State archive of Nuremberg and Bayerische Staatsbibliothek return Nazi loot to descendants of the Süßheim family. City archive of Nuremberg receives the collection as a deposit

Within the framework of a ceremonial act on 19 June 2017, the Free State of Bavaria restituted 44 manuscripts, map works and files from the holdings of the state archive of Nuremberg and of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek to the descendants of the Munich Orientalist Prof. Karl Süßheim. The family had been dispossessed of the works in the time of the Third Reich.

Persecuted during the NS regime due to his Jewish ancestry, Prof. Karl Süßheim (1878 – 1947) had to sell the works below value in the course of his emigration to Turkey in 1941. The manuscripts can be clearly assigned to the victim of persecution due to the acquisition documents contained, for a larger part also by means of the exlibris applied to the archive materials.

The documents constitute a large part of the "Norica collection" compiled by the well-known Nuremberg attorney, city councillor and member of the Bavarian state parliament for the Social-Democratic Party Dr. Max Süßheim (1876 – 1933). The vast majority of these pieces represent chronicles of the city of Nuremberg, usually going back to the time from the 16th to the 18th century. For the research of the city's history these pieces are doubtlessly of outstanding value. The collection was transferred to Max Süßheim's brother when he died in the year 1933. Two manuscripts and one printed work are from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 41 archive items are from the state archive of Nuremberg.

Dr. Margit Ksoll-Marcon, Director General of the Bavarian State Archives, and Dr. Klaus Ceynowa, Director General of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, emphasize together: "With the search and restitution of Nazi loot found among their holdings, the Bavarian State Archives and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek consciously rise to their responsibility. We are pleased to be able to give the 44 works back to the family now. This is taking place in line with the Common Declaration of the Federal State, the Länder and the umbrella organisations of local authorities to find and return cultural goods dispossessed due to persecution by the NS regime, in particular from Jewish ownership, of December 1999, and in line with the Washington Principles of 3 December 1998."

The descendants have now decided to deposit the collection, reserving proprietary rights, at the city archive of Nuremberg, where two pieces of the collection are already kept.

"This generous decision makes it possible not only to pool all parts of the collection known so far in one place, but they will also remain accessible for the research of the city's history", stresses Prof. Dr. Julia Lehner, Head of the Department of Arts and Culture of the city of Nuremberg, who initiated the research center "Lost Art" for determining the provenance of cultural goods dispossessed due to persecution by the NS regime. The city archive of Nuremberg has already dedicated several exhibitions to the history of the Süßheim family. Further scholarly research of the family's history can be carried out now, resulting in a book publication in the autumn of 2017.

Press release for download
Press release  (in German)  (PDF, 209 KB)

Contact persons

Dr. Bernhard Grau
Directorate General of the Bavarian State Archives
Schönfeldstraße 5, 80539 Munich
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2488

Dr. Michael Diefenbacher
City Archive of Nuremberg
Marientorgraben 8, 90402 Nuremberg
Phone:  +49 911 231-2770

Dr. Stephan Kellner
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Ludwigstr. 16, 80539 Munich
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2278