Since man started dominating the animal kingdom, the humankind has seen a magnanimous growth in the act of engaging in fights, battles, and wars. Territory control and expansion were the primary reasons for war back in the days. Over the course of time, gathering more resources and looting were what agitated a war. Consecutively war profiteering was booming.
The 1st and 2nd world war saw a huge rise in looting and ransacking nations. In the 2nd world war under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, looting was a primary purpose of WW2. The entire ransacking was named the “Nazi plunder”, wherein art theft and other items were stolen by organized looting of European countries while the Third Reich was in action by soldiers acting on behalf of the ruling Nazi Party of Germany.
The plundering of art and artifacts happened from 1933 until the end of World War II, primarily by military units famously known as the Kunstschutz. In addition to gold, silver, and currency, cultural items of great significance were stolen, including paintings, ceramics, books, and religious treasures. It’s certain that most of the stuff stolen was recovered by agents of the Fine Arts, Monuments, and Archives program, a lot of them are still missing.
An international effort is underway to identify the lost artifacts that still remain unaccounted for, with the aim of returning the items to their rightful owners, their families or in the countries they belong to.
The whole looting took place to ensure that after the war ended none of the countries could recover back to their normal state of financial stability since the items were stolen if sold could yearn a hefty rate and regain the economic balance of the country.
The Nazi Plunder had its own repercussion. Other forms of Nazi looting organizations included the Sonderauftrag Linz, the art historian Hans Posse run organization. He was primarily in charge of arranging and assigning the works for the Führermuseum. This was operated by Kajetan Mühlmann, which Göring also kept control and operated mostly in the Belgium, Netherlands and a Sonderkommando Kuensberg connected to the minister of foreign affairs, which operated from France, then expanded to Russia and North Africa. In Western Europe, German troops were advancing. The German troops entered institutional libraries in the countries. There were occupied and removed of any materials of interest to the Germans, items of technical, scientific or other informational value were the ones of the primary target.
The Nazi Plunder didn’t just shake the economic conditions of the countries but deprived it of any scientific and technological advancements hence making the countries darker for the long run.