Professor Jonathan Petropoulos will speak Nov. 22 at an international conference on World War II restitution, Commissioning History in the United States, Germany, and Austria: Historical Commissions, Victims, and World War II Restitution, at the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. Co-sponsored by CMC, the conference will examine recent high-profile World War II restitution settlements and the historical commissions established to provide definitive accounts of events during and after the war.
Speakers include: Peter Moser, Ambassador of Austria to the United States; Ambassador Hans Winkler, Austrian Foreign Ministry; William Slany, U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Ernst Sucharipa, Austrian Diplomatic Academy; Clemens Jabloner, High Court of Administration, Vienna; Gordon Mueller, president, the National D-Day Museum; and scholars from Yale University, Northwestern University, Tulane University, the George Washington University, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and the University of California, Berkeley. Conference co-sponsors include the Center for Austrian Culture and Commerce, Metropolitan College, the University of New Orleans, German Historical Institute, and Austrian Cultural Forum.
Petropoulos, the John V. Croul Professor of European History and director of The Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies, will speak on the topic The United States and Looted Nazi Art. He is the author of The Faustian Bargain: The Art World in Nazi Germany (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), Art as Politics in the Third Reich (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), and is currently at work on a new book, The Royals and The Reich, examining the role of relationship between the German royal family and the Nazi regime.
Petropoulos was appointed by President Clinton as research director for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States, supervising research and reporting on art looted from Holocaust victims by American forces, as well as victims' art which subsequently entered American collections. He also served as administrative director and board member of The Project for the Documentation of Wartime Cultural Losses, a nonprofit organization created in 1998 to gather, centralize, and make available information relating to works of art, archives, and other cultural property displaced as a consequence of war.