On January 22, the U.S. State Department hosted a ceremony marking the return of Gemäldegalerie Linz Album XIII, a prized possession of Hitler and documented German 19th century works of art he had accumulated, both through purchase and theft, for the Führermuseum he planned to build in his hometown.
This great occasion also honored the army veteran who picked up the album at Berchtesgaden as a souvenir, Mr. John Pistone. Upon learning about the importance of the Album, he agreed to work through the Foundation to ensure return to Germany.
Album XIII is particularly significant because it contains works by German 19th century painters so beloved by Hitler. This album, like the other still missing 11 albums, were thought to have been destroyed during the war. Scholars believed that their last known location was the Wolfsschanze or Wolf’s Lair, Hitler’s headquarters on the eastern front. That this album was located at Berchtesgaden was quite a revelation and makes it increasingly likely others will eventually be found.