"The Restitution of Jewish Property in Postwar Germany (1945-1969)"
Mr. Jürgen Lillteicher received an M.A. in history and mathematics from the University of Freiburg in Germany. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was a Ph.D. candidate in history at the same university. For his Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship for Archival Research, Mr. Lillteicher conducted research for his project “The Restitution of Jewish Property in Postwar Germany (1945-1969).”
Mr. Lillteicher has been a researcher at the Bucerius Center in Haifa, Israel, a fellow at the German Historical Institute in London, and an intern at Yad Vashem’s archives. He is the recipient of an award to conduct research from the Vokkswagen Foundation in Germany. In 2000, Mr. Lillteicher co-convened an international conference on the restitution of Jewish property in Germany and Austria. He co-edited with Constantin Goschler the subsequent conference volume “Arisierung” und Restitution: die Rückerstattung jüdischen Eigentums in Deutschland und Ősterreich nach 1945 und 1989 [“Aryanization” and Restitution: The Restitution of Jewish Property in Postwar Germany] (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2002).
During his tenure at the Museum, Mr. Lillteicher explored the history of restitution from the early post-war negotiations between West German and American leaders, through its implementation phases and the ramifications of the restitution program for victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. He found that 1950s disputes over property produced a wealth of documentation in the form of testimonies. Restitution conflicts became one of the rare occasions of the 1950s when West Germans directly confronted their Nazi past, a decade which was generally declared as one of silence. Mr. Lillteicher conducted research using the Museum’s collections of personal papers left behind by Jewish survivors who were claimants in the restitution process, as well as the papers of Benjamin Ferencz, head of the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization and member of the directorate of the Conference on materials Claims against Germany, and Robert Kempner, a leading prosecutor at Nuremberg, active restitution attorney, and a noted member of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior before Hermann Göring took over in 1933.
Mr. Lillteicher was in residence at the Mandel Center from August 8 to November 29, 2002.