Hidden Gems: Books Unjustly Dusty #10: Lost, Stolen and Found Treasures

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A significant amount of art stolen by the Nazis during World War II has never been returned to its rightful owners.

The London Daily Mail reports a new online database Database of Art at the Jeu de Paume cataloguing more than 20,000 stolen art pieces (mainly stolen in France and Belgium) that Holocaust survivors, their relatives and anyone else can search. Viewing what has been stolen is sobering when you think about the reasons why the rightful owners so far have not been found.

The efforts to save the great art of Europe during and after the war makes for compelling reading.

These three titles are unjustly dusty!

The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War details the pillaging of great art across Europe. It is also available on dvd with incredible film footage of the Allies discovering and safe-keeping great art as they crossed the continent.

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History recounts the special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, attached to the US Army. When the Allies gained ground, the Monuments Men were some of the first arrivals to find and secure great works of art.

Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art - America and Her Allies Recovered also covers the story of the Monuments Men with gorgeous photographs, many published here for the first time.

Comments

For a graphic novel take on the issue, try Moving Pictures by Kathryn Immonen. It focuses more on the people involved than the actual history, but it's interesting nonetheless.