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Otto Wittmann papers relating to the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the United States Office of Strategic Services.

Wittmann, Otto, 1911-2001.

1933-2000, bulk 1945-1946.

Check holdings at Special Collections  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - CONTACT REFERENCE  (910130 )()

  • Title:
    Otto Wittmann papers relating to the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the United States Office of Strategic Services.
  • Author/Creator: Wittmann, Otto, 1911-2001.
  • Creation Date: 1933
  • Publisher Info.: 1933-2000, bulk 1945-1946.
  • Biographical/Historical Note: Otto Wittmann was the associate director and then director of the Toledo Museum of Art (1946-1977). In 1945-1946, Wittmann was a member of the Art Looting Investigation Unit in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) of the War Department, where he was responsible for analysis and gathering of intelligence information related to art looting in Europe during the war. After his retirement from the Toledo Art Museum, Wittmann served as a consultant and trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 1977 to 1979, and afterwards served at the Getty Museum in roles including consultant, trustee, acting chief curator, and acquisitions committee chair. He was a founding member of the National Council on the Arts, as well as an advisor to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
  • Physical Desc.: 3.75 linear feet (9 boxes).
  • Summary: The archive documents the Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU) within the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the mission played by one of its staff members, Otto Wittmann. It sheds light on how the OSS operated within a larger group of agencies and helps understand the day-to-day activities of one of its members during an intelligence mission in Europe. It comprises the Detailed Interrogation Reports (DIRs), the Consolidated Interrogation Reports (CIRs) and the Final report prepared by the ALIU, as well as reports prepared by other allied agencies. The personal papers of Otto Wittmann related to his employment with the OSS consist of his notes, agendas, meeting notes and drafts for the examination and analysis of the transfer of artworks from France to Switzerland. Particular well documented is the role in that transfer played by Hans Adolf Wendland, who developed a business partnership with Theodor Fischer of Lucerne. These provide an almost daily account of his mission in France, Switzerland, Germany and England. Also included are clippings and publications that shed light on art looting during the war and the restitution efforts undertaken by the United States in collaboration with England, France, Italy, and other countries.
  • Language: English
  • Additional Formats: Part of the collection (boxes 2-3) also available in photocopy (box 1).
  • Notes: Gift of Otto Wittmann.
  • Form/Genre: History
  • Subjects: Göring, Hermann, 1893-1946 -- Art collections Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945 -- Art collections German Occupation of France (1940-1945) World War (1939-1945) Art thefts -- France Art thefts -- Germany Art treasures in war -- Europe World War, 1939-1945 -- Confiscations and contributions France -- History -- German occupation, 1940-1945 Germany -- History -- 1933-1945 1933-1945
  • ID/Accession Number: 95-A29
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers.
  • OCLC Record Number: 78702080
  • Source: GRI Library Catalog

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