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Nazi Plunder of Art During World War II: Resources  

This will focus on providing resources that will help researchers find information on the Nazis plunder of priceless art in WWII. U.S. soldiers were an integral part of reclaiming the stolen artwork and the sources will help students understand the topic.
Last Updated: Dec 9, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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These resources provide detailed accounts of the Nazis plunder of cultural treasures during World War II. Although they cannot be found in UB Libraries catalog, they can be found at other libraries or at various stores, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Nazi Plunder - Kenneth D. Alford
ISBN: 9780306812415
Publication Date: 2003-04-03
Book Description: World War II was the most devastating conflict in human history, but the tragedy did not end on the battlefields. During the war, Germany - and, later, the Allies - plundered Europe's historic treasures. Between 1939 and 1945, German armed forces roamed from Dunkirk to Stalingrad, looting gold, silver, currency, paintings and other works of art, coins, religious artifacts, and millions of books and other documents. The value of these items, many of which were irreplaceable, is estimated in the billions of dollars. The artwork alone, looted under Hitler's direction, exceeded the combined collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, and the Louvre. As the war wound to its conclusion in 1945, occupying forces continued the looting. The story of these celebrated works of art and other vanished treasures - and the mystery of where they went - is a remarkable tale of greed, fraud, deceit, and treachery. Kenneth Alford's Nazi Plunder is the latest word on this fascinating subject.

Librarian's Note: This book will be very useful to researchers as they study the theft of thousands of treasures during World War II by the Nazis and later on the Allies.

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Hitler's Holy Relics - Sidney Kirkpatrick
ISBN: 1416590625
Publication Date: 2010-05-11
Book Description: From Paris to Stalingrad, the Nazis systematically plundered all manner of art and antiquities. But the first and most valuable treasure they looted were the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. This is the true-life Indiana Jones story of a college professor turned Army sleuth who foils a Nazi plot to preserve these cherished symbols of Hitler's Thousand Year Reich. Author Sidney Kirkpatrick draws on recently discovered and previously unpublished documents, including interrogation and intelligence reports, diaries and correspondence, as well as on interviews with all remaining living participants involved with the case, to re-create this thrilling true-life story.

Librarian's Note: This book will provide researchers with information on the Allied Armies attempts to thwart the Nazi plunder of Europe's treasures.

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Lost Libraries - James Raven (Editor)
ISBN: 9781403921192
Publication Date: 2004-06-12
Book Description: This pioneering volume of essays explores the destruction of great libraries since ancient times and examines the intellectual, political and cultural consequences of loss. Fourteen original contributions, introduced by a major re-evaluative history of lost libraries, offer the first ever comparative discussion of the greatest catastrophes in book history from Mesopotamia and Alexandria to the dispersal of monastic and monarchical book collections, the Nazi destruction of Jewish libraries,and the recent horrifying pillage and burning in Tibet, Bosnia and Iraq.

Librarian's Note: This book will provide researchers with a look at the Nazi's destruction of treasures other than art, the Nazi's destruction of Jewish libraries.

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Robbery and Restitution - Dean Martin; Constantin Goschler; Philipp Ther
ISBN: 9781845450823
Publication Date: 2007-10-15
Book Description: The robbery and restitution of Jewish property are two inextricably linked social processes. It is not possible to understand the lawsuits and international agreements on the restoration of Jewish property of the late 1990s without examining what was robbed and by whom. In this volume distinguished historians first outline the mechanisms and scope of the European-wide program of plunder, before assessing the effectiveness and historical implications of post-war restitution efforts. Integrating the abundance of new research on the material effects of the Holocaust and its aftermath, a comparative perspective is offered on both robbery and restitution, examining developments in countries such as Germany, Poland, Italy, France, Belgium, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

Librarian's Note: This book will be beneficial to researchers, because it encompasses both the scope of the war's plunder, but also the restitution of the Jewish property after the war.

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M. F. A. A. - Howard Brinkley; HistoryCaps
ISBN: 9781483989396
Publication Date: 2013-03-29
Book Description: The Holocaust was the systematic murder of six million European Jews by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party. The horrors of the Holocaust have documented been many times. Even those that were not killed, mutilated, or starved in concentration camps were stripped of their citizenship and their identities. The Nazis did not stop there, though. Hitler, in his quest to build an empire, planned and executed the most extensive theft of art and cultural treasures in history.

A group of art historians, museum curators, scholars, and others with an expertise in art accepted the enormous responsibility of traveling to the front lines of World War II in an effort to protect art before it could be stolen or recover the art that fell into the hands of the Nazis. Even more lent their expertise when the fighting ended, remaining in Europe for years after the war was over. They were called “Venus fixers” by the troops but have since come to be known as the Monuments Men.

Acting on orders from General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had the backing of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, many of the Monuments Men – and women – put their lives on the line for art. By doing so, they preserved not just paintings, sculptures, and tapestries, but a significant portion of the culture that makes life worth living. As Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the State Hermitage Museum in Russia, said, “Art belongs to humanity. Art is what makes us human.”

Librarian's Note: This book provides an up to date account of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives program, which was created to find and restore the treasures that the Nazis had plundered.

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Rescuing Da Vinci - Robert M. Edsel; Lynn H. Nicholas (Foreword by); Edmund P. Pillsbury (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780977434909
Publication Date: 2006-12-01
Book Description: Rescuing Da Vinci uses 460 photographs to tell the "untold story of the 'Monuments Men'" and their discovery of more than 1,000 repositories filled with millions of items including paintings, sculptures, furniture, archives and other treasures stolen during WWII by Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. Rescuing Da Vinci includes photographs of Hitler designing the Fuhrer Museum, along with photographs of the extraordinary measures taken by museum officials in Europe to protect their masterpieces from the Nazis' planned looting. Ultimately, Hitler and the Nazis' unprecedented theft of Europe gave way to the greatest treasure hunt in history, the search for art and other treasures valued at more than a trillion dollars! The Allies created a special force known as Monuments, Fine Art and Archives Section comprised of museum directors, curators and art historians- men and women from more than 15 nations who spent more than six years locating, rescuing and then returning these treasures to the countries from which they were stolen. Efforts to locate and return missing artwork continue to this day.

Librarian's Note: This book will give researchers a visual guide to the history of the thefts to the work of the MFAA to restore the treasures to the countries they were stolen from through photographs.

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