Trophies of War and Empire: The Archival Heritage of Ukraine, World War II, and the International Politics of Restitution

Trophies of War and Empire: The Archival Heritage of Ukraine, World War II, and the International Politics of Restitution


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The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II have brought attention to the displaced cultural and archival heritage of many nations. The situation of Ukraine provides a striking example of the many international problems involved in questions of restitution. Patricia Kennedy Grimsted considers (among many topics) the problems of defining the archival heritage of Ukraine vis-à-vis Russia; international precedents for post-imperial archival devolutions and postwar restitution; intentional Soviet archival destruction in 1941; the Ukrainian component of Soviet library and archival trophies in Moscow and Kyiv; Russia's bitterly disputed 1998 law nationalizing cultural trophies; and post-1991 Ukrainian restitution policies. Containing significant new revelations about cultural treasures previously thought lost, Trophies of War and Empire will be of interest to all those interested in the contemporary rebuilding of cultural and intellectual institutions in Eastern Europe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780916458768
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 09/30/2001
Series: Harvard Papers in Ukrainian Studies , #67
Pages: 800
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Patricia Kennedy Grimsted is a Senior Research Associate at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

Dr. Charles Kecskeméti is Secretary-General Emeritus of the International Council on Archives.

Table of Contents

Foreword. Charles Kecskeméti

Technical Note

List of Abbreviations

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction. Reconstituting the Archival Heritage of Ukraine: The Historical and Ideological Context


Chapter 1. Defining the Archival Heritage of Ukraine: Russia and Pretensions of Soviet Successor States

International and Soviet Archival Principles

New Archival Laws and CIS Agreements

Beyond New Laws—Efforts to Define Archival Ucrainica

Chapter 2. Retrieving the Cultural Heritage and Displaced Ukrainian Archives

International Appeals and a National Commission

Potential Archival Pretensions

Microform Copies

Searching for International Norms

Chapter 3. Provenance, Pertinence, and Patrimony: International Historical and Legal Precedents

When "Records Follow the Flag"

ICA Resolutions, Cagliari, and the 1978 UNESCO Report

Archives and the Unratified 1983 Vienna Convention on the Succession of States

Post-Soviet Discussion Continues

Non-State Archives and the Post-Soviet Context

United Nations and UNESCO Conventions and Resolutions Relating to Cultural Property

Recent ICA Initiatives

European-Wide Focus on Restitution at the Official Level


Chapter 4. Towards a Descriptive Typology of the Ukrainian Archival Heritage Abroad

Institutional and Territorial Provenance

Circumstances of Alienation and Subsequent Migration

Present Location and Arrangement of Archival Ucrainica Abroad

Agreements or Other Legal Factors Affecting Ownership


Chapter 5. Measuring Losses in the World War II Context: Evacuation, Destruction, Plunder, and Retrieval

Reinterpreting Destruction and Displacements: The Historiographic Context

Soviet Losses and Destruction Reconsidered

Nazi Archival Plunder

Soviet Search and Retrieval Operations

Chapter 6. Western Allied Restitution in the Postwar Context

War Losses and Western Archival Restitution

The Record of American Restitution

Library and Archival Restitution Reconsidered

Western Non-Restitution

Captured Nazi Records and Anglo-American Restitution to Germany

Chapter 7. Soviet Cultural Trophies: The Ukrainian Component

Soviet Spoils of War

Trophy Books and Manuscript Collections

Trophy Books to Ukraine

The Berlin Sing-Akademie Collection in Kyiv: A Case Study

Chapter 8. Soviet Archival Plunder: Nazi Records and Nazi Archival Loot between Moscow and Kyiv

Soviet Archival Plunder

Captured Nazi Records with Nazi Archival Loot

The "Special Archive," Dispersal, and Soviet Restitution

Captured Nazi Records in Ukraine

Chapter 9. Émigré Archival Ucrainica Retrieved: Prague, Kyiv, and Moscow

Émigré Rossica and Ucrainica and the End of the RZIA in Prague

Ucrainica in Kyiv from Prague and Elsewhere

Ucrainica and Rossica to Moscow

Archival Ucrainica Retrieved in Kyiv

Chapter 10. The Nationalization of Cultural Trophies in Russia: A New Cultural Cold War in Europe

Russia's Cultural Cold War with the European Community

The Russian Battle over the Nationalization Law

Ukrainian and Other International Reaction

The Constitutional Court Rules

Archival Restitution Qua Barter for Archival Rossica

Russian Archival Information and Access Problems

Chapter 11. Independent Ukraine and Poland: A New Climate for Restitution?

Post-1991 Ukrainian-Polish Restitution Issues

The Symbolic Ossolineum Divided

Other Divided Polish Collections from Lviv

Archival Ucrainica in Poland

Other Polonica in Ukraine

New Prospects for Negotiations

Chapter 12. Independent Ukraine, Germany, and the International Context of Restitution

The International Context of Displaced Archives for Ukraine

Restitution Progress with Germany

International Forums on Restitution Issues

Displaced Art versus Displaced Archives

Beyond the New York and Washington Conferences



I. UNESCO. "Report of the Director-General on the Study of Problems Involved in the Transfer of Documents from Archives in the Territory of Certain Countries to the Country of their Origin," 25 August 1978 (20C/102)

II. UN. International Law Commission, "Non-Exhaustive Table of Treaties Containing Provisions Relating to the Transfer of Archives in Cases of Succession of States"

IIIa. UN. "Vienna Convention on Succession of States in Respect to State Property, Archives, and Debts, Part III, 'State Archives (art. 19 :031),'" April 1983 (A/Conf. 117/14; has not yet come into force)

IIIb. ICA. "Professional Advice on the Vienna Convention on Succession of States in Respect of State Property, Archives, and Debts, Part III, 'State Archives' (art. 19 to 31)"

IV. UN Resolution "Return or Restitution of Cultural Property to the Countries of Origin," 22 October 1991 (46/10)

V. Agreement on the Right of Successor States to the State Archives of the Former USSR: "Soglashenie o pravopreemstve v otnoshenii gosudarstvennykh arkhivov byvshego Soiuza SSR." Moscow, 6 July 1992 [with English translation]

VI. Resolutions of XXXth International Conference of the Roundtable on Archives (CITRA). Thessalonica, 12-16 October 1994

VII. "The View of the Archival Community on the Settling of Disputed Claims": Position Paper Adopted by the Executive Committee of the International Council on Archives at Its Meeting in Guangzhou, 10-13 April 1995

VIII. Official Act of Transfer from Prague and Select Communiqués Concerning the Ukrainian Historical Cabinet (U/K) under the Ministry of the Interior of the Czechoslovak Republic (October 1945) [in English Translation]

IX. OMGUS Report on Restitution of Soviet Cultural Property, Property Division, Restitution Branch, Richard F. Howard, Deputy Chief for Cultural Restitution (MFA&A), Karlsruhe, Germany, 20 September 1948

X. Recommendations of the UNESCO Conference on Cultural Return, Kyiv, December 1996

Selected Illustrations


I. Archival Sources

II. International Legal Documentation

III. National Legal Documentation

IV. Symposia and Conference Proceedings, Collective Volumes, Series, and Serial Publications Relating to Cultural Valuables and Restitution

V. Collections of Published Documents

VI. Catalogs of Lost, Displaced, and Trophy Culture Treasures

VII. Secondary Literature


What People are Saying About This

Lynn H. Nicholas

Patricia Grimstead's Trophies of War and Empire is a tour de force of scholarship...Her narrative is full of revelations about the unsolved mysteries of wartime looting and her exhaustive documentation, footnotes, and bibliography are an essential resource for all those with an interest in provenance research and restitution.
Lynn H. Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War

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