The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania decided last week to initiate several large-scale investigations in order to locate some of the stolen Jewish treasures, according to the commission’s chairman Emanuelis Zingeris.
He has told the daily Lietuvos Žinios that even before the start of the Second World War the office of Alfred Rosenberg had investigated and put together inventories of rare artefacts held by Jewish organizations, libraries and museums in Eastern Europe.
“We have therefore authorized additional enquiries that will be conducted by international as well as Lithuanian researchers. I think we will send a request to the German government, since there mustn’t be any doubts about that,” Zingeris told Lietuvos Žinios.
Among the artefacts that could have been taken to Germany were rare incunabula that had been held in Mattityahu Strashun Public Library in Vilnius.
They are mentioned in a book by Noah Feigelman, Zingeris notes.
“There are clear references that the library had four incunabula in Hebrew, they were taken by the Germans. The incunabula were printed in an Italian town in 1475. They are priceless,” he says.