The task of returning these objects is ambitious, but there are some astounding finds, like the 1,400 paintings in the Munich apartment last year. The art that is found is likely only a small portion of the thousands of works of art the Nazis stole from every region they occupied. Hermann Göring seized control of the ERR, or the Reichsleiter Rosenberg Institute for the Occupied Territories, whose mission at the beginning was to seize documents from Jews and freemasons. He made the ERR’s primary focus the looting of art collections from Jews, with the order that all booty be made available to him and to Hitler. Art from Jewish art dealers and prominent families such as Rothschild, Rosenberg, and Wildenstein found their way into Göring’s hands.
Robert Edsell, an expert on Nazi looted art, told the Independent, “There have been a lot of books about Göring, but this is the first time as far as we know that someone has done this. It will help historians understand whether Göring was a Renaissance man, as he liked to aggrandize himself, a great collector, or a buffoon.” Commenting on the the Internet exhibition of works of art Hitler selected for his Fuhrermuseum, historian Hanns Christian Lohr told Der Spiegel, “When it came to designing and hanging, Hitler had the last word.” Hitler was himself a failed art student, and had to work as a postal cartographer when he was denied admission to the Vienna Art Academy. Lohr told Der Spiegel that, had the Fuhrermuseum existed, it would have been in the “Premiere league of European museums. … Hitler simply wanted the best of everything.”