Wartime Losses of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz
The Second World War resulted in great losses to the Prussian collections. Much was destroyed. Many of the holdings that had been displaced for their protection did not return to the collections, for various reasons.
The Second World War left large gaps in the Prussian collections. The museums, libraries, and archives relocated extensive holdings to various sites within the German Reich in order to protect them from damage or destruction. Many of these works never returned.
For a long time, the extent of these losses could not be determined completely. Only after reunification, documents necessary for that purpose became accessible. Since that time the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) has been publishing the series Dokumentation der Verluste (Documentation of the Losses). It lists all of the works lost during the war and states its claims of ownership. In many cases, it is not clear even today whether the works were destroyed or ended up in the possession of other people or institutions.