Thursday, 30 March 2017
'Stealing Home: looting, restitution and reconstructing Jewish lives in France, 1942-1947'
I've just bought a book called 'Stealing Home: looting, restitution and reconstructing Jewish lives in France, 1942-1947'. I've been scanning through it, and one thing that immediately strikes me is how quickly people at all levels of society engaged in the 'banal' business of looting the property of Jews who had been rounded up and either put in local camps or deported. However, this wasn't random thieving. This was by statute. This was legal looting. As organised by the state. And it was carefully gathered together in depots, ready for it to be shipped out to Germany. Flats and houses were stripped in their entirety.
At the end of the war, some of it hadn't been completely sent off, so it was sitting in warehouses waiting to be sent off. Thousands and thousands and thousands of items packed away into containers, ready to be shipped off.
There was even a separate store for pianos.