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Otto Wittmann collection of papers relating to the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the U.S. War Department's Office of Strategic Services.

Wittmann, Otto, 1911-2001.

1933-2000 (bulk 1945-1946).

Available at Special Collections  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - CONTACT REFERENCE  (910130 )()

  • Title:
    Otto Wittmann collection of papers relating to the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the U.S. War Department's 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 (1946-1976). Under his directorship, the museum became a world-class institution. During World War II, Otto Wittmann served as a special intelligence officer for the Art Looting Investigation Unit in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) of the War Department. After his retirement from the Toledo Art Museum in 1976, Wittmann went on to serve as a board member of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and became a trustee and head of the acquisitions committee at the J. Paul Getty Museum. He was a founding member of the National Council on the Arts and served 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 Göring, Hermann, 1893-1946 Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945 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 Art -- Private collections Art thefts Art treasures in war Confiscations France -- History -- German occupation, 1940-1945 Germany -- History -- 1933-1945 Europe France Germany 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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