The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War

The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War

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by Lynn H. Nicholas
     
 

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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

The real story behind the major motion picture The Monuments Men. The cast of characters includes Hitler and Goering, Gertrude Stein and Marc Chagall—not to mention works by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. And the story told in this superbly researched and suspenseful book is

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Overview

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

The real story behind the major motion picture The Monuments Men. The cast of characters includes Hitler and Goering, Gertrude Stein and Marc Chagall—not to mention works by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. And the story told in this superbly researched and suspenseful book is that of the Third Reich's war on European culture and the Allies' desperate effort to preserve it.

From the Nazi purges of "Degenerate Art" and Goering's shopping sprees in occupied Paris to the perilous journey of the Mona Lisa from Paris and the painstaking reclamation of the priceless treasures of liberated Italy, The Rape of Europa is a sweeping narrative of greed, philistinism, and heroism that combines superlative scholarship with a compelling drama.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Nicholas knows the art world as well as any military historian knows his battlefield.... Her work deserves the widest reading."—New York Times Book Review

"At once fascinating and horrifying [with] a strong element of spine-chilling suspense."- Los Angeles Times

"Intriguing..suspenseful...a sensational story of moral courage and greatness of character in the face of pure evil." -Houston Chronicle

"Impressively detailed and well-told...full of moving and fateful stories of escape, intrigue, betrayal, and sacrifice."-San Francisco Chronicle

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this NBCC winner, first-time author Nichols documents Nazi Germany's attempt to cleanse Europe of its ``degenerate'' art and the Allies' effort to preserve the continent's cultural treasures. (May)
Library Journal
First-time author Nicholas presents a poorly written survey of the traffic in art under the Nazi regime, first in Germany and then in occupied Europe. She has a great deal of information, but it is not presented clearly or consistently. Nicholas has worked extensively with original documents and secondary works to reconstruct the German confiscation of art across the Continent, not just from Jews but from individuals and institutions in every country. Part cultural policy, part individual cupidity-especially by Goering-part egomania (Hitler's plans for a great museum in Linz), the ``rape of Europe'' makes for an engrossing story, but it is beyond the author's powers to deal with this story at more than an anecdotal level. While more limited in scope, firsthand accounts like Craig Smyth's Repatriation of Art from the Collecting Point in Munich After World War II (Abner Schram, 1988) are preferable. Pass on this.-Jack Perry Brown, Art Inst. of Chicago Lib.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679756866
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1995
Edition description:
Reprinted Edition
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
277,357
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Nicholas knows the art world as well as any military historian knows his battlefield.... Her work deserves the widest reading."—New York Times Book Review

"At once fascinating and horrifying [with] a strong element of spine-chilling suspense."- Los Angeles Times

"Intriguing..suspenseful...a sensational story of moral courage and greatness of character in the face of pure evil." -Houston Chronicle

"Impressively detailed and well-told...full of moving and fateful stories of escape, intrigue, betrayal, and sacrifice."-San Francisco Chronicle

Meet the Author

Lynn H. Nicholas was born in New London. Connecticut.  She was educated in the United States, England, and Spain, and received her B.A. from Oxford University. After her return to the United States she worked for several years at the National Gallery of Art.  While living in Belgium in the early 1980s, she began research for this book, her first.  Ms. Nicholas and her husband live in Washington, D.C.

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The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found a couple sections a bit dry, but overall a fantastic, very interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nicholas weaves history into an easy read that is a compelling page turner
Chocolattez More than 1 year ago
This book is a detailed account of how Hitler, Goering, unscrupulous and greedy art dealers and the Nazi's managed to steal and/or destroy much of the art work, furniture, rugs, tapestries, jewelry etc in Europe while they fought to conquer everything in site…It is absolutely fascinating. She writes about the dedicated 'monuments men' who fought for the return of all 'stolen' artwork to their original owners… even those of Germany… although many would have liked to use the German treasures as restitution for the war… the book would be enhanced by photos but a computer or other device to check on that each painting etc looked like worked fine… I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a lover of art or history…. it is definitely look at WW II from a very different and also horrifying perspective.
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