Spoils of War
The 20th century has seen the destruction of several art collections in Hungary by the SS and, later, the Red Army.
The Jewish Hungarians – as they saw themselves – were passionate collectors, owning the most valuable works of art in Hungary before 1939. After Germany invaded Hungary in March 1944, the SS in competition with the Hungarian political police raced to sequestrate artworks and valuables from Jewish families. Then the Red Army looted whatever treasures were still to be found. Those works of art that had survived had to be handed to the Hungarian authorities in the early fifties.