Works on Paper
from the National Museum in Warsaw

On November 3, 2021, in a ceremony at the Consulate-General of Poland in New York City, two works on paper that had been missing since the end of WWII were returned to Poland. On November 8, a second ceremony at the National Museum in Warsaw will officially welcome the two works back in the collections they belonged to.
 

Both drawings, approximately 8 x 11 in., are by 19th-century Polish artist Adolf Kozarski. They were part of a series of graphics depicting small Polish towns and among thousands of works of art looted by the Nazis from the National Museum of Warsaw. The first one is ink on paper and shows a street in Lipno, a small town north-west of Warsaw. The second one is a pencil-on-paper view of the village of Zagórowa, north of Krakow.

 

After defeating the Warsaw Uprising in early October 1944, the Nazis seized pieces invaluable to Polish culture that belonged to the National Museum, National Library, Royal Castle, and other major cultural institutions, and shipped them by train to Fischhorn Castle in Austria, residence of SS General Fegelein, brother-in-law to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. In the final days of the war, acting out of spite, SS troops invited looting of these objects by opening the doors to the castle’s warehouses. By the time Monuments Man Lt. Fred Hartt reached the Castle in August 1945, the collections were in deplorable condition, and many objects were missing. After securing the collections, Hartt worked closely with Polish First-Hand Participant 2ndLt. Bohdan Urbanowicz to inventory the contents of the castle and determine the works of art that individuals had taken. In April 1946, the Monuments Men returned the remaining objects – twelve railway cars full – to Poland. 

The Monuments Men Foundation learned of these two drawings from the daughter of a now-deceased U.S. Army officer, who brought them home as reminders of his wartime experience. “Our father was proud of his military service in Europe during World War II,” one of his children said. “It would make him very happy to know that because of the dedicated work of the Monuments Men Foundation, these two works of art that he brought home as souvenirs are now being returned to their rightful owner. Hopefully, other veterans and their family members who possess similar objects will contact the Foundation and follow his lead.”

"Jewish Street in Lipno" by Adolf Kozarski
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