The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) was the main Nazi agency responsible for looting Jewish-owned cultural valuables in Nazi-occupied countries as well as plundering libraries, archives and Judaica.
After the war, ERR records were scattered around the globe, and have been found in over 30 repositories in 10 countries. ERR original files include hundreds of thousands of listings of artworks, books, archives and other cultural valuables looted by the Nazis. The detail with which the ERR, headed by Adolf Hitler’s ideological henchman Alfred Rosenberg, documented the art, archives, books, and Judaica it plundered has proved essential for recovery efforts.
To unify and provide access to these scattered and complex records — which can help determine if an artwork was looted — the Claims Conference/WJRO has initiated several interrelated projects:
Documenting ERR Looted Libraries
The Claims Conference/WJRO document the Nazi seizures of libraries and help to identify the millions of books looted from libraries during the Holocaust.
ERR Archival Guide
The ERR Guide documents the current locations of all ERR records, details their contents, and provides links to online sources.
Database of Art Objects at the Jeu de Paume
The database provides information on more than 40,000 individual art objects looted from Jews in German-occupied France and Belgium.
Digitizing ERR Documents
The Claims Conference/WJRO fund a number of projects aimed at digitizing ERR documents.
Jewish Cultural Items
The Claims Conference has begun to use the ERR records regarding Jewish libraries and Judaica in Eastern Europe and in the countries of the former Soviet Union to document ERR plunder.
last updated February 2023
Images: Religious books concealed in the walls of the Great Synagogue, Amsterdam, Holland. Yad Vashem, archival signature: 368. A map showing the activities of the ERR in occupied Europe. Yad Vashem, archival signature: 368. Screenshot, Cultural Plunder by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg: Database of Art Objects at the Jeu de Paume (https://www.errproject.org/jeudepaume/) ERR-storage Paris, France. 1942/1943. Bundesarchiv B 323/0311-031. Torah scrolls desecrated during the Kristallnacht pogrom. Permanent exhibition at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Photograph Number: N02392 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.