Conference Proceeding: Whose Piano Is This Anyway? Vienna University Library and the Looted Heritage of the University’s Jewish Luminaries: A Double Case Study

This paper presents two intriguing new cases that have recently been under the investigation of Vienna University Library’s NS-provenance research project on the university’s research and teaching collections, namely those of two erstwhile Jewish professors at the University of Vienna and distinguished players in the social networks of the fin-de- siècle Jewish elite: Guido Adler (1855 – 1941), musicologist of world repute, and Berthold Hatschek (1854 – 1941), innovative and influential zoologist. Caught up in the ever increasing anti-Semitic terror of the interwar years, both died in loneliness and misery within a month of the year 1941. Their multifaceted and widely scattered material legacies, which include private libraries, archival bequest, and teaching objects alike, have turned up in the holdings of the university at various points in time during its postwar history. The account given of these case studies will include positive and negative research results, the quest for heirs, and restitution.

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