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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hans Otto Carl Wendland
Hans Otto Carl Wendland

Dr. Hans Otto Carl Wendland (born 28 December 1880) was a German art dealer who was implicated in the trade in art looted by the Nazi regime during the Second World War.[1][2] Among his key contacts were the French industrialist and collaborator Achille Boitel,[3] Hugo Engel,[4] Allen Loebl,[5] Yves Perdoux[6] and others in Paris[7] and Charles Montag,[8] Théodore Fischer,[9] Alexander von Frey[10] and Albert Skira in Switzerland.[11]

Early life

Hans Wendland was born in Neu Ruppin, 28 December 1880, into a middleclass Prussian family of eight children. He studied art at the University of Berlin and obtained his doctorate in 1906.[12]

According to the Detailed Interrogation Report, he was dismissed in 1909 from the service of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum for "selling for personal profit works of art obtained in Persia while on a museum expedition".[13]

In 1912 he married Agnes Schloettke. In the First World War he served in the German army, was wounded, returned to Berlin where he worked as an art dealer. In 1918 he was sent to Moscow as an Attache of the German Embassy and "profited during the Communist Revolution by purchasing art at a low price from the fleeing nobility".[14]

In 1920 Wendland moved to Switzerland and in 1933 he moved to Paris, divorcing his first wife and marrying a second wife 34 years his junior. Their son, Hans, was born in 1938. In 1939, on the even of World War II, he moved back to Switzerland.

Role in Nazi looting

A German art dealer in Switzerland and Nazi party member since 1942, he was a key dealer in Nazi looted art.[15][16] He is mentioned 43 times in the Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index.[17]

Detailed Interrogation Report Hans Wendland 18 September 1946

On 18 September 1946, Otto Wittman, Jr. and Bernard Taper of the OSS Art Looting Intelligence Unit and the MFAA (also known as the Monuments Men) submitted the Detailed Interrogation Report on the  HANS WENDLAND. The report, marked confidential, detailed Wendland's "personal history", his "dealings and dealer relations", his "traffic in confiscated art", and his "personal assets". Concerning Nazi art looting, they presented Wendland as "the most important German figure whose base of operations was a neutral country - Switzerland"[18]

Wendland was arrested in Rome by the American Forces on 25 July 1946 and transferred for joint interrogation on 31 August 1946 to Wannsee Internment Camp, near Berlin. Otto Wittmann and Bernard Tapper interrogated him from September 5 to 15, 1946.[19][20]

Selected Findings

  • During the Nazi occupation, Wendland "made his headquarters at the Ritz" in Paris.
  • He guided French dealers who wanted to do business with the occupying Germans "formed an informal syndicate of the French dealers, Boitel, Perdoux, and Loebl"
  • During the war Wendland "made six trips to France in 1941 and 1942, and one trip in 1943".
  • Wendland was "a close friend of Buehrle, the Oerlikon arms manufacturer"

Classified Secret, and rediscovery in the 1990s

When, after a half century of secrecy, the Art Looting Investigation Unit reports began to reemerge in the late 1990s, the Associated Press described Wendland as "a leading fence for paintings looted from Jews".[21]

Art looted from Jewish collectors

Wendland traded in art stolen from many Jewish art collectors plundered by Nazis including Georges Bernheim,[22] Friedrich Gutmann,[23][24] Henry and Hertha Bromberg,[25] Alfred Weinberger[26] and many others, many of whom were murdered in the Holocaust. These Nazi looted artworks have turned up in museums around the world. Landscape with chimneys (Landschaft mit Schornsteinen) by Edgar Degas was found by the heirs of Friedrich Gutmann in the collection of Daniel Searle, a trustee at the Art Institute of Chicago with a false provenance[27] which required a long and contentious lawsuit to elucidate.[28] It was transferred by Hans Wendland and Fritz Fankhauser to Switzerland – before being sold to the New York collector Emile Wolf.[29]

The German Lost Art Foundation lists twenty objects that explicitly mention Wendland.[30] The French database: "Cultural Plunder by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg: Database of Art Objects at the Jeu de Paume" lists 44 artworks that mention Wendland.[31]

The whereabouts of many of these artworks is not known today.

References

  1. ^ Post-War Reports: ALIU Detailed Interrogation Report: Hans WENDLAND, 18 September 1946. lootedart.com. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index". 2016-03-03. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2021-04-25. Wendland, Dr Hans. Versoix/Geneva. German national. Art dealer, resident alternately in France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany since World War I. Partner of Reber until about 1930. Probably the most important individual engaged in quasi-official looted art transactions in France, Germany and Switzerland in World War II. Acted as intermediary between Hofer and Fischer, and as Fischer's chief purchasing agent. Frequently in Paris during the occupation; close contact of Lohse, Rochlitz, Loebl, Petrides, Mandl, Wuester, etc. Has never sold works of art directly to private purchasers; always working as dealers' expert and agent. His activities presently under close scrutiny by the Swiss government. On Allied Expulsion List and Proclaimed List.
  3. ^ "Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index". www.lootedart.com. National Archives. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2021-04-25. Boitel, Achilles (deceased). Paris, 6 rue de Teheran/11 bis rue Ampere. Wealthy French industrialist and speculator, who acted as Wendland's French agent after the Swiss made it impossible for him to leave that country. Chief financial figure in the Wendland, Lohse, Perdoux art dealing syndicate. Worked with Lohse and Hofer, and was a good friend of von Behr. Connected with Hofer in exchanges of Swiss and French francs. Open collaborator who was often in Germany before the war and spoke fluent German. Assassinated by the French Resistance.
  4. ^ "Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index". www.lootedart.com. Retrieved 2021-04-25. Engel, Hugo. Paris, 22 blvd Malesherbes/72 blvd des Courcelles. Austrian Jewish dealer, active in France and Switzerland in official German interests. Close collaborator of Wendland and Loebl, and Haberstock's chief Paris agent. Associated in Switzerland with Max Glant; father of Dolly Feierabend of Zurich. Ran Paris shop through Bisson, a Frenchman.
  5. ^ "Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index". www.lootedart.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2021-04-25. Garin, Ernest. Paris, 9 rue de l'Echelle. Formal proprietor of the Galerie E Garin, aryanised in this name by Ali Loebl. The Garin firm actually succeeded Kleinberger's and under Loebl becamse centre of the informal dealers' syndicate composed of Wendland, Perdoux, Boitel, Dequoy, etc. Garin personally played a relatively minor part in the business of the firm during the occupation. Indicted by French Government (Seine Tribunal, Judge Frapier)....Loebl, Ali (Allen). Paris, rue des Pyramides/9 rue de l'Echelle/34 quai de Passy. Dealer, of Austro-Hungarian Jewish descent. Director and leading spirit of the firm Kleinberger & Co, 'aryanised ' under the name of E Garin during the war. Centre of the informal art dealing syndicate comprising Wendland, Perdoux, Mandl, Boitel, Dequoy, Engel. Sold chiefly to Lohse, Hofer and Haberstock, for whom he travelled as agent in unoccupied France. Contact of Mohnen, Landry, Mestrallet. Indicted by the French Government (Seine Tribunal, Judge Frapier).
  6. ^ "Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index". www.lootedart.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2021-04-25. Perdoux, Yves. Paris, 178 rue du Fbg St Honore/6 rue de Teheran/6 blvd Flandrin. Operated the Galerie Guynot. One of the most active collaborationist dealers. Close associate of Wendland, Boitel and Loebl. Ardent Nazi, constantly in touch with Dietrich and other German buyers. Interrogated in 1945 by the Police Judiciaire. Reported ill and near death in January 1946.
  7. ^ Harclerode, Peter, & Brendan Pittaway. (1999) The Lost Masters: The Looting of Europe's Treasurehouses. London: Victor Gollancz, p. 138. ISBN 0575052546
  8. ^ "Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index". www.lootedart.com. Retrieved 2021-04-25. Montag, Charles. Sevres Meudon Val Fleury, 72 rue de Paris. Swiss; naturalised French. Artist and dealer. Strongly implicated in German activity in Paris. Associate of Dequoy. Close contact of Wuester and Wendland. Involved in the 'aryanisation ' of the Bernheim Jeune and Wildenstein firms, and believed to have been in frequent contact with Buehrle and a number of Swiss dealers. Instrumental in the sale of several looted pictures to Swiss clients. Former drawing master of Winston Churchill and has professed strong Allied sentiments.
  9. ^ "Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index". www.lootedart.com. Retrieved 2021-04-25. Fischer, Theodor. Lucerne, Haldenstrasse 17. The most important Swiss dealer. Owns a large establishment which did a considerable volume of international business prior to World War II. Two sons, Arthur and Paul (?), active with him. One of them was recently reported in France (late 1945). Fischer is the focal point in all looted art transactions in Switzerland, and recipient of the greatest number of looted paintings located to date. Conducted extensive business with Haberstock, Hofer, Wendland, Buenning and all Swiss art dealers. On Allied Proclaimed List. Has given up over thirty looted pictures to the Swiss authorities for return to rightful owners. Allied and Swiss authorities conducting continued investigation of his activities.
  10. ^ "Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index". www.lootedart.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2021-04-25. von Frey, Count Alexander. Lucerne, Hotel Eden. Art dealer of German birth and Hungarian citizenship; married originally to the daughter of a Hungarian industrialist. Divorced in 1936 and remarried to a German. In art dealing since about 1920. Involved in several important looted art transactions in France and Switzerland and, although he did not do a great deal of business, is perhaps second only to Wendland in the Swiss art trade in the strength of his official German contacts. Closely connected with Wendland, Lohse, Rochlitz and other key looting figures. Believed to have brought works of art illegally into Switzerland through Romanian diplomatic channels. Participated in an exchange of loot with the ERR. Professes strong pro-Allied sentiments. Has had possession of 57-60 of the Allied List. Has maintained contact throughout the war with the New York art trade.
  11. ^ Polack, Emmanuelle (2019). Le marché de l'art sous l'Occupation : 1940-1944. Laurence Bertrand-Dorléac. Paris: TALLANDIER. ISBN 979-10-210-2089-4. OCLC 1090063439.
  12. ^ "ALIU Detailed Interrogation Report: Hans WENDLAND, 18 September 1946". 2010-11-25. Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  13. ^ "ALIU Detailed Interrogation Report: Hans WENDLAND, 18 September 1946". 2010-11-25. Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2021-04-06. His early intention of becoming a serious art scholar received a set-back when he was dismissed in 1909 from the service of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum for selling for personal profit works of art obtained in Persia while on a museum expedition.
  14. ^ "ALIU Detailed Interrogation Report: Hans WENDLAND, 18 September 1946". 2010-11-25. Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  15. ^ "ALIU Detailed Interrogation Report: Hans WENDLAND, 18 September 1946". 2010-11-25. Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  16. ^ "Art Dealer Networks in the Third Reich and in the Postwar Period" (PDF). Other key dealers who traded in looted objects include Christoph Bernoulli in Basel (who sold art from persecuted German-Jewish dealer Alfred Flechtheim), Hans Wendland (a German national and Nazi Party member as of January 1942), and Count Alexander Frey (who, like Wendland, visited the ERR headquarters in the Jeu de Paume during the war to select looted Jewish works for exchange).
  17. ^ "Art Looting Intelligence Unit (ALIU) Reports 1945-1946 and ALIU Red Flag Names List and Index". www.lootedart.com. Retrieved 2021-04-06. Wendland, Dr Hans. Versoix/Geneva. German national. Art dealer, resident alternately in France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany since World War I. Partner of Reber until about 1930. Probably the most important individual engaged in quasi-official looted art transactions in France, Germany and Switzerland in World War II. Acted as intermediary between Hofer and Fischer, and as Fischer's chief purchasing agent. Frequently in Paris during the occupation; close contact of Lohse, Rochlitz, Loebl, Petrides, Mandl, Wuester, etc. Has never sold works of art directly to private purchasers; always working as dealers' expert and agent. His activities presently under close scrutiny by the Swiss government. On Allied Expulsion List and Proclaimed List.
  18. ^ "ALIU Detailed Interrogation Report: Hans WENDLAND, 18 September 1946". 2010-11-25. Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2021-04-06. Hans Adolf WENDLAND is, in relation to the history of the complex web of art looting and acquisition spun by the Nazis, the most important German figure whose base of operations was a neutral country - Switzerland. He was one of the most agile and informed contacts of Walter Andres HOFER, "Director of the Art Collection of the Reichsmarshall". He figured, whether wittingly or not, as the receiver of confiscated art in the first exchange of paintings from French private collections effected by the Einsatstab Rosenberg, and subsequently participated in three other exchanges with GOERING's agent, playing an important role in the importation of these works of art into Switzerland.
  19. ^ "Otto Wittmann papers relating to the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the United States Office of Strategic Services". oac.cdlib.org. Retrieved 2021-04-12. Wittmann traveled to Europe after the ALIU's final report had been issued in May 1946, which highlighted areas that had been insufficiently investigated. He was sent by the War Department to Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany to conduct investigations from June to September 1946, and to analyze the role played by Hans Adolf Wendland in relation to the transfer of artworks from France to the Galerie Fischer in Lucerne, Switzerland, which had held auctions of international standing during the war. In his report on Wendland, Wittmann noted dryly that he wasn't convinced by Wendland's claim that all of his export papers to travel in and out of countries during the war had been received from German officials for only "the price of four kilograms of chocolate." He maintained a sense of detachment or moderation and took no position on whether the United States should have received a trophy in the form of an artwork as compensation for its enormous participation in the art restitution effort. Wittmann observed that in his case the real trophy of this mission in 1946 was that it allowed him to develop friendships with European colleagues. This would enable him throughout his career to pull from a network of art experts for the evaluation of potential acquisitions and to organize extraordinary exhibitions thanks to the rare loans he could receive from Europe.
  20. ^ "Taper, Lt. Bernard | Monuments Men Foundation". MonumentsMenFdn. Archived from the original on 2020-08-08. Retrieved 2021-04-12. Taper and Breitenbach conducted a series of investigations to recover these objects in the fall of 1947. Taper also interrogated numerous Nazi officials and collaborators involved in art looting operations, including Hans Wendland, the German art dealer associated with the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR, the team tasked by Hitler to acquire works of art for his planned Fuhrermuseum in Linz, Austria). In 1948 Taper visited Spandau prison where he interrogated prominent Nazi officials including Albert Speer, Baldur von Schirach, Walther Funk, Karl Haberstock, and Walter Hofer.
  21. ^ "Documents tell of attempts to smuggle Nazi-looted art into states". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2021-04-06. As early as 1941, Hans Wendland _ described as a leading German fence for paintings looted from Jews, planned to send paintings from the Louvre in Paris to New York on Swiss ships via an Italian port, the newspaper reported. Wendland said Hitler's government backed the plan.
  22. ^ "Alfred Sisley (1839 - 1899) Spring Landscape". www.lootedart.com. Archived from the original on 2020-06-27. Retrieved 2021-04-06. Status: The object is looted. Its current location is unknown. Provenance Hans Wendland, German art dealer (?). Confiscated by the ERR from the Georges Bernheim Collection, Paris. Georges Bernheim Collection (rightful owner). Gustav Rochlitz, Paris art dealer, acquired in an exchange with the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), 3 March 1941, Paris.
  23. ^ "Landscape with Smokestacks – Friedrich Gutmann Heirs and Daniel Searle — Centre du droit de l'art". plone.unige.ch. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  24. ^ Switzerland, National Socialism and the Second World War Final Report (2002). Independent Commission of Experts Switzerland – Second World War (PDF). Pendo Verlag GmbH. ISBN 3-85842-603-2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-03-14. It is easier to find evidence of Switzerland's role as a «hub» for flight assets, whereas the transit of looted goods through Switzerland can only be proved in individual cases. A well-known example is the fate of the painting «Landscape with chimneys» («Landschaft mit Schornsteinen») by Edgar Degas, dating from 1890/93: it was purchased at an auction in Paris in 1919 for the Max Silberberg collection in Breslau – in 1932, it wentback to auction in Paris – from there it passed to the Dutch collector Fritz Gutmann, who gave the painting for safekeeping or resale to Paul Graupe in 1939, who lived in Paris from 1937/1938 – later it was transferred to Switzerland by Hans Wendland and Fritz Fankhauser – and sold to the New York collector Emile Wolf in 1951 – 1987 acquisition by Daniel C. Searle – 1998 presented to the Art Institute of Chicago. It is by no means surprising that a painting of such «problematic» provenance did not reappear on the art market until many years after the end of the war. As a result of «Aryanisations» or «liquidations of looted art», at least 14 pictures are proved to have been transferred from occupied France to Switzerland
  25. ^ "Flügelaltar". Archived from the original on 2021-04-10. Sammlung Richard von Kaufmann, Berlin; Auktion Paul Cassirer, Hugo Helbing, Berlin 04.12.1917, Lot 93; Kunsthandel J. & S. Goldschmidt, Frankfurt a.M. 04.12.1917; Sammlung Henry Bromberg, Hamburg [1935 um]; Kunsthandel Hans Wendland gemeinsam mit Kunsthandel F. Kleinberger (Allen Loebl), Paris vor 20.12.1938; Kunsthandel Theo Hermsen, Paris; Kunsthandel Dorotheum, Wien 06.06.1944, Nr. 217518-5; Hermann Voss für Sonderauftrag Linz; CCP München, 18.07.1945 - 03.06.1949; Restitution Frankreich, 03.06.1949; Musée du Louvre, Paris (vom Office des Biens et Intérêts Privés überstellt) 1950; Depot Algier, 1952 - 1961; Musée Crozatier du Puy, 10.01.1966; 2018 Restitution
  26. ^ "Cultural Plunder by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg: Database of Art Objects at the Jeu de Paume. Owner: Alfred Weinberger — Paris, France". Artist: Goya Medium: Paintings Title: Bildnis einer jungen Frau im weissen Gewand Description: Öl auf Lwd. 70 x 50 cm Slg. Weinberger Literature: Provenance and Comments: This painting was removed by Weiss on 22 June 1942. The Devisenschutzkommando (DSK) confiscated it from the vault in which it had been placed at the Banque Morgan et Cie. in Paris. This painting was handed over to Hans Wendland. According to French restitution records, this painting by Goya was discovered in Switzerland and returned to France by the Swiss Compensation Office. Archival Sources: Bundesarchiv, B323/281; RA 21, RA 610, RA 826, RV 103, MAEE, Paris, France
  27. ^ author., Goodman, Simon (2015), The Orpheus Clock : the search for my family's art treasures stolen by the Nazis, Findaway World, ISBN 978-1-68141-510-9, OCLC 928111350, retrieved 2021-04-12
  28. ^ Writer, Ron Grossman, Tribune Staff. "FAMILY SUES COLLECTOR, SAYS DEGAS WORK STOLEN BY NAZIS". chicagotribune.com. Archived from the original on 2020-05-17. Retrieved 2021-04-12. Upon Bernard Goodman's death in 1994, his records of his attempts to track down the missing paintings came to Nick and Simon, who took up the search. Eventually they discovered that those paintings entrusted to the Parisian antique dealer had been seized by the Einsatzsab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, a German unit that looted artworks. They wound up in the hands of Hans Wendland, a German art dealer who operated in Paris during World War II as the Nazis' principal conduit for confiscated artworks. Also, a Washington-based expert in stolen art told Nick and Simon that at war's end, most of Wendland's holdings had gone West to the U.S.
  29. ^ "Final Report of the Independent Commission of Experts Switzerland – Second World War" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-03-14.
  30. ^ "Lost Art Internet Database - Search". www.lostart.de. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  31. ^ "Cultural Plunder by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg: Database of Art Objects at the Jeu de Paume. Query Wendland". Archived from the original on 2019-03-29.


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