Dworschak, Fritz

Full Name: 
Dworschak, Fritz
Other Names: 
Friedrich Dworschak
Fritz Dworschak
Year Born: 
1890
Year Died: 
1974
Place Born: 
Krems, Austria
Place Died: 
Krems, Austria
Home Country: 
Austria
Overview: 
Numismatist, director of the medals collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna; assisted in Nazi looting of art treasures. Though he had not been previously politically active, Dworschak joined the Nazi party (NSDAP) at the annexation (Anschluss) of Austria in 1938, perhaps at the instigation of Rudolf Noll, an assistant in the antiquity section of the Museum, and was appointed director of the Münzkabinet (medals collection) of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in 1940. Hans Posse (q.v.), the newly appointed supervisor of the proposed Führermuseum, set him in charge of numismatics collection of the Führermuseum. He collaborated with the Gestapo to identify collections of "enemies of the Reich," mostly Jews, for dispersal into several museums, including his own Kunsthistorisches. The included the collections of Rudolf Gutmann, Serena Lederer, Viktor Ephrussi and David Goldmann. He became director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in 1941.{
Selected Bibliography: 
edited. Die Gotik in Niederösterreich, 1963
Sources: 
Petropoulous and other say this happened in 1938]. Dworschak developed popular public-outreach tools, akin to the Berlin State Museums, such as the "art object of the month" and the radio program, "Ten minutes of the museum." After Posse's death in 1942, Dworschak oversaw the safe housing of art treasures from the Klosterneuburg Monastery to the Museum, and, in 1944 headed the securing of the Kunsthistorisches Museum objects. He was relieved of his position at the Kunsthistorisches in 1945 with the Allied capture of the city. He returned to his native Krems to head the Kulturamts (Culture Authority) and Stadtarchiv (City archives) from 1947 to 1958. In retirement, he headed the "Kunst der Donauschule" (Art of the Danube School) exhibition in St. Florian in 1965. Kühnel, Harry. "Fritz Dworschak." Mitteilungen des Kremser Stadtarchivs 23-25, 1985; Haupt, Herbert. Das Kunsthistorische Museum: Die Geschichte des Hauses am Ring. Hundert Jahre im Spiegel historischer Ereignisse. Vienna: 1991; Petropoulous, Jonathan. The Faustian Bargan: The Art World in Nazi Germany. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 179.