report of Robert Scholz, Chief of the special staff for Pictorial Art, stated: "During the period from March 1941 to July 1944 the special staff for Pictorial Art brought into the Reich 29 large shipments, including 137 freight cars with 4,174 cases of art works."

The report of Scholz refers to 25 portfolios of pictures of the most valuable works of the art collection seized in the West, which portfolios were presented to the Führer. Thirty-nine volumes, prepared by the Einsatzstab, contained photographs of paintings, textiles, furniture, candelabra, and numerous other objects of art, and illustrated the value and magnitude of the collection which had been made. In many of the occupied countries private collections were robbed, libraries were plundered, and private houses were pillaged.

Museums, palaces, and libraries in the occupied territories of the U.S.S.R. were systematically looted. Rosenberg's Einsatzstab, Von Ribbentrop's special "Battalion", the Reichscommissars and representatives of the Military Command seized objects of cultural and historical value belonging to the People of the Soviet Union, which were sent to Germany. Thus the Reichscommissar of the Ukraine removed paintings and objects of art from Kiev and Kharkov and sent them to East Prussia. Rare volumes and objects of art from the palaces of Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, and Pavlovsk were shipped to Germany. In his letter to Rosenberg of 3 October 1941 Reichscommissar Kube stated that the value of the objects of art taken from Bielorussia ran into millions of rubles. The scale of this plundering can also be seen in the letter sent from Rosenberg's department to Von Milde-Schreden in which it is stated that during the month of October 1943 alone, about 40 box-cars loaded with objects of cultural value were transported to the Reich.

With regard to the suggestion that the purpose of the seizure of art treasures was protective and meant for their preservation, it is necessary to say a few words. On 1 December 1939 Himmler, as the Reich Commissioner for the "strengthening of Germanism", issued a decree to the regional officers of the secret police in the annexed eastern territories, and to the commanders of the security service in Radom, Warsaw, and Lublin. This decree contained administrative directions for carrying out the art seizure program, and in Clause 1 it is stated:

To strengthen Germanism in the defense of the Reich, all articles mentioned in Section 2 of this decree are hereby confiscated . . . . They are confiscated for the benefit of the German Reich, and are at the disposal of the Reich Commissioner for the strengthening of Germanism."
The intention to enrich Germany by the seizures, rather than to protect the seized objects, is indicated in an undated report by Dr. Hans Posse, director of the Dresden State Picture Gallery: