Historical Survey of the Activities of
the Intelligence Department;
Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archive Section, OMGB.
Edward Breitenbach
Chief, Monuments and Fine Arts Section
Formerly MFA&A Officer
For Southern Bavaria
Bad Nauheim, 30 June, 1949.


Early in 1946, when the first great rush of shipments of art treasures to the central collecting point (CCP) was over, it became evident that a documents center was necessary to assist in the immense task of inventorizing and identifying the countless number of objects. Consequently, an office was set up, with a German curator, and two assistants, whose first task it was to put the great quantities of documents into working order....

Its task was defined as follows: to assist through documentary proof in the establishment of ownership of art objects in custody of the Central Collecting Point; to gather information from various Nazis who were involved in looting of works of art, as far as they were available for questioning in Bavaria; to work on the claims submitted by foreign governments, or by individuals, through the MFA&A office at OMGUS, and to follow up any leads contained in such claims by interrogating and investigating in the whole of Bavaria to keep a watch over the art market for any violations of Military Government laws especially with respect to stolen and restitutible art property. This program remained basically the same as long as the office existed....

During the first six months of the occupation, when it was an easy matter to hold people for questioning, a team working out in Munich could have recovered a great many art objects. It could have gone after the Fuehrerbau loot, the Ahnenerbe cache in the Franconian caves, the Generalbauamt repositories in the counties of Eastern Bavaria to cite only a few examples. Combing the region of Berchtesgaden for loot taken from the Goering train, and from the houses of the leading Party members, or the country around Passau for the art treasures from Hungary would have been highly profitable at that time. As it was none of these projects were taken up until much later, by which time much of the effectiveness of such a search was lost.