Offenbach Collecting Point Album and Menorah
The Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art decided to donate two important objects - a seven-branch menorah and a wartime album - to the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.
The seven-branch menorah is one of thousands stolen or displaced during World War II as the Nazis exterminated Jewish communities and looted their belongings. This donation follows in the same vein as the JCR (Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc.), created at the end of the war to aid the Monuments Men in the return of religious and cultural objects that belonged to victims of the Holocaust found in the U.S. Zone of Occupation. Later, the JCR served as trustee to heirless cultural property and made decisions about the distribution of these items guided by a commitment to perpetuate the cultural heritage of the Jewish people.
The second object is a wartime album containing 46 tipped-in photographs showing daily work activities of the Monuments Men at the Offenbach Archival Depot, one of three principal collecting points for cultural treasures and works of art looted by the Nazis during World War II. Monuments Man Corporal Rouben Sami received this album from Monuments Officer Captain Isaac Bencowitz, Director of the Offenbach Archival Depot, in recognition of Sami’s work at that facility. The Rouben Sami album now joins the list of other known albums at the Algemeen Rijksarchief in The Hague; at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem; at the New York Public Library in New York City; and at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.