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Freie Universität Returns Books to Russian Federation

Books Taken to Dahlem during World War II

№ 27/2012 from Feb 10, 2012

The Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem (BGBM) of Freie Universität Berlin has returned nine books to the Russian Federation that were taken to Berlin during World War II. The books came from the library of the Pedagogical Institute in Smolensk, today’s Smolensk State University, as can be seen by inventory stamps in the books. Stamps later placed in the books by the library of the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem were removed before the books were returned.

The returned books deal with botany, geography, geology, and climatology and were published in the 1920s and 1930s in the USSR. Freie Universität returned them to the Russian Federation under Article 15 of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on cultural cooperation, signed December 16, 1992, and in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

The president of Freie Universität Berlin, Professor Peter-André Alt, presented the books to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in the Federal Republic of Germany, Wladimir M. Grinin.

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Hans-Walter Lack, Director, Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-50136; Email: