A Tale of Two Museums
Ester Rachel Kaminska Theater Museum Collection

YIVO Collections Plundered by the Nazis

1942.02 - Vilna c 1943 - Workers sorting through books in the YIVO building.jpg


YIVO Collections Plundered by the Nazis


On 24 June 1941, the Nazis captured Vilna. In March 1942, representatives of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg (Rosenberg Operation Group), the body charged with looting Jewish cultural property for the Institut zur Erforschung der Judenfrage (Institute for the Study of the Jewish Question) in Frankfurt, established a sorting center in the YIVO building. Workers were forced to select the most valuable objects from the collections of YIVO and other local Jewish institutions to be sent to Frankfurt, while the remaining items would be destroyed. Among the laborers were Ume Olkenitski (1899-1943), director of the Esther-Rachel Kaminska Theater Museum. Among the thousands of items plundered were the collections of the Theater Museum.


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“YIVO Collections Plundered by the Nazis,” YIVO Online Exhibitions, accessed February 29, 2024, https://ataleoftwomuseums.yivo.org/items/show/2939.
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