Brendan GravesJanuary 17th, 2018The Nazi PlunderEnglish Research Paper The Nazi plunder refers to one of the darkest times in the art world. It was the organized looting of the European Countries during the reign of Hitler and the Nazis. Adolf Hitler was an unsuccessful art student who was denied to be able to go to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. He believe of himself as a connoisseur of the arts.
He became obsessed with the arts of great artists and the Third Reich had painted forgeries to try and cover up the art that was stolen. Modern art that did not match the original was dubbed degenerate art of the Third Reich. Adolf Hitler was a young boy who had a troubled life his father had died only when he was just a teenage boy. WIth his father dead, there was no person who could tell thee young Hitler what to do, so he did whatever he pleased. Hitler would like to sleep late then go out and party in the afternoon.
When he returned home, Hitler would stay up past midnight reading and drawing. He had always been very fond of art and he had shown a lot of natural talent for drawing; he was even noticed by his high school instructors. He had also developed a big interest in architecture, he could draw detailed pictures from memory after only seeing it once.
Hitler had also decided to attend the prestigious Vienna Academy of Fine Arts where he had to take the two day entrance exam for the academy’s school of painting. He was very confident and also very self assured that he would get in he was badly shaken with rejection and was told without the required high school diploma he could not go be accepted into the academy. These are some of the reasons of why tons of art were stolen during the reign of the the Nazi Reich. (The History Place The Rise of Adolf Hitler) Some other examples of the Nazi plunder during the Nazi Reich was the Nazi gold train where there was a train that is believed to be near the Polish city of Walbrzych, which was a German city in 1945. And according to local legend the train had left Breslau now Wroclaw. “The two treasure hunters in southwest Poland say they have found a hidden tunnel containing a train that may hold rare Nazi gold, artifacts, sculptures, and paintings.
It’s a claim the local government seems ready to accept as the region is where the Nazis were known to hide treasures, from a secret underground super project to a fairy tale castle redesigned as a headquarters for Hitler himself.” (Hunt For the Nazi Gold) Scientists said in October 21st, 2017 that there is no secret Nazi gold train in Poland trying to ruin two treasure hunters dreams of putting their name in the history books. In August, Piotr Koper and Andreas Richter had said that they had irrefutable proof that a Nazi train full of gold was hidden in underground tunnels near the Polish town of Walbrzych. The team of scientists from a mining academy had spent a month using magnetic field detectors and thermal imaging cameras to scan the site, but concluded that, while there is a tunnel, there’s no hidden train. Of course, that’s exactly what they would say if there was a train that they wanted to keep hidden from Koper and Richter, who had asked for a 10 percent finders’ fee.
(Gwyneth Kelly)If the train exists it is rumored to contain over 300 tons of gold, art, gems, and guns. Koper and Richter have even said that the train could contain or be hiding the missing Amber Room, which is an 18th-century room that is paneled in gold, mirrors, and also amber that was taken from a palace in St. Petersburg during the Reign of the Nazi Reich. The amber room has an estimated value from $142 million to $500 million in today’s dollars. (A Brief History of the Amber Room)Koper and Richter are still searching and so are thousands of treasure hunters trying to make their mark on history. During World War 2 there was group of Scholars and men from 13 countries around the world who were enlisted into the Military not to fight, but to recover the stolen art of the Nazi Reich. Many of the Monuments men, volunteered for service in the newly created Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section, or MFAA.
Most had expertise as museum directors, curators, art scholars and educators, artists, architects, and archivists. Their job description was simple: to save as much of the culture of Europe as they could during combat. These men not only had the vision to understand the grave threat to the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of civilization, but then joined the front lines to do something about it.(Monuments Men) Without the work of these curators and professors, tens of thousands of priceless works of art may have been lost to the world forever. Captain Robert Posey and Pfc. Lincoln Kirstein were the first through the small gap in the rubble blocking the ancient salt mine at Altaussee, high in the Austrian Alps in 1945 as World War II drew to a close in May 1945. They walked past one side chamber in the cool damp air and entered a second one, the flames of their lamps guiding the way.
There, resting on empty cardboard boxes a foot off the ground, were eight panels of The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan van Eyck, considered one of the masterpieces of 15th-century European art. In one panel of the altarpiece, the Virgin Mary, wearing a crown of flowers, sits reading a book. The miraculous jewels of the Crowned Virgin seemed to attract the light from our flickering acetylene lamps,” Kirstein wrote later. “Calm and beautiful, the altarpiece was, quite simply, there.”Kirstein and Posey were two members of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section of the Allies, a small corps of mostly middle-aged men and a few women who interrupted careers as historians, architects, museum curators and professors to mitigate combat damage. They found and recovered countless artworks stolen by the Nazis, (True Story of The Monuments Men) which have been sent to museums all over the world or returned to their rightful owners. There were many pieces of art stolen during the period of the Nazi Reich, most of the pieces we recovered, but a vast majority of the pieces still remain hidden and lost. Some of the pieces that are still nowhere to be found today include the Raphael, Portrait of a Young Man, 1513/14Regarded by art historians as Poland’s most famous art loss from WWII, Portrait of a Young Man was taken from the Czartoryski family collection in Krakow to be placed in Hitler’s Fuhrermuseum in 1939.
It went missing at the end of the war, but unverified rumors suggest it was found in a Swiss bank vault last summer. Another monumental and historic piece that still goes missing to this day is made by Andreas Schlüte and calledr: The Amber Room, 18th Century Dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, this room was made with over six tons of amber and once belonged to the King of Prussia, Peter the Great. It’s thought to have been looted during WWII by the Nazis and taken to the city of Königsberg, never to be seen again. There is however a reconstructed version in the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. A Vincent van Gogh that is still missing til this day is, The Painter on the Road to Tarascon, 1888Among van Gogh’s most cherished pieces, this is thought to have burned when the Allied bombed the town of Magdeburg, setting alight the museum it was housed in.
Also a Giovanni Bellini was recovered called, Madonna with Child, c.1430″This was evacuated in the early 1940s from a museum in Berlin to be housed in a flak tower in Berlin-Friedrichshain, located within Russian control at the time. Most of the objects in the tower were either looted or presumed destroyed, including Bellini’s Madonna.” More pieces that were lost and still lost today included also a Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Trude Steiner, 1900″A portrait of Viennese collector Jenny Steiner’s daughter, it was seized by the Nazis after she fled Austria in 1938 and subsequently sold in 1941 to an unknown individual, not to be seen since. ” And a Rembrandt van Rijn, An Angel with Titus’ Features”Stored in a Chateau in the French countryside, the Nazis seized it in 1943 and took it to Paris, where it was set aside for Hitler’s museum, along with 332 other works. 162 of these have been found since, but not this one. ” A Peter Paul Rubens was also lost called, The Annunciation”This painting went missing after it was forcibly sold through the art auctioneer Paul Graupe in Berlin in 1935. A big collection by Canaletto called , Piazza Santa Margherita was also lost and missing still til this day.
“This Canaletto lived in the private collection of Jacques Goudstikker, whose gallery was seized and purged shortly after he fled the Netherlands in 1940. Parts of the collection have been returned to Goudstikker heirs since, but the hunt is still on for this one.”A Edgar Degas drawing called, Five Dancing Women (Ballerinas)The Nazis managed to get a hold of this pastel drawing when they took the collection of Jewish art collector Baron Mór Lipót Herzog. His heirs filed a lawsuit against Hungary to seek the return of part of this collection, but this work is still missing.” Another piece still missing till this day by Pissaro iscalled , The Boulevard Montmartre, Twilight, 1897 “This was part of a collection looted by the Nazis and subsequently sold through a Swiss art dealer in 1941. Though it’s shown up in almost every decade after the war, says Hills, its current location is an enigma.”(The Most Wanted Missing Art Works from WW2) All of these pieces are believed to be lost forever, but yet there is still hope for these pieces to be recovered.Works Citedhttp://world.time.com/2013/11/07/the-top-10-most-wanted-missing-art-works-from-world-war-ii/https://newrepublic.com/minutes/125874/scientists-say-no-secret-nazi-gold-train-poland-ruining-two-treasure-hunters-dreams-indiana-joneshttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-the-amber-room-160940121/https://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/hunt-for-the-nazi-gold-train/0/3450984 http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/art.htmhttp://www.monumentsmen.com/the-monuments-men/monuments-men-roster