Were the Allied (mostly American) soldiers who rescued works of art stolen by the Nazis before and during World War II really heroes, as Robert M. Edsel claims in The Monuments Men, or were they good men—aided by one resourceful, determined French woman—who were simply, in the best sense of the phrase, just doing their jobs? My vote is for the latter…Still, for the most part they have receded into the fog of history…and that is a pity, so it is good to have them given recognition in The Monuments Men. It's a somewhat problematical boo…But it's a terrific story, and it certainly is good to give these men (and that one remarkable woman) their due.
Jonathan Yardley - Washington Post
WWII was the most destructive war in history and caused the greatest dislocation of cultural artifacts. Hundreds of thousands of items remain missing. The main burden fell to a few hundred men and women, curators and archivists, artists and art historians from 13 nations. Their task was to save and preserve what they could of Europe's great art.... The story is both engaging and inspiring. In the midst of a total war, armies systematically sought to mitigate cultural loss.
Adolf Hitler's plan for the subjugation of the world included its culture and treasures. Art was to be taken from conquered countries and stored in Germany until Hitler could build the world's largest museum complex in his hometown of Linz, Austria. It was the job of the Monuments Men (as they came to be called) to track down these missing treasures during the latter years of the war.... [W]ill appeal to many general and military history readers.
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