Immediately after the Anschluss, Hitler began putting in motion his plans for Linz.  On June 26, 1939, he appointed Hans Posse, one of his chief advisors and the highly respected director of the Dresden Gemäldegalerie, to take charge of the Sonderauftrag Linz (Special Project Linz).  This project entailed the creation of a cultural complex in Hitler's hometown of Linz.  The focal point of this scheme was to be the Führermuseum, a museum housing the most celebrated European artwork. Posse was granted enormous power as he was authorized to make decisions on behalf of Hitler for works of art discovered throughout the Reich.  By 1941, Posse's mission was aligned with the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) confiscations. In just over three years, until his death in 1942, Posse acquired about 1,200 paintings.  Hermann Voss succeeded Posse as both Director of the Dresden Gemäldegalerie and head of the Sonderauftrag Linz. Within a year of his appointment, Posse had obtained over 800 paintings. At Hitler's request, albums were prepared featuring reproductions of the latest art slated for the museum. Between Christmas 1940 and November 1944, Hitler has amassed 32 leather bound photo albums.

At the end of the war, the Allied Powers dissolved the collection. Most of the artworks were brought from the salt mine at Altaussee and other repositories to the Central Collecting Point (CCP) in Munich. Under the laws guiding restitution, they endeavored to restitute the works to their countries of origin and to the victims of confiscations and forced sales.

Database on the Sonderauftrag Linz (Special Commission: Linz) External Link - opens in new window

Model of the Führermuseum
Photo of Dr. Hans Posse
Photo of Herman Voss
Photo of the Gemäldegalerie Linz Album XIII