Collection of Max Lowenthal who served in the Department for Jewish Restitution in Germany, Headquarters of the US forces in the US 0ccupation Zone in Germany

Language of Description
1 Jan 1945 - 12 Jan 1947
Level of Description
Record group
  • English

Extent and Medium

24 files


Biographical History

Max Lowenthal was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1888; a graduate of Harvard Law School, an attorney and a lifelong public servant; he served as an advisor and personal friend of President Harry S. Truman. In 1946, General Lucius D. Clay, the Deputy Governor of the US Military Government in Occupied Germany, asked various representatives of American Jewish organizations to suggest an advisor who could help Clay in drafting legislation regarding the restitution of Jewish property looted by Nazi Germany. Max Lowenthal was chosen for this job; he spent six weeks in Germany collecting evidence and drawing up his report. After his return to the United States, Lowenthal continued to advise the Truman Administration informally. Lowenthal was a New York City resident until his death in 1971.

Scope and Content

The collection contains: Postwar documentation from the time of the US occupation of Germany regarding reparations for Jewish cultural property looted during World War II, 1945-1947.The main documentation: - Monthly reports by the Offenbach Archival Depot, Office of Military Government, Greater Hesse, Economics Division, regarding Jewish cultural property that was collected;- Letters, memos, reports and similar documents regarding questions concerning the restitution of Jewish cultural property collected in the US 0ccupation Zone in Germany; - Correspondence between Max Lowenthal (as US Government Advisor) and officials of the Office of Military Government of the United States (OMGUS) in the US 0ccupation Zone in Germany, the US State Department and the representatives of various American and international Jewish organizations.The documentation also includes: - Legal and practical questions regarding reparations for Jewish cultural property looted by Nazi Germany;- The International Jewish Restitution Commission delegation; - Draft of a Restitution Law [which Germany must pay]and proposals regarding various Jewish organizations; - The situation of Jewish Displaced Persons in postwar Europe.

Finding Aids

  • Description of the files are available on IDEA ALM system at Yad Vashem Archives reading room/

Existence and Location of Originals

  • YV archives

Archivist Note

JL according to the RG description in the YV computerized catalogue

Dates of Descriptions


Corporate Bodies