This is coolbert:
Yet once more please do not think that merely with the end of the Second World War [WW2] in Europe [V-E Day], that the murder and atrocity came to an abrupt and final end!
Those as designated Trophy Brigades of the Red Army looting and pillaging on a massive even apocalyptic scale. Organized and institutionalized the contrast with the random and almost casual theft by allied troops most apparent.
"The plunder and looting of art and other treasures was not limited to the Third Reich.... The Soviet and American armies also participated, the former more thoroughly and systematically, the latter at the level of individuals stealing for personal gain."
"The term trophy art is used for the cultural objects that were taken by the Red Army and the Soviet Trophy Brigades from occupied Germany to the Soviet Union after World War II."
NOR was the theft and pillage by the Red Army confined strictly to Germany proper. Where ever the Red Army marched in eastern Europe such theft on a massive basis occurred.
The "collecting" of art works by Goering and his various Nazi minions well known. Even just recently that "treasure trove" of art recently found, the provenance and ownership undetermined.
"PHOTOS: See the German hoarder who had $1 billion stash of stolen Nazi art"
"79-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt of Munich had some 1,400 paintings in his possession, which are valued at more than $1 billion and are believed to have been pillaged by Nazis — mostly from Jewish owners — during World War II. Gurlitt only offered a cryptic response when approached by journalists: 'Applause from the wrong side is the worst thing there is.'"
Red Army Trophy Brigade activity from that same period much less know. Indeed, little if anything ever made apparent to the outside world until only around the time of the break-up of the old Soviet Union"
"In what has been called one of the most important pieces of investigative journalism ever undertaken in the art world, Konstantin Akinsha and Grigorii Kozlov tell the story of how the Russians stole millions of art objects from European museums and private collectors in the final days of World War II and hid them away for fifty years. The Nazi confiscation of art from Jewish families and occupied countries has been well documented, but the story of what happened to the art after the Nazis were defeated in 1945 was virtually unknown until recently. Secret "trophy brigades" were established early in 1945, with specific instructions from Stalin to remove art from Germany and ship it back to the USSR on special trains. This operation began while the fighting was still going on and was conducted at a frenzied pace for several months. It was the most prodigious transport operation of artworks in the history of mankind. Trophies were being removed from Germany as late as 1948. Works by such masters as Botticelli, El Greco, Goya, Delacroix, Picasso, Velazquez, Matisse, Renoir, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, and Degas made their way to the Soviet Union. It was not until the late 1980s, when the Soviet Union began to dissolve, that it was possible to piece together this story. Akinsha and Kozlov were instrumental in revealing it to the West and in forcing Russian authorities to acknowledge the existence of the secret depositories. The Hermitage exhibited its collection of previously hidden Impressionist paintings early in 1995, but the Russians have been adamant in their refusal to return the stolen things, and the fate of the trophy art continues to be hotly debated."
See the whole story here:
"Top Ten ARTnews Stories: Tracking the Trophy Brigade"
That Russian even know refusing to return to the rightful owners art works and other valuables. Legislated theft now apparently a done-deal!
"In 1998, and after considerable controversy, Russia passed the Federal Law on Cultural Valuables Displaced to the USSR as a Result of the Second World War and Located on the Territory of the Russian Federation to legalize the possession of the stolen art works and to prevent any restitution."
These "looted" items never to be returned to the rightful owners, the provenance not ever to be fully established. These paintings and other treasures too improperly stored for decades now [?], deterioration perhaps having occurred, much to the disgrace of Soviet/Russian authorities?