Klosterneuburg, Stift

Stift Klosterneuburg


Monastery Klosterneuburg

Stiftsplatz 1, Klosterneuburg

other names: Augustiner-Chorherrenstift Klosterneuburg, code name "Stift"

In June 1941 the seized and later expropriated Monastery of the Augustinian Canons with its art collection was put in the charge of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The artworks from Klosterneuberg, inventoried separately, remained locked up on site. The basement and underground rooms were equipped by Fritz Dworschak with a ventilation and heating system. From autumn 1942 artworks were stored here, making Klosterneuburg into one of the largest of the Kunsthistorisches Museum's depots. The first items stored there included the contents of the museum library and Imperial Treasury, followed by objects from other Kunsthistorisches Museum collections, as well as files from the Museum of Natural History, archives from the Vienna municipality, carpets from the State Arts and Crafts Museum, paintings and tapestries from the Liechtenstein collection, stained glass windows from Laxenburg Castle, collection items from the Monastery and Städtisches Museum Klosterneuburg, paintings from the Heeresmuseum, and a magnificent baroque cabinet from Berlin Palace museum. The separation for security reasons from other users of the building complex was not always without friction. There were classrooms and residences in the old monastery, and the field hospital installed in 1941 required more and more space as the war went on. Apart from the air raid shelter, which could only be accessed from the Imperial Courtyard and was reserved for museum staff and wounded patients from the hospital, a public air raid shelter was installed in the wine cellars in summer 1944. At the end of 1944 the stored items were returned to Vienna and transported in part to Lauffen. At the beginning of April 1945, Dworschak reported to Section Z/GK of the Reichsstatthalter in Vienna that relocation was still going on. A few days later the first Soviet troops arrived at the monastery. At the end of April 1945 the first canons returned, and in May the monastery was once again in the hands of the Order. A week after the war ended, representatives of the monastery administration and Kunsthistorisches Museum agreed that items should remain in storage as long as was necessary. Most of the goods were returned by the end of 1945, but some of the museum items brought back to Vienna remained in crates for several years, as a curator discovered at the end of 1954.

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Publications about the person / institution

Herbert Haupt, Jahre der Gefährdung. Das Kunsthistorische Museum 1938–1945. Wien 1995.
Herbert Haupt, Getroffen, doch nicht vernichtet. Das Kunsthistorische Museum im Kriegjahr 1945. Eine Chronologie der Ereignisse in Bildern. Wien 2005.
Herbert Haupt, Die Rolle des Kunsthistorischen Museums bei der Beschlagnahme, Bergung und Rückführung von Kunstgut in den Jahren 1938–1945, in: Theodor Brückler (Hg.), Kunstraub, Kunstbergung und Restitution in Österreich. 1938 bis heute. Wien 1999, 53–75.

Susanne Hehenberger/Monika Löscher, "Geheime" Bergungsorte: das Rothschildsche Jagdschloss Steinbach bei Göstling (Jagd), die Kartause Gaming (Schloss), das aufgelassene Stift Klosterneuburg (Stift) und das Salzbergwerk Lauffen bei Bad lschl (Berg). Arbeitsalltag – Sicherheitsvorkehrungen – Rückbergungen, in: Pia Schölnberger/Sabine Loitfellner (Hg.), Bergung von Kulturgut im Nationalsozialismus. Mythen – Hintergründe – Auswirkungen (= Schriftenreihe der Kommission für Provenienzforschung 6), Wien-Köln-Weimar 2016, 35–68, URL: doi.org/10.7767/9783205201564-004.

Robert Rill, Geschichte des Augustiner-Chorherrenstiftes Klosterneuburg 1938 bis 1945. Wien, Salzburg 1985.


BDA-Archiv, Restitutionsmaterialien, K. 4/1, M. 4, Kunsthistorisches Museum 1939–1943, M 5, Kunsthistorisches Museum 1943–1949; K. 6/1, M. 35, Bergungsorte in Wien J–Z: Klosterneuburg;.

KHM-Archiv, Direktionsakten: 1/ED/1944; 1/ED/1945; Bergungsunterlagen: XIII 81, XIII 82, XIII 18, XIII 24.
KHM-Archiv, Typoskript: Mathilde Pfannl, Das Kunsthistorische Museum im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Erinnerungen aus meiner Dienstzeit, Wien 1981.