Hitler's Art Thief

Hitler's Art Thief

Hildebrand Gurlitt, the Nazis, and the Looting of Europe's Treasures

Book - 2015
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"The world was stunned when eighty-year old Cornelius Gurlitt became an international media superstar in November 2013 on the discovery of over 1,400 artworks in his 1,076 square-foot Munich apartment, valued at around $1.35 billion. Gurlitt became known as a man who never was - he didn't have a bank account, never paid tax, never received social security. He simply did not exist. He had been hard-wired into a life of shadows and secrecy by his own father long before he had inherited his art collection built on the spoliation of museums and Jews during Hitler's Third Reich. The ensuing media frenzy unleashed international calls for restitution, unsettled international relations, and rocked the art world. Ronald reveals in this stranger-than-fiction-tale how Hildebrand Gurlitt succeeded in looting in the name of the Third Reich, duping the Monuments Men and the Nazis alike. As an "official dealer" for Hitler and Goebbels, Hildebrand Gurlitt became one of the Third Reich's most prolific art looters. Yet he stole from Hitler too, allegedly to save modern art. This is the untold story of Hildebrand Gurlitt, who stole more than art-he stole lives, too"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250061096
1250061091
Branch Call Number: 709.2 Rona
Characteristics: xiv, 386 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm

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tjdickey
Feb 06, 2017

Heavy on the details in this author's telling, but *definitely* a story to read. The Allies failed to prosecute some of these war criminals - Nuremburg was full of trials for those who operated the camps, but was not willing to acknowledge the direct links between genocide and the wholesale looting of art from the conquered and annihilated people of Europe. A grisly story of inhumanity on the part of a man who started life as a humanist.

c
Csgerken
Jan 15, 2017

I finished this book several months ago and will agree with the other reviews about the unnecessary details that at times made the story drag. However, I will say that months later, the book left indelible impressions on me. Although too long, I believe this is an important work that sheds light on yet another aspect of the Nazi war machine and how art was pivotal to financing the war. It has led me down various paths to learn more about this topic and more, signs of a book that has had a powerful impact. I highly recommend this book.

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BlueHippo
May 05, 2016

I agree with 1964ag. The first 2/3 of the book was horribly detailed, extraneous information about this man's early childhood and life before WWII. Most of it could have been left out or greatly edited. The last 1/3 of then tok was actually quite interesting. I think it would be a great book for someone who is very familiar with modern artists whose works were taken by the Nazi's and for someone much ore acquainted with the German and European art community that I am. But in the end, this would have been twice as good if it were half as long.

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1964ag
Feb 14, 2016

Some interesting information but not one of my favorite reads on the subject.

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