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Jean E. Zimmermann ( 1909-1989 )

Jean Emile Zimmermann was born in Bischwiller, Germany on January 3, 1909. His early years were spent in Paris, where he became fluent in French and developed an appreciation for art and architecture. When he was sixteen years old, he immigrated with his family to the United States. Zimmermann worked as a bank clerk in New York City prior to his enlistment in the U.S. Army in October 1942. We know little else about Zimmermann’s life before and after the war

Zimmermann was recruited for service with the MFAA in December 1945. Assigned to the Office of Military Government for the Regierungsbezirk Niederbayern und Oberpfalz, he conducted inspections of damaged monuments near Regensburg, Germany. His duties also included obtaining supplies for emergency repairs and coordinating shipments of looted objects from local repositories to the Munich Central Collecting Point, where they were sorted in preparation for restitution to the countries from which they had been stolen. In February 1946 Zimmermann supervised the transfer to the collecting point of thirty-six cases of objects belonging to the Munich Residenz, the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs and the largest city palace in Germany.

Zimmermann remained involved in the effort to locate, identify, and return looted works of art and other cultural objects until February 1947, when he returned to the United States. He died in Tacoma, Washington on October 12, 1989.

The Foundation is very interested in learning more about Jean Zimmermann’s life, in particular his military service as a Monuments Man. If you have any information, please contact abottinelli@monumentsmenfoundation.org.