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Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher

March 1945 would be a busy and eventful time for the Monuments Men officers, as the Allied armies advanced into Germany.  This was especially true for two of them: Ronald Balfour and Walker Hancock.

During combat operations in February 1945, Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFA&A) officer, British Maj. Ronald E. Balfour, serving with the First Canadian Army, 21st Army Group, in several German cities, helped to recover and protect archival collections.  At Goch he successfully persuaded Canadian commanders not to destroy the 14th century stone entrance gate as they attempted to enter the town.  While in Goch he also found the abandoned archives from the Collegiate Church of Cleve, which he transferred to a monastery in Spyck for safekeeping.

In a report, filed March 3, 1945, he described his work in the church in Cleve: “Fragments of two large 16th century retables of carved and painted wood have been collected and removed to safety. Parish archives found in a blasted safe and strewn over the floor of the wrecked sacristy have also been removed for safekeeping.”  On that same day he wrote Lt. Col. Geoffrey Webb, in charge of the Monuments Men, that:

 It was a splendid week for my job – certainly the best since I came over. On the one hand there is the tragedy of real destruction, much of it completely unnecessary; on the other the comforting feeling of having done something solid myself.

There are no civilian officials to annoy one; the cares of quick decisions are left to oneself. Added to that, is the excitement of being right in the firing line. I met a battalion of my Regiment one day and ate my sandwiches with them at RHQ less than a mile from the front and I was actually sitting in a building when it was hit by a shell.

The plundering is awful. Not only every house is forced open and searched but also every safe and every cupboard. All that I can do is to try and rescue as much as possible and put up signs of warning. We did that in Kalkar but I do not know whether they actually had any effect.

In the meantime I’ve spent several days arranging the staff I’ve collected. What I did with the Goch archives would make the archivists’ hair stand on end, but I saved them from complete destruction.

And my storage place in Cleves [Cleve] wouldn’t be exactly approved of by Washington as it’s an attic in a building occupied by troops and refugees. The house is without proper protection and shells fall ceaselessly in the neighbourhood but it’s the only building in the town that still has a roof, doors and windows. There’s a local monk there (the only civilian who’s allowed to move freely round the town) in whose charge I can leave the things when I go.

If all goes well, I hope to be back at my headquarters next week as I’ve got a good deal of long-term work to do there. I’ve also got most of my luggage in Holland. I’m afraid I’ll never see it again. Yours very sincerely Ronald.

He did not live to see his luggage again.  Balfour was killed by a shell burst in Cleve on March 10 while he and some other men were attempting to rescue pieces of a medieval altarpiece to safety. [1]

Meanwhile, during the first ten days of March, Bonn and Cologne were captured and the American forces poured across the Remagen Bridge.  Capt. Walker Hancock, MFA&A officer with the First United States Army and Lt. George Stout, USNR, MFA&A officer with the 12th Army Group visited Cologne on March 12.  A preliminary survey of the monuments of Cologne disclosed that approximately 75 percent were destroyed. With the exception of the Cathedral the destruction included nearly all of the famous churches and museums of the city.  They found that Cathedral had received some bomb damage and that much of its contents, including the stain glass windows, were preserved in a special air-raid shelter under the north tower. They also learned that Cathedral Treasury had been removed to the east of the Rhine.  They learned from Dr. Robert Grosche, Dean of the Cathedral, the location of depositories of works of art from all important Cologne churches. He also learned that at Siegen was the largest depository for Rhineland church property and that a very large part of a mine in that city had been prepared especially for the protection of works of art and that complete inventories were said to be in possession of Count Franz Wolff von Metternich, the provincial Konservator[2], and of his assistant, Herr Weyres and Fraulein Dr. Adenauer; the latter of whom it was said served as a curator for the mine depository at Siegen.  It was believed that at Bonn he could find in the office of Denkmalpfege[3] of the Rhine Province Metternich and his assistant.  Hancock then went to Bonn in mid-March to obtain information about repositories of cultural property.  There he learned that Metternich was in Westphalia, east of the Rhine, still behind the German lines, and Herr Weyres was in Bad Godesbeg. Hancock finally tracked down Weyres, an architect, who, though having no documents with him, said he remembered all the more important repositories and could help him located them on Hancock’s map.[4]

Weyres’ information indicated that the rich art treasures of Rhineland cities had been taken to many places, including a large number of castles and monasteries.  The ancient manuscripts and incunabula of the Archbishop of Cologne were placed in the vaults under the monastery of Steinfeld, the church of which had been restored some years before by Weyres himself.  According to Hancock, “hardly a Wasserburg [moated castle] in the Rhine Province or Westphalia did not now shelter some portion of the cultural or artistic heritage of Europe’s besieged civilization.”[5]  Weyres provided complete information about the works of art that were stored in a tunnel known as a copper mine under Siegen’s old citadel.  There were two entrances leading from opposite sides of the hill. The entrance nearer to the vaulted storage room was in the Huttenweg across from a factory that supplied the heat that regulated the humidity in the mine.[6]

From March 17 to 23, Hancock visited Aachen, surveying the situation and taking photographs.  On March 24 he visited the Abbey of Maria Laach (some 60 miles southeast of Aachen) splendid example of the Romanesque style, which contained a depository in the southwest tower.  On March 28 Hancock visited Racing Ring Hotel at Nürburg, where 300,000 volumes of the University of Bonn were stored. Rooms not used for storage of books were, he found, occupied by displaced persons and thing were “in great disorder.”  The books, none in cases, had suffered slightly from dampness and the weight of the large stacks in which they were piled. The following day, March 29, Hancock visited Schloss Satzvey, owned by Count Metternich. He talked to Countess Metternich. He found two rooms in the main house contained a number of statues from Cologne, also large collection of furniture, some from Cologne. He found two large statues were in the cellar.[7]

In late March Hancock, with a wealth of information about repositories in the First Army area found that its three corps were on the opposite bank of the Rhine within a few hours’ drive of each other.  He pinpointed on a map of each corps area the important repositories within, or likely to come within, the path of each, and set off on March 27 to visit the three headquarters to deliver the maps.  The three G-5s, he would later write, showed themselves eager to do all within their power to ensure the protection of the places, and instructions to the combat units were sent out the same day, and later visits by Hancock to some of the repositories showed that prompt action had indeed taken to protect them.[8] But this would not be the case with other repositories. Hancock wrote, of all the places he later inspected, almost none were without the guard of “Off Limits” warnings. He opined that “if personnel had been available to follow up and continue this course of action throughout the vast army area untold losses might have been avoided.”[9]  He wrote on April 1, that while guards may be posted during the combat phase and the period immediately following, it is manifestly impossible to maintain them long in situations such as the present one. Depositories in monasteries or other religious institutions, where member of the clergy were present, he believed, were relatively safe, and guards could be removed from these shortly after battle has past. On the other hand, collections stored in castles were in continuous danger.  Guards should be maintained in the neighborhood wherever possible. Posting “Off Limits” he observed was of questionable value as protection against itinerant looters, though the greater danger, that of military occupation, could at times be avoided by this means.[10]

In the latter part of March Hancock met with numerous museum and university officials who volunteered information about the existence of 109 repositories of cultural property. This, Hancock, would later write, brought to 230 the number known to exist within the area then assigned to the First Army.[11]   The 12th Army Group reported on March 31 that the total number of repositories known or reported to exist in the area of 12th Army Group up to the Rhine, as of March 28 were 757.  Of the 571 in Germany, it was estimated that 380 were subject to risks of damage and deterioration as a result of occupation.  Many of these, the 12th Army Group believed, would probably have been demolished; in many others occupation could doubtless be rightly authorized.  It observed that the need for advice of specialists in such cases remains and the demands on MFA&A personnel will be great. [12]

Hancock reported on April 1 that it was obvious that the MFA&A officer “is confronted with a hopeless task in the vast area now covered by this army.”  Fortunately, he observed, competent civilian personnel were then available.  He recommended that these trained men should be put promptly to work and given all possible responsibility and freedom of action. He reported that steps had been initiated to appoint the architect Willy Weyres Konservator of the Regierungsbezirk Cologne. Weyres, he wrote, directed the restoration of a number of the most important monuments of the Rhineland, notably the Abbey of Steinfeld and the Cathedral of Limburg. This work was done in a masterful manner. He was Count Metternich’s assistant as Konservator of the Rhein provinz and was better acquainted with the monuments of that region than anyone else now available, He recommended that Weyres should be appointed Konservator of the whole Rhine Province as soon as Military Government regulations permitted.[13]

In some respects, the work of the Monuments Men during the month was challenging and, for some, dangerous, but the month ended, without them finding the mine repository at Siegen nor the vast quantity of cultural property looted by the Germans at other repositories.  That would have to wait till April 1945.

 


[1] The American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas, Report of The American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1946), p. 128.

[2] The Landes- or Provinzialkonservator cooperated with ecclesiastical, municipal, or other local authorities.

[3] The actual supervision and protection of monuments were the responsibility of a Land, Provinz or Reichsgau bureau (Denkmalsfege) usually under the Ministry of a Department of Education, which was also generally in charge of cultural institutions.

[4] Report, Capt. Walker K. Hancock, MFA&A Specialist officer, MFA&A, Area of First United States Army, Semi-Monthly Report, March 16, 1945, File: AMG 294, Army B, Subject File Aug 1943-1945, Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section, Operations Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; Walter Hancock, “Experiences of a Monuments Officer in Germany,” College Art Journal (vol. V. No. 4, May 1946), pp. 287-288.

[5] Walter Hancock, “Experiences of a Monuments Officer in Germany,” College Art Journal (vol. V. No. 4, May 1946), p. 288.

[6] Historical Report, G-5, 12th Army Group April 1945 [April 30, 1945], File 17.16, Jacket 10, Historical Report-12th Army Group-April 1945, Numeric-Subject Operations File 1943-July 1945, Historical Section, Information Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; Walter Hancock, “Experiences of a Monuments Officer in Germany,” College Art Journal (vol. V. No. 4, May 1946), p. 288.

[7] Report, Capt. Walker K. Hancock, MFA&A Specialist Officer, First U.S. Army, Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Area of First United States Army, Semi-Monthly Report, April 1, 1945, File: AMG 294, Army B, Subject File Aug 1943-1945, Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section, Operations Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

[8] Report, Capt. Walker K. Hancock, MFA&A Specialist Officer, First U.S. Army, Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Area of First United States Army, Semi-Monthly Report, April 1, 1945, File: AMG 294, Army B, Subject File Aug 1943-1945, Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section, Operations Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; Walter Hancock, “Experiences of a Monuments Officer in Germany,” College Art Journal (vol. V. No. 4, May 1946), p. 288.

[9] Walter Hancock, “Experiences of a Monuments Officer in Germany,” College Art Journal (vol. V. No. 4, May 1946), p. 289.

[10] Report, Capt. Walker K. Hancock, MFA&A Specialist Officer, First U.S. Army, Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Area of First United States Army, Semi-Monthly Report, April 1, 1945, File: AMG 294, Army B, Subject File Aug 1943-1945, Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section, Operations Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

[11] Walter Hancock, “Experiences of a Monuments Officer in Germany,” College Art Journal (vol. V. No. 4, May 1946), p. 288.

[12] Memorandum, Lt. Col. Walter Sczudlo, Assistant Adjutant General, HQs, 12th Army Group to SHAEF, Attn: Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5, Subject: Monthly Report on Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives, March 31, 1945, File: AMG 292, 12 Army GP, Subject File Aug 1943-1945, Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section, Operations Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

[13] Report, Capt. Walker K. Hancock, MFA&A Specialist Officer, First U.S. Army, Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Area of First United States Army, Semi-Monthly Report, April 1, 1945, File: AMG 294, Army B, Subject File Aug 1943-1945, Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section, Operations Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.



The development of the Cold War after World War II and America’s ascension to a position as the leading World power with its attendant dangers and complications led to somewhat of a removal of partisan politics from foreign policy issues.  Underlying this move, referred to as bi-partisanship, was the idea that the President and Executive Branch agencies would work with Congress to develop foreign policies that could receive support from Republicans and Democrats alike.  Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg was perhaps the key proponent of bipartisanship.  He famously asserted that “politics stops at the water’s edge.”

During the period from 1945 to 1949, bipartisanship in foreign policy reached a high point, although partisan politics did intrude.  Among the bipartisan successes are U.S. membership in the United Nations, implementation of the Marshall Plan for European recovery, and the creation of NATO.  The death of Vandenberg, the rise of McCarthyism, the controversy over the “loss” of China, disagreement over the handling of the war in Korea, and unilateral foreign policy actions by the Truman Administration all led to a rise in partisanship in foreign policy during Harry Truman’s second term in office.  Even though the bi-partisan consensus broke down, there was continued paying of lip-service to the idea, but by the 1952 presidential election, the idea of bi-partisanship had itself taken on a partisan taint.

On February 12, 1953, at one of the first meetings of Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s Cabinet, Henry Cabot Lodge, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, raised the issue of bipartisanship.  He noted Senator Vandenberg’s distinction between Congressional matters and Executive action.  There was comment that Democratic leaders practiced bipartisanship only for matters involving Congress.  At the end of the discussion, Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson requested preparation of a memorandum on the subject of bipartisanship “to clarify the practice for all Cabinet Members” and responsibility for that was placed on Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.  Subsequent to the meeting, Dulles and Lodge discussed the issue with the end result that on February 23, Lodge sent the Secretary of State a “Dear Foster” note enclosing the following memorandum on “Bi-Partisanship in Executive-Congressional Relations”.

711.2[2-2353.2 711.2[2-2353.3 711.2[2-2353.4

Dulles acknowledged receipt of Lodge’s memorandum and then distributed it to the entire Cabinet under cover of a letter he personally drafted.  The following is the letter to Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr.:

711.2[2-2353.6

Identical letters went to the following officials:

  • Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey
  • Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson
  • Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield
  • Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson
  • Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks
  • Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay
  • Secretary of Labor Martin Durkin
  • Director of Mutual Security Harold E. Stassen
  • Federal Security Administrator Oveta Culp Hobby

Sources:  Documentation on the meeting of the Cabinet is found in Cabinet Meeting of February 12, 1953; Box 1; Cabinet Series, Dwight D. Eisenhower Papers as President; Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library.  The Lodge note to Dulles and enclosed memorandum, Dulles’s acknowledgement, and Dulles’s referrals to the Cabinet are under file 711.2/2-2353, 1950-54 Central Decimal File, RG 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives.  I thank my colleagues Karl Weissenbach and Valoise Armstrong at the Eisenhower Library for their assistance.



In recent years, the subject of leaks of classified information from U.S. Government agencies has received a great deal of attention.  This is not a new problem; I have seen references to such leaks as early as World War I.  In the early 1960s, however, the Department of State suffered a spate of leaks.  The problem was significant enough that President John F. Kennedy discussed the matter with Under Secretary of State George W. Ball (the Department’s #2 official).  In response, the Under Secretary personally prepared the following memorandum to the President discussing how to deal with the issue.

SNF.PR.11.page.1

SNF.PR.11.page.2

 

Along with the memo, Ball sent an 8-page outline of the proposed seminar (best copy available).

 

SNF.PR.11.page.3 SNF.PR.11.page.4 SNF.PR.11.page.5 SNF.PR.11.page.6 SNF.PR.11.page.7 SNF.PR.11.page.8 SNF.PR.11.page.9 SNF.PR.11.page.10

The problem of leaks has never gone away.  Attempts by the Nixon Administration to deal with that issue led to some of the Watergate-era abuses.

Source: Under Secretary of State George W. Ball to President John F. Kennedy, November 8, 1963, file PR 11, 1963 Subject-Numeric File (NAID 590618), RG 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives.

 



As the Department of State noted in a major 1950 publication “There is no longer any real distinction between ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ affairs.”  (Our Foreign Policy, Department of State Publication 3972, released September 1950).  In the post-World War II Twentieth Century, perhaps no issue better illustrates that statement than the movement for civil rights in the U.S.

In two eloquent letters, the first in 1946 and the second in 1952, the Department of State explained how discrimination within the United States presented an obstacle to America’s foreign policy goals.

The first letter came in response to an informal April 1946, request from Malcolm Ross, chairman of the President’s Committee of Fair Employment Practice.  The Committee was preparing the final report on its activities during World War II and making recommendations on post-war governmental policy relating to industry discrimination “because of race, creed, color, or national origin.”  Ross noted that the report planned to note in a general way that domestic discrimination affected U.S. international affairs and suggested that the Department “might wish to make a statement in support of the thesis that the existence of racial discrimination is a handicap and that Government should take thought how best to eliminate it.”

In response, the Department sent the following letter signed by Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson.  The letter was later featured in To Secure These Rights, the 1947 final report of the President’s Committee on Civil Rights, and in legal briefs prepared by the Department of Justice in a number of cases.

811.504[4-346.1

 

811.504[4-346.2

Malcolm Ross to Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson, April 3, 1946, Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson to Malcolm Ross, May 8, 1946, file 811.504/11-1352, 1945-49, Central Decimal File, 1910-1963 (NAID 302021) Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State.

The second letter resulted from a November 1952, request by Attorney General James McGranery to now-Secretary of State Acheson.  McGranery explained that the Department of Justice was preparing an amicus curiae brief to file with the Supreme Court in several of the cases leading up to the decision on segregation in public schools in Brown v. Board of Education.  The Attorney General noted that the brief “would be immeasurably enhanced” if it contained an “authoritative statement” of the impact of domestic racial discrimination on U.S. foreign relations.  Quoting from Acheson’s earlier letter, McGranery explained that a letter describing the situation as it stood in 1952 “would be of inestimable value in affording the Court a better appreciation of the broader international implications of the question presented in these cases.”

In response, the Department sent the following letter.

811.411[11-1352.1

 

811.411[11-1352.2

Attorney General James McGranery to Secretary of State Dean Acheson, November 13, 1952, Secretary of State Dean Acheson to Attorney General James McGranery, file 811.411/11-1352, 1950-54, Central Decimal File, 1910-1963 (NAID 302021) Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State.

As the leading biographer of Dean Acheson notes, however, despite the eloquence of the letters, the Department of State did little to contest domestic racist practices nor did the U.S. as a matter of its foreign policy do so overseas.  Later in life, Acheson was a supporter of white power regimes in Africa and made overtly racist statements (Robert L. Beisner, Dean Acheson: A Life in the Cold War).  Nevertheless, the letters remain accurate statements of the impact of domestic discrimination on U.S. foreign policy.

 

 



Today’s post was written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, archivist at the National Archives in College Park.

At the end of January, Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley, head of the 12th Army Group, wrote the G-5s of his four Armies (First, Third, Ninth, and Fifteenth) regarding the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFA&A) Specialist Officers and their activities.  He noted that as a measure contributing to the eventual restitution of works of art and objects of a scientific or historical importance which may have been looted from United Nations governments or nationals, the MFA&A officers would investigate all information of such nature and inspect all repositories of such works falling within the area of the command to which they were assigned or attached, and report their findings. Of course, in late January, the Monuments Men were not, with the exception of the Aachen area, in a physical position to seek out looted cultural property, nor German cultural treasures that had been evacuated eastward for protection.

But during February 1945, as the Allied forces pushed further east, the MFA&A officers had greater opportunity to seek out information about the location of German and looted cultural treasures.  By that time they already knew, based on information from MFA&A officers who entered Germany in the latter part of 1944 and the first months of 1945, that they had many challenges ahead, given the large, and increasing, number of repositories containing loot and German-owned cultural property, which were being identified. Information was being obtained from German museum personnel, from British and American sources in Paris, and from prisoner of war interrogations.

During February Capt. Walter J. Huchthausen, MFA&A officer with the Ninth U.S. Army obtained a German report, dated December 9, 1943, on a meeting of Rheinprovinz officials, October 22, 1943, the purpose of which was to discuss measures pertaining to disposition of art collections. The report provided information on thirty repositories. One was at Ehrenbreitstein Fortress on the mountain of the same name on the east bank of the Rhine opposite the town of Koblenz, where art treasures from Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Koblenz were kept in tunnels and where the building of another tunnel had been authorized for storing more art objects.  Another place identified was the salt mine at Kochendorf, near Heilbronn, which purportedly held art objects from many places.  In Aachen he found a group of papers that identified 10 repositories, including Kochendorf.  He reported that there was much correspondence regarding Kochendorf being an ideal art repository because of its depth (150 meters) and dry conditions.  From interrogations of Germans Huchthausen also learned about a repository at Siegen, east of Cologne, in south Westphalia.

Based upon the information that the MFA&A officers and other Allied personnel were obtaining about repositories, SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) on February 11 issued its first listing of German repositories holding loot and German-owned property. The list included a repository at Siegen, which was reported to contain 104 paintings and 48 pieces of sculpture from Aachen and also the Cathedral Treasure from Metz which had been sent there on August 30, 1944.  The list also included a storage location somewhere in Bad Wildungen (some 35 miles northeast of Marburg) and the salt mines at Heilbronn and Kochendorf.

While Huchthausen and other MFA&A officers attached to the Armies under the 12th Army Group were trying to pinpoint the location of repositories, Capt. Marvin C. Ross, USMCR, with MFA&A, G-5 Operations Branch, SHAEF, during mid-February visited 12th Army Group and the four armies under it to discuss intelligence on repositories of works of art and to coordinate the information obtained.  This information would be incorporated into the next issue of the SHAEF listing of repositories, issued on March 11.

At the end of February, Lt. George Stout, USNR, MFA&A office at the 12th Army Group produced a listing of additional repositories and had it provided to SHAEF.  In his listings, Stout noted that the Siegen mine and its vicinity were said to be used as repositories for work of art.

The Siegen copper mine, some 60 miles southeast of Cologne, had first come to the attention of the MFA&A officers in late 1944.  Capt. Robert K. Posey, with the Third U. S. Army, had issued a report, dated December 29, 1944, indicating that the Metz Cathedral treasures were at Seigen [Siegen] in Germany.  Upon reading this Ross wrote Stout at 12th Army Group that he could not find any trace of a Seigen [Siegen] in his Gazetteer and asked him to check with Posey about his information. Two days later Ross again wrote Stout, indicating that Lt. Col. Geoffrey Webb, Adviser, MFA&A, G-5 Operations Branch, SHAEF, had straightened him out about the place where the repository was—Siegen—Posey had the letters transposed.  It is interesting to note that the Office of Strategic Services reported on January 1 that it was probable that part of the Treasury of Aachen Cathedral had been taken to “Singen in Westphalia, a town not otherwise known.”

It would not be until spring that the MFA&A officers would finally get to Siegen and discover what art works and other cultural property it contained.  In the meantime, during February and March, they would continue gathering information about the location of repositories and their contents.  Of course, they would continue with their mission of protecting cultural property.  As will be noted in future blog postings, two of them would be killed in action trying to save German cultural treasures.

 

The full-citation version of this post can be found here.

 

Archival Sources:

Activity Reports, 1945-1951 (Entry A1 496, NAID 2435804), Records of the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point, Records of the Office of Military Government (U.S.) OMGUS, Records of United States Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 260 (Roll 54 of National Archives Microfilm Publication M-1947)

Records Relating to Status of Monuments, Museums, and Archives, 1945-1950 (Entry A1 497, NAID 2435815), Records of the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point, Records of the Office of Military Government (U.S.) OMGUS, Records of United States Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 260 (Roll 62 of National Archives Microfilm Publication M-1947).

Subject Files, 8/1943-1945 (Entry UD-55B, NAID 612714), Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section, Operations Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.

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