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Nazi Plunder

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michael hughson

on 1 August 2014

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Transcript of Nazi Plunder

Nazi Plunder
Theft of Art

Art theft and other items stolen as a result of the organized looting of European countries during the time of the Third Reich by agents acting on behalf of the ruling Nazi Party of Germany. Plundering occurred from 1933 until the end of World War II, particularly by military units known as the Kunstschutz, although most plunder was acquired during the war. In addition to gold, silver and currency, cultural items of great significance were stolen, including paintings, ceramics, books, and religious treasures. Although most of these items were recovered by agents of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (MFAA), affectionately referred to as the Monuments Men, on behalf of the Allies, immediately following the war, many are still missing. There is an international effort underway to identify Nazi plunder that still remains unaccounted for, with the aim of ultimately returning the items to the rightful owners, their families or their respective countries.

Selling and Burning of art
The art dealers Hildebrand Gurlitt, Karl Buchholz, Ferdinand Moeller and Bernhard Boehmer set up shop in Schloss Niederschonhausen, just outside Berlin, to sell the near-16,000 cache of paintings and sculptures which Hitler and Goering removed from the walls of German museums in 1937-38 but without much success with their sales, mainly because art labelled "rubbish" had small appeal. So on 20 March 1939 they set fire to 1,004 paintings and sculptures and 3,825 watercolours, drawings and prints in the courtyard of Berlin.
Why Hitler did it
Adolf Hitler was an unsuccessful artist who was denied into the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts but he still thought of himself as a connoisseur of the arts. In Mein Kampf he ferociously attacked the modern arts labeling them as degenerate. In 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany he enforced his aesthetic ideal on the nation. The Nazi Party considered classic art as the best and that all other art was worthless to the country so in saying that, the selling and public burning of the art had come.
still missing
Although World War 2 is over there are still families fighting for their families art work. People have recognized pieces that their grand parents and great grandparents have painted, they go to museums and ask them for their families work back, it is given to them is there is proof that have have a connection to it. Not many people have proof because all non-famous artists didn't sign their work or take photos or anything that could say it was theirs. Hundreds of families are devastated about this rule but it is understandable but it hasn't stopped people
by Michael Hughson
Burning of some art
Full transcript