Pan-European Displaced Archives in the Russian Federation
The Second World War – with the National-Socialist regime and accompanying Holocaust – wrought the greatest archival destruction and dislocation in history. While the restitution of art and library books has faltered, between 1993 and 2009 archives have been returned to seven countries – France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Austria and Great Britain, as well as the Rothschild family archives from Austria to The Rothschild Archive in London. The first major restitution to Austria in 2009 transferred 51 fonds with 10,770 files, comprising approximately 80 per cent of the Austrian archives in Moscow. The recent increased 'reclassification' of relevant Russian sources, such as the SVAG reparations and restitution files, impedes the needed research that could result in a more balanced account and contradict the 'nothing was returned' arguments of Russian nationalist politicians.