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The Pinakothek Museums transfer archives from the Nazi era at the Doerner Institute to the Bundesarchiv
Some 80 files and glass plates are being transferred to the Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archives). Photo: Andreas Burmester, Doerner Institute.

MUNICH.- The internationally renowned institute – that has been part of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen since April 1947 – is transferring some 80 files and glass plates to the Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archives). Preliminary talks were first held in 2007; now the processing of the material has been completed.

Founded in 1937 as the State Institute for Colour Technology, the institute came under the Reichskammer der bildenden Künste (the Reich Chamber of Culture) during the Nazi era. To date, the whereabouts of the Reichskammer’s files is unknown. For this reason, the institute’s files containing some 14,000 documents and the images on the some 1,000 glass negatives are of great importance in the field of contemporary history.

The extensive holdings enabled a detailed history of events at a cultural institution in Munich during the so-called Third Reich to be made over the past few years. The two-volumed work ‘Der Kampf um die Kunst. Max Doerner und sein Reichsinstitut für Maltechnik’ (The Struggle for Art. Max Doerner and his State Institute for Colour Technology), published by Andreas Burmester in April 2016, is valued among experts as a milestone in research using primary source material. It clearly reveals how closely the institute and the ideology of the Nazi era were intertwined. One chapter dealing with the institution’s history has now been completed.

The files and plates are the first batch of archival material that the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen have transferred to a national archive. In future the archival material will be freely accessible at the Bundesarchiv.

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