Follow our example and return Nazi-looted art, German bakery firm urges companies

Bakery firm leading the way on coming to terms with Nazi past


A German baking firm with ties to the Nazis has urged other companies with a similar history to follow their example in returning looted art from their private collections.
Dr Oetker made headlines in 2013 after its connections to leading Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s were revealed.
At the time, kosher shoppers and businesses expressed reservations about continuing to buy from the business.
However, the information about the firm only came to light due to efforts by the company itself to face up to its past, having paid for the research which was published.
Along with many other German companies, Dr Oetker has an extensive private art collection, part of which was obtained via forced Nazi confiscations.
In 2015, the company voluntarily commissioned an audit of its collection, which has over 4,500 works of art.
In an interview with the  BBC published on Tuesday, Joerg Schillinger, a manager at Dr Oetker, said that companies should “give back art looted by the Nazis”.
Only four such pieces have been returned so far, but research is ongoing.
In 2015, the German government set up the German Lost Art Foundation, providing funding for the country’s museums and libraries to check whether any of their items are stolen. In March this year the country announced that it would make this service available to private collections as well.
Mr Schillinger told the  BBC that "it's a pity that there are still some companies that haven't stepped into their history.
“We were quite late, 70 years after the war, but we are very happy that we did it."
He strongly recommended that other firms in similar situations follow suit, saying “just do it, for the sake of your company and for the sake of the stakeholders”.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive