Sunday, August 12, 2007

False Memory

During the Second World War Nazis stole over 500.000 priceless works of art from Polish museums, private homes and collections. Paintings, sculpture, art of all genres and periods, from ancient to modern- many of them are lost forever, many are in hands of German museums and private collectors.

In the end of the war in fear of bombing, Nazis packed treasures from Berlin National Library of Prussian Cultural Heritage into 505 wooden boxes and hid them in the South Poland in the Monastery in Krzeszów. After the war, almost all boxes were found by polish authorities and taken to Cracow. The treasures were stated as deserted by invadors and therefore where in time they were counted into the collection of National Library - Biblioteka Jagiellońska.
The same situation was with the collection of airplanes from Deutsche Luftfahrt Sammlung created in the 30s by Hermann Göring (if someone doesn't know he was a commander of the Luftwaffe, tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials in 1945-1946 and sentenced to death by hanging). In the autumn of 1943, after the heavy bombing of Berlin, the part of best preserved airplanes were hidden in Kuźnica Czarnkowska in Poland, where they where found in 1963 and were counted into the collection of the new Polish Museum of Aircraft in Cracow.
And what happens now, in 2007? Germans accuse Poland of "stealing" aformentioned treasures and want them back. Can You imagine? Because it's far beyond my reasonable thinking. Invadors accusing the invaded for looting artworks, which the invadors hid in the occupied country.What a nerve!!! And I have to mention, that Germany never paid for all the artworks stolen and destroyed by them in Poland.
And it has to be mentioned than stealing artworks from Poland was afore planned. In 1941 Germany published, in only few pieces, the cataloque of the most precious artworks from Polish collections, which were to be counted into the planned by Hitler museum in Linz. Those were the treausres which each museum in the world could only dream of. From that cataloque Poland managed to retrive only around 40%, among them Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci and works of Rembrandt. The fate of many of them is still unknown.

.Nazis stealing the treasures from the Polish Zachęta Museum


Kate said...

They are alleging WHAT?!? They left some concentration camps behind as well. Would they like those back?

The Nazis stole your priceless treasures, gutted your castles, bombed the hell out of your cities and killed your people!!

Through the centuries, Poland has been invaded, expanded, contracted, shifted and looted by invaders from every side. If occasionally, some goodies got left behind...tough. Do they think that some art and a few airplanes even BEGIN to compensate?

(Living in Poland really influenced me against Germans, I'm afraid.)

Nika said...

Hi there Kate!
I try to avoid any political matters here in my blog, but that news really freaked me out. Firstly because of the audaciousness Germans show, and secondly because of the way it blurrs history. And the latter is a very dangerous thing.

I understand that the generations can't pay forever for the sins of their ancestors, but hello- they also can't shadow the truth. And the truth is that Germany and then Russia invaded Poland. And the truth is also, that in order to stop war and signing peace treaty in Jałta, England and USA pushed Poland into 50 years of comunistic slavery. We couldn't then profit from Marshall Plan (but of course Germany did), and in fact that's why we're now, where we are- banging to Europeans door, as if we were not already there.

Anyway, hopes for future are the best we could have in the last 70 years.

And thanks Kate for the comment- You're really welcome here.