Nazi-Looted Books Spell Decades of Labor for Libraries

“Arthur Goldschmidt, a Leipzig dealer in animal feed and an exporter to South America, was more passionate about books than business. His private collection numbered 40,000 carefully indexed volumes and he engaged a librarian to take care of it. After the Nazis seized power in 1933, Goldschmidt was persecuted as a Jew; his assets were liquidated and his company confiscated. For survival, he sold his treasured collection of 2,000 almanacs — spanning three centuries — for a pittance to the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar. He fled in 1938. His grandson Tomas Goldschmidt, who was a toddler when Arthur died in poverty in Bolivia in 1951, had no idea the collection had survived until he was contacted by the London- based Commission for Looted Art in Europe — 70 years after his grandfather’s escape. The commission traced him at the request of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar.” (via Businessweek)

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