The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War

By Lynn H. Nicholas

Winner of the nationwide booklet Critics Circle Award

The actual tale at the back of the foremost movie The Monuments Men. the forged of characters comprises Hitler and Goering, Gertrude Stein and Marc Chagall--not to say works via artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. And the tale advised during this fantastically researched and suspenseful e-book is that of the 3rd Reich's conflict on eu tradition and the Allies' determined attempt to maintain it.

From the Nazi purges of "Degenerate artwork" and Goering's buying sprees in occupied Paris to the perilous trip of the Mona Lisa from Paris and the painstaking reclamation of the important treasures of liberated Italy, The Rape of Europa is a sweeping narrative of greed, philistinism, and heroism that mixes superlative scholarship with a compelling drama.

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His palms have been loaded with silver knives and forks, yet he used to be now not embarrassed. 29 much less widespread households fared no larger. those that had controlled to escape earlier than the borders closed left homes jam-packed with possessions in the back of, which have been fast stripped through SS troops or the associates. those that remained have been quickly required to sign in their estate with the Gestapo, therefore offering very good inventories for destiny confiscation. not anyone should be depended on. buyers, conservators, and acquaintances all at once printed a brand new allegiance. Customs and transport brokers broke open packed situations and got rid of worthwhile goods. It used to be Goering who had in my opinion ordered the sealing of the borders. even though it used to be avowed Nazi coverage to inspire Jewish departures, the call for for money lower than Goering’s Four-Year fiscal Plan used to be too nice to permit their massive resources to slide away. within the subsequent yr and a part, earlier than the outbreak of struggle, greater than 80 thousand Jews will be allowed to go away Austria, yet merely via purchasing their method out. go out visas should be received through surrendering one’s possessions to the workplace of Jewish Emigration, geared up less than the aegis of Karl Adolf Eichmann. Strict software of all of the German racial legislation and extending imprisonments inspired participation during this software. The expropriation of Jewish estate was once made much more torturous by way of requiring reams of forms, a number of notarizations, and visits to diverse enterprises. the yankee Consul normal in Vienna saw in July: there's a curious recognize for legalistic formalities. The signature of the individual despoiled is often acquired, whether the individual in query needs to be despatched to Dachau on the way to holiday down his resistance. the person, in addition, needs to battle through an unending sequence of transactions which will liquidate his estate and possessions, and continue in a foreign country penniless. he's not accredited to simplify concerns by way of making every thing over en bloc to the nation. 30 by way of the autumn of 1938 Eichmann’s place of work was once requiring the of entirety of 3 hundred dossiers day-by-day, a virtually very unlikely call for given the surprising reluctance of different nations to factor front visas. The liquidation of the Rothschild houses was once rather protracted. as a result multinational personality in their holdings, it took a 12 months of negotiations to meet the Nazi mania for the “legal,” in which time Baron Louis remained in felony. within the eyes of the Reich Finance Ministry, the paintings collections have been inextricably certain up with the remainder. while eventually the ultimate signatures have been affixed and Baron Louis used to be published, the Ministry initiated court cases to dump the artworks at public sale so one can fulfill tax claims. 31 meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of German officers and marketers poured into Austria to take over govt posts and dispossessed companies and to have fun the Anschluss with sprees within the eating places and outlets of Vienna. Albert Speer, repelled by way of the rush, restricted himself “to procuring a Borsalino. ”32 The inflow left without doubt as to who would actually be dependable in Austria.

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