often united to form "Fachgruppen" (specialist groups) within thematic "Sektionen" (divisions). Between 1949 and 1952, the Kulturbund incorporated existing local heritage and cultural clubs into its "Kultur- und Heimatfreunde" (Friends of Culture and Local Heritage) division. However, outspoken historical and ideological clubs – including numerous civil museum and history clubs classified as "revisionist" and the small number of Masonic lodges that had reopened in Cottbus, Dresden and Leipzig with the toleration of the occupying power in the Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ) – were denied membership, which effectively amounted to their dissolution or ban. Any items owned by clubs that were dissolved or whose activities were not re-authorized (e.g. their book collections and archives) were usually handed over to the local museums. Archival records on the Kulturbund are now kept in the Federal Archives (BArch DY 27). (MD)

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR

Cultural goods confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution

Cultural property expropriated as a result of (Nazi) persecution refers to the cultural property which was confiscated from persecuted persons between 1933 and 1945. The terms "Nazi-looted art" or "Nazi-looted cultural property" are used synonymously. The international Washington Principles of 1998 use the term "Nazi-confiscated art”. The German Common Statement of 1999 speaks of " Nazi-confiscated art, especially from Jewish property". Furthermore, the terms are not defined in a national or international binding manner.
The concept of cultural property is understood in a broad sense within the context of coming to terms with the National Socialist theft of cultural property and can go beyond legal definitions, such as those of the Act on the Protection of Cultural Property (§ 2 paragraph 1 KGSG). Thus, everyday objects of use at the time (e.g. plate service, motor vehicles) can also be considered cultural property. When considering cultural property expropriated as a result of (Nazi) persecution, the fate of the owner concerned and the history of loss of the object are decisive, but not the material or (art) historical value.
The concept of Nazi persecution-related seizure encompasses different groups of cases of property loss during the period of National Socialist tyranny (as distinguished, for example, from voluntary disposal). For the examination of this question in the practice of museums, collections, archives, etc., Guidelines were published by the Minister of State for Culture and the Media, which provide guidance (p. 31 ff.). The Guidelines deal with the questions of identifying persecution under National Socialism, the occurrence of a loss of property, and also the allocation of the burden of proof or the easing of the burden of proof that the loss occurred as a result of persecution.
In European and non-European states that were not allied with the Deutsches Reich and offered exile to those persecuted, seeking refuge and displaced persons often sold cultural property they had been able to export from Germany between 1933 and 1945. The objects of these sales are often described as "Fluchtgut" ("flight assets"). Such disposals in exile are currently being handled differently and are the subject of professional and political debate (see Provenance Research Manual, p. 16).

  • Cultural goods confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution

Cultural goods displaced as a result of war

Cultural goods displaced as a result of war refers to cultural property that has been unlawfully seized, removed or relocated during wartime or as a result of military conflict. At the end of the Second World War, the activities of the Soviet trophy commissions, the thefts of individual military personnel of the Allied forces, or territorial shifts led to the fact that cultural property that had been removed from storage were not returned to their original location. These objects, also known as “trophy art”, were intended to compensate for war damage and losses, especially in the Soviet Union.
The concept of cultural property is understood in a broad sense and can go beyond legal definitions, such as those of the Act on the Protection of Cultural Property  (§2, paragraph 1 KGSG). Thus, everyday objects of use at the time (e.g. plate service, motor vehicles) can also be considered cultural property.
The starting point for the returns of cultural property displaced as a result of war is international law and, in particular, the Hague Convention of 1907: Among other things, it prohibits looting (Art. 47 HLKO), protects private property, and prohibits the confiscation, destruction, or damage of works of art (Art. 56 HLKO). The legislation was confirmed and clarified by the Hague Convention of 1954 and Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions in 1977. Since then, numerous intergovernmental agreements have been concluded committing to the return of cultural property displaced as a result of the war.
In the event of the discovery of wartime losses, the “Checkliste Beutekunst”. German only) provides information on the most important immediate measures.

  • Cultural goods displaced as a result of war

Customs authorities in the GDR

The customs authorities, known as the Amt zur Kontrolle des Warenverkehrs (Office of Customs and the Control of Goods Traffic, AZKW) until 1962, generally ensured that goods crossed the border in a legal manner. They checked whether delivery notes, import and export permits matched the freight to be transported, charged set fees on taxable goods, and prevented smuggling and other illicit inflows and outflows of movable goods across the customs border. In the GDR, undeclared or incorrectly declared goods were confiscated. Similar to the furnishings impounded by the →Volkspolizei (People’s Police), the objects confiscated by the customs authorities were handed over to cultural heritage institutions or destroyed. However, there were ways to bypass customs. For example, the Deutsche Bücherei (the predecessor institution of the German National Library in Leipzig) sent West German, Austrian and Swiss publishers special stickers to declare that their literary shipments were “not subject to customs controls”. Otherwise, it would not have been able to perform its duty to collect an extensive range of books, which of course also included German literature from non-socialist countries. In cases where exporting companies such as →Kunst und Antiquitäten GmbH (Art and Antiques Ltd., KuA) were allowed to fill out the accompanying documents themselves, the customs authorities merely gave the impression of state control without actually exercising it. The relevant records can be found in the Federal Archives (“BArch L 203 Zollverwaltung der DDR”, particularly under “Zoll- und Devisenvergehen”). (MD)

  • Confiscation of cultural goods in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR