Nazi Treasure Trove Discovered

The story behind the amazing, newly-revealed trove — Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, Renoir — of Nazi-plundered art.

Nazi Party leader Hermann Goerring takes in a collection of Henri Matisse prints removed by the German army during a hunt for 'degenerate art.' (CREDIT)

PARIS – DECEMBER 2, 1941: At the Jeu de Paume Museum, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring sits gazing at two paintings by Henri Matisse being supported by Bruno Lohse. Both paintings were stolen from the Paul Rosenberg collection by the Nazis and were recovered and returned after the war. (Archives des Musées Nationaux)

It’s no secret that the Nazis stole, looted, a mountain of art in World War II.  Huge quantities of priceless paintings, cultural artifacts, trucked and trained and hidden all over Europe by Adolf Hitler’s men, looking to remake European culture in the image of the Third Reich.  The Allies fought back on this front too, sending in units of their own to find and save the treasures of Europe.  But they missed a lot.  This week, news out of Munich of a newly-revealed trove.  Matisse, Chagall, Renoir, Picasso.  Up next On Point:  the story behind the amazing newly-revealed trove of Nazi-plundered art.

– Tom Ashbrook


Thomas Röll, one of two reporters who first the story for the German weekly magazine Focus.

Jonathan Petropoulos, professor of European History and chair of the history department at Claremont McKenna College. Author of “The Faustian Bargain: The Art World in Nazi Germany” and “Art as Politics In the Third Reich.”

Robert Edsel, founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, co-producer of the documentary, ‘The Rape of Europa.” Author of “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,” Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe’s Great Art, America and Her Allies Recovered It” and “Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures From the Nazis.” (@RobertEdsel)

David Rowland, partner at the New York City law firm Rowland & Petroff, which specializes in art recovery representation.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Cache of Nazi-Seized Art Discovered in Munich Apartment– “The works, by artists including Picasso, Matisse and Chagall, are estimated to be worth about €1 billion ($1.35 billion), according to a preliminary analysis for authorities undertaken by an expert at Berlin’s Free University. German authorities made the discovery more than two years ago but kept the finding a secret, they say, pending the completion of their investigation.”

New York Times: In a Rediscovered Trove of Art, a Triumph Over the Nazis’ Will — “Among the very first goals of the Nazis was to purge German museums and ransack private collections. Perversely, they stockpiled the modern art they hated, some to sell abroad in exchange for hard currency. Hildebrand was one of the dealers whom Joseph Goebbels picked for this task. Some art they paraded in an exhibition of shame. The show ended up a blockbuster, infuriating the Führer. After that, thousands upon thousands of confiscated works disappeared.”

Los Angeles Times: George Clooney’s ‘The Monuments Men’ pushed to 2014 — “George Clooney’s World War II drama ‘The Monuments Men’ will not arrive in theaters this year as planned because the film’s visual effects could not be completed in time, the actor and director said. The tale of a ragtag band of art historians, museum curators and academics racing to rescue paintings and sculptures looted by the Nazis — slated to open Dec. 18 — now will be released by Sony Pictures early next year.”

Gallery Of Looted Art Discovered In Munich

Likely List Of Art Included In Stash

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