Hot Best Seller

Hitler's Last Hostages: Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich

Availability: Ready to download

Adolf Hitler's obsession with art not only fueled his vision of a purified Nazi state--it was the core of his fascist ideology. Its aftermath lives on to this day. Nazism ascended by brute force and by cultural tyranny. Weimar Germany was a society in turmoil, and Hitler's rise was achieved not only by harnessing the military but also by restricting artistic expression. Hit Adolf Hitler's obsession with art not only fueled his vision of a purified Nazi state--it was the core of his fascist ideology. Its aftermath lives on to this day. Nazism ascended by brute force and by cultural tyranny. Weimar Germany was a society in turmoil, and Hitler's rise was achieved not only by harnessing the military but also by restricting artistic expression. Hitler, an artist himself, promised the dejected citizens of postwar Germany a purified Reich, purged of "degenerate" influences. When Hitler came to power in 1933, he removed so-called "degenerate" art from German society and promoted artists whom he considered the embodiment of the "Aryan ideal." Artists who had produced challenging and provocative work fled the country. Curators and art dealers organized their stock. Thousands of great artworks disappeared--and only a fraction of them were rediscovered after World War II. In 2013, the German government confiscated roughly 1,300 works by Henri Matisse, George Grosz, Claude Monet, and other masters from the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive son of one of Hitler's primary art dealers. For two years, the government kept the discovery a secret. In Hitler's Last Hostages, Mary M. Lane reveals the fate of those works and tells the definitive story of art in the Third Reich and Germany's ongoing struggle to right the wrongs of the past.


Compare

Adolf Hitler's obsession with art not only fueled his vision of a purified Nazi state--it was the core of his fascist ideology. Its aftermath lives on to this day. Nazism ascended by brute force and by cultural tyranny. Weimar Germany was a society in turmoil, and Hitler's rise was achieved not only by harnessing the military but also by restricting artistic expression. Hit Adolf Hitler's obsession with art not only fueled his vision of a purified Nazi state--it was the core of his fascist ideology. Its aftermath lives on to this day. Nazism ascended by brute force and by cultural tyranny. Weimar Germany was a society in turmoil, and Hitler's rise was achieved not only by harnessing the military but also by restricting artistic expression. Hitler, an artist himself, promised the dejected citizens of postwar Germany a purified Reich, purged of "degenerate" influences. When Hitler came to power in 1933, he removed so-called "degenerate" art from German society and promoted artists whom he considered the embodiment of the "Aryan ideal." Artists who had produced challenging and provocative work fled the country. Curators and art dealers organized their stock. Thousands of great artworks disappeared--and only a fraction of them were rediscovered after World War II. In 2013, the German government confiscated roughly 1,300 works by Henri Matisse, George Grosz, Claude Monet, and other masters from the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive son of one of Hitler's primary art dealers. For two years, the government kept the discovery a secret. In Hitler's Last Hostages, Mary M. Lane reveals the fate of those works and tells the definitive story of art in the Third Reich and Germany's ongoing struggle to right the wrongs of the past.

30 review for Hitler's Last Hostages: Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    *********Happy publishing day!**********(Many WW2 novels have been incorporating degenerate art and Hitler's attempt to re-culture Germany through art lately-- this is your nonfiction read if you are interested in learning more about that!) _____________________________ "Gurlitt took advantage of the desperate straits of the Wolffson family, offering only 150 reichsmarks for Gothic Church and 300 reichsmarks for Roofs, roughly $60 and $120 at the time. Immediately after buying them, however, G *********Happy publishing day!**********(Many WW2 novels have been incorporating degenerate art and Hitler's attempt to re-culture Germany through art lately-- this is your nonfiction read if you are interested in learning more about that!) _____________________________ "Gurlitt took advantage of the desperate straits of the Wolffson family, offering only 150 reichsmarks for Gothic Church and 300 reichsmarks for Roofs, roughly $60 and $120 at the time. Immediately after buying them, however, Gurlitt flipped Roofs for 1,400 reichsmarks--a 367 percent profit. He decided to keep Gothic Church for himself." I found the organization and sequencing of this book would be difficult to use for research purposes. The information was well-researched, but the organization was sometimes difficult to follow. The heist that Cornelius Gurlitt’s father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, coordinated and kept secret for so long was astounding. The German government’s response to crime is even more astounding. The prologue reads like a scandal from a magazine. The author gets a call in 2013 from her editor about a stash of Nazi-looted paintings found in the home of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, and wants her to cover the story. While investigating, she discovers the German government is focused on the art for taxation purposes rather than ethical or moral reasons. However, this modern-day story is not picked up in the book again until the end around 75%. Thereafter, information delves into the history of artistic movements in Germany shortly before WWII. The artists are detailed, specifically George Grosz. His history, education, family, and artistic background are detailed thoroughly for 10% of the book. I was unsure and asking myself why so much on this one man? But he is cycled back to at the end of this book and is used to mirror what was felt by many of the local artists holistically and to navigate what happened to them. Hitler comes into play at around 25% of this book, as a young man. His primary school, social, religious upbringing, and family history are accounted for. His obsession with art throughout his life projects into his political display as a leader. Claiming that art and Nazism are inseparable facets to the success of his regime, he restricts and censors all “degenerate culture” (non-Aryan art, or anything that does not support Nazism). He advocates for the success his Fuhrermuseum Project (his dream art museum) even when losing the war. In this source, everything surrounding Hitler's campaign stem back to his love and passion for art. Now, Hildebrand Gurlitt comes back into the picture. While using the Holocaust victims and others in monetary turmoil to profit for himself, Gurlitt was responsible for selecting/buying pieces for Hitler. Yet Gurlitt couldn’t help but secretly pocket his own pieces along the way. The end of the book sequences back to Grosz and the artists who were “degenerate”, detailing what happened to them. After this recount, it goes back to the 2013-2018 case against Gurlitt. This was my favorite part. Artists included in this book, but not limited to: Emil Nolde, Otto Dix, Ernst Kirchner, Pablo Picasso, Max Beckmann, Kathe Kollwitz, Gustave Courbet, Adolph Menzel, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Eugene Delacroix, George Grosz, Henri Matisse, Max Liebermann, Edgar Degas Many thanks to Perseus Books, Public Affairs, Mary M. Lane, and NetGalley for allowing me to read this advanced copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest This is an incredible story, but also a sad one. I've read a lot about WWII, and generally the focus is on the tremendous loss of life that occurred-- both as casualties of the fighting, and also as a result of genocide. I've never thought of the other casualty: the loss of culture. HITLER'S LAST HOSTAGES is about the art that was looted by the Nazis or destroyed for being "degenerate." Called "the last hostages" of the war because of a Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest This is an incredible story, but also a sad one. I've read a lot about WWII, and generally the focus is on the tremendous loss of life that occurred-- both as casualties of the fighting, and also as a result of genocide. I've never thought of the other casualty: the loss of culture. HITLER'S LAST HOSTAGES is about the art that was looted by the Nazis or destroyed for being "degenerate." Called "the last hostages" of the war because of a dispute that happened in the 2010s, when people found out about a man named Cornelius Gurlitt, a heinous man who was the son of Hitler's art dealer, and who personally cheated many people out of their valuable works by capitalizing on their desperation, or predating on the damaged reputations of previously famous artists who were branded "degenerate." When these works, which he had squirreled away, came to light, the question of whether they should be given back as reparations or repatriated to the countries they were taken from came up as an issue-- an issue that many European governments, including Germany-- had no desire to be involved in at the time. Gurlitt, when he was caught, was caught because of tax evasion. This book skips around a lot, but it needs to, in order to tell the story. So, we get the history of Germany's economic and moral downturn at the end of WWI, which provided the climate that allowed Hitler to take power. We learn a bit about Hitler and his infamous failed career as an artist, and his fascination with the artists who gloried in an ideal Germany through iconic fascist imagery. We learn about the artists themselves, and how some of them struggled and scraped to rise to fame, while others basked in it leisurely, only for many of them to become despised-- either for being "degenerate" or for being Jewish-- with some dying and others being forced to flee the country. We also learn about Hildebrand Gurlitt, Cornelius's father, who left his mother behind to save his art, who had the nerve to solicit Jews for letters endorsing his character and lack of Nazi collusion at the end of the war-- who bought paintings from desperate Jewish families at a pittance, only to turn around and sell them for massive profits to grasping collectors and museums. He was also the dealer who was going to be involved in Hitler's big pet culture project, a museum devoted to German art that exemplified the ideals they sought to achieve. Lack of involvement, indeed. Reading this book was such an emotional experience; I really wasn't prepared for how deeply it would make me feel. At points, I was actually trying not to cry. It does not hold back when it comes to describing the utter atrocities that happened to the Jews, the medical torture, the eugenics-- all of it. Lane doesn't take the easy way out, either, and paint Hitler as a mad, power-grasping megalomaniac, even though he was arguably that, too; the fact that he is humanized to some degree is worse, because you find yourself wondering with real horror what would make someone do such terrible things to their fellow human beings? How would they rationalize that? How could they rationalize it? Especially when some of the xenophobia and anti-Jewish sentiments mirror so closely the hateful rhetoric in the U.S. being sown by alt-right extremists against Muslims and Latinos. It was so interesting to learn about the War from this new angle, and to read about many of these famous artists, like Matisse, and ones I hadn't heard of before, like Grosz, and how their careers were impacted by the War, and how the families who owned their paintings had to fight for repossession. HITLER'S LAST HOSTAGES is incredibly well written but it's not a book you read for fun or all at once. I had a really hard time getting through it at times, even though the journey is worth it. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!  3.5 to 4 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    MissBecka Gee

    This is my first ever DNF, so that should say something in itself. I went in excited to hear about all the lost art recovered and the possibility of the journey it made being revealed. The book starts off strong with the (somewhat) recent reveal of a giant stash of art found in the hands of the Gurlitt family. I found the book was more about the history of the individual artists rather than the art. A large chunk of the book dealing with history prior to Hitler coming to power (or even being born). I This is my first ever DNF, so that should say something in itself. I went in excited to hear about all the lost art recovered and the possibility of the journey it made being revealed. The book starts off strong with the (somewhat) recent reveal of a giant stash of art found in the hands of the Gurlitt family. I found the book was more about the history of the individual artists rather than the art. A large chunk of the book dealing with history prior to Hitler coming to power (or even being born). I only got about 47% into the book so I have no idea if this ever got back on track. I couldn't force more of this dry read. Thank you (?) to NetGalley and Perseus Books, PublicAffairs for my ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maine Colonial

    I received a free publisher's advance review copy. I think anybody who knows anything about Hitler knows that he was a failed artist and that he retained an interest in art and architecture even during World War II. Some may also know about the Nazis’ exhibitions of so-called “degenerate” art, contrasted with their notions of beautiful Aryan art. In this deeply researched book, Mary M. Lane tells us the history of Hitler’s art obsession, the Nazi regime’s treatment of art and artists, and follows I received a free publisher's advance review copy. I think anybody who knows anything about Hitler knows that he was a failed artist and that he retained an interest in art and architecture even during World War II. Some may also know about the Nazis’ exhibitions of so-called “degenerate” art, contrasted with their notions of beautiful Aryan art. In this deeply researched book, Mary M. Lane tells us the history of Hitler’s art obsession, the Nazi regime’s treatment of art and artists, and follows right through to the failure of 21st-century Germany to deal adequately with Nazi Germany’s theft of thousands of artworks. Lane’s chief focus is on how the Nazis used their power to confiscate art from “degenerate” artists, Jews and artists fleeing Germany, conquered countries, and so on. Hildebrand Gurlitt, who supposedly was an anti-Nazi, quickly convinced himself that he should work for the Nazis and, through that role, he accumulated over a thousand works of art that he kept for himself and then left to his son, Cornelius. It was only in the last decade that anything at all was done to recover those artworks and, even then, it was for the purposes of collecting taxes that the Gurlitts had evaded by concealing the art. In the last 50 or so pages of the book, Lane describes the attitudes of contemporary German bureaucrats about the difference between law and morality, and their insistence on focusing only on the former, which led to foot-dragging on restitution. Lane is not optimistic that this problem will be resolved in Germany. The book also includes many descriptions of the artwork stolen by the Nazis and the artists they persecuted, with a particular focus on Georg Grosz. It was affecting to read in detail about exactly how tormented Grosz was by Nazi Germany, even though he fled to the US before the war. You will want to have your computer at hand as you read the book, so that you can look at images of the many artworks described.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John McDonald

    The moral lapses that must occur for a government to falsely accuse people of crimes or offenses against the State in order to confiscate their property and then the lives of those accused are impossible to measure against any moral, ethical, and legal model acceptable in a civilized. It is the same absence of moral, ethical and legal guidance that causes many of us to question the moral compass of Donald Trump. Like Trump, Hitler found rallies of outsized proportions and the color red (MAGA hat The moral lapses that must occur for a government to falsely accuse people of crimes or offenses against the State in order to confiscate their property and then the lives of those accused are impossible to measure against any moral, ethical, and legal model acceptable in a civilized. It is the same absence of moral, ethical and legal guidance that causes many of us to question the moral compass of Donald Trump. Like Trump, Hitler found rallies of outsized proportions and the color red (MAGA hats) appealing to the German people. He was a misogynist, whose hatred of women infected all that he did or tried and he found that railing against Communists equally inspiring to his base. He assaulted the press every chance he got. And, even as he and his officers like Goebbels and Goring looted the art treasures stolen from wealthy Jews and other ordered to concentration camps, he set out to create a Hitler Museum and attack what he called degenerate art. Hitler ensured that laws were changed to permit the confiscation of artworks from public and private museums were permissible then and at any time in the future, making it possible, as the author notes, for Hitler to steal these artworks "in plain sight."(p.136). On the very day, his Generals were preparing to surrender Stalingrad, Hitler called meetings to review plans for post-war art museums, and in his final day of life, as Berlin was being destroyed by Allied bombings and the incursion of troops, Hitler continued planning for the Hitlermuseum. The art confiscated from those deported and arrested was confiscated without compensation. There was so much of it, along with the so-called degenerate art, that a small group of art dealer, among them Hildebrand Gurlitt, were hired to collect, organize, and sell it or distribute it. These dealers earned commissions on sales and management fees for curation. In Gurlitt's case, thousands of pieces of art were purloined and remained unaccounted for until the serious effort made by descendants of the Holocaust victims or survivors hired lawyers and forced Cornelius Gurlitt and the German governments and museums to disgorge it. Only reluctantly, the author tells us, did German culture ministers and other high officials, including Ms. Merkel's consent. The German people and their representative had not taken moral responsibility for these thefts of personally held art unlawfully taken for people killed by Hitler in the camps. Yet, it was this complete rejection of simple morality that permitted Hitler, those acting for him, and the German people who failed to question the actions of Hitler's Nazi government to proceed as it did. The author raises this toward the end of the book as she came to accept the reality that the German people refused to be accountable even after the Nazi's were deposed by the Allies and Germany was rebuilt when she asked, where do you draw the line and take a stand. It is the ancient question that at one time or another in a lifetime each person must answer. First, Hitler declared to Jews to be inimical to the German state because they were not Aryan and had them deported initially to ghettos and then to concentration camps. Second, their property, including artwork with inestimable value is confiscated without compensation. Third, without trial, the Jews and Communists and others rounded up are\ killed. Fourth, having been destroyed by opposing forces, Germany is rebuilt into a respectable democracy by contributions of money and legal efforts of the defeating forces. Yet, even with the complete moral rejection To Hitler, a completely failed artist himself, a people's reflected the people themselves and their culture. Hitler's goal was to use art to reflect Aryan culture, beliefs, nationalism, and racism and antisemitism at its core. This is an important book from a young reporter who broke the story of the Gurlitt thefts for the Wall Street Journal, a story her editor at the time told her would consume most of her journalistic effort for years to come. For any of us in doubt, it is one more reminder that those who may not be directly responsible for laws and policies that are immoral may contribute to it, prolong the immorality, and profit from it long after they die unless governments and law say, 'enough.' The art dealers who curated the stolen art, the heirs who tried to retain it in the face of evidence that it was stolen, as well as the museums that fought restituting the stolen art were conspirators, at and after the fact. The author asks, where exactly is the line. To answer that question is the beginning of wisdom and becoming accountable for injustices.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jodie

    Even to this day, the travesties and horrors of World War 2 haunt us. While the book ended up being different than the back cover led me to believe, it was a fascinating look at Germany through an artistic paradigm. The author spent an extraordinary amount of time on George Grosz, a German artist who’s art proved to be eerily prescient. Also covered was Hitler’s rise to power, with significant information supplied to show the state Germany found herself in from the beginning of the 20th century Even to this day, the travesties and horrors of World War 2 haunt us. While the book ended up being different than the back cover led me to believe, it was a fascinating look at Germany through an artistic paradigm. The author spent an extraordinary amount of time on George Grosz, a German artist who’s art proved to be eerily prescient. Also covered was Hitler’s rise to power, with significant information supplied to show the state Germany found herself in from the beginning of the 20th century onward. Considering the unspeakable horrors the Nazis inflicted across Europe, looted art would seem to be insignificant when placed alongside the murder of millions. For the survivors and descendants of that horror, the governmental disinterest in restoring their rightful property, and indeed, protection of the Nazi looters, simply reiterates the German government’s distaste for acknowledging any moral or legal responsibility.

  7. 5 out of 5

    David

    This book grew on me as a read it. Here's why: The book starts in 2013, when the author, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, gets assigned to write the story of a certain waste of human skin named Cornelius Gurlitt. This reprehensible specimen had been found to have been hiding for decades literally thousands of works of art stolen by, or sold under coercion to, the Nazis, in the person of Cornelius Gurlitt's father, Hildebrand Gurlitt. This introduction moved along nicely and made me (as I thi This book grew on me as a read it. Here's why: The book starts in 2013, when the author, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, gets assigned to write the story of a certain waste of human skin named Cornelius Gurlitt. This reprehensible specimen had been found to have been hiding for decades literally thousands of works of art stolen by, or sold under coercion to, the Nazis, in the person of Cornelius Gurlitt's father, Hildebrand Gurlitt. This introduction moved along nicely and made me (as I think it would most readers) to ask themselves "How did he get away with it?" Then, the book's action moves back to the birth of Adolf Hitler in 1889. It tells the story of his child- and young adulthood, and then moves very reasonably to the Weimar Republic and its art scene. It tells the story of many artists who lost their livelihoods and often their lives to the Nazis, and in particular spends a long time telling of the life and works of George Grosz. It was in the middle of one of these long passages about Grosz that I formulated in my mind the accusation that this book had a lot of irrelevant padding to make it book-length, because it seemed like so much information about Grosz was not really necessary to answer the "How did he get away with it?" question. Nevertheless, I persisted because I got a free egalley copy of this book for review from those nice people at Public Affairs and Netgalley and I think that obligates me to make an extra effort, which turned out to be a good decision. The narrative of the book continued and eventually the Nazis fell. Grosz re-entered the book as a depressed and moody older man, in spite of (or perhaps because of) escaping the Nazis and prospering to a certain extent in the USA. He returned to Germany in the 1950s and found no evidence that his most famous and powerful works had survived. We, the reader, know that many of them are lying in a drawer in the overstuffed apartment of the reprehensible Cornelius in Bavaria, but Grosz doesn't know, and he goes to his grave not knowing. Ah-ha! I said to self. That's why so much on Grosz -- the return of his works to the public after the war would have provided a sense of closure and relief to a talented and principled man whose livelihood had been destroyed by the Nazis. But instead, a paranoid and conceited lunatic concealed artworks based on … it's never clear … a twisted sense that they were somehow his? that concealing them was revenge on those who accused his father (based on a mountain of evidence) of enthusiastic collaboration with the Nazis? that discreetly selling off just enough art to keep food on the table saved him from a lifetime of actually working for a living? There's a few pages at the end of the book where the author ponders who is more reprehensible, the younger or older Gurlitt. If you have read this far, you may not be surprised to learn that I think the son is a much bigger villain, even though the father was the one who did the dirty deeds directly with the Nazis and their victims. The instinct for survival is strong, and the Nazis were stone-cold killers, so the father at least has the excuse that he is helping to preserve the life of his family in a time of extreme peril, whereas the younger Gurlitt lived in a time of absolutely no personal danger whatsoever. Younger Gurlitt could have accelerated the post-war healing process at any moment by a decision to be honest and generous. Only a twisted sense of entitlement kept thousands of stolen artworks hidden for two generations. There's lots more fascinating detail too -- I particularly enjoyed the bits that compared the ragtag and only-partially-successful work of the so-called Monument Men with their portrayal in a recent star-studded Hollywood movie. Oh, and for those of us looking to Germany as some kind of last bastion of humanitarian democracy, the book also is a big bucket of water tossed over those hopes, as German governments (both national and regional) behave shamelessly throughout this sorry episode. This is an interesting book that gets more interesting as it moves along. Check it out, even if the name George Grosz means nothing to you right now. The following is a final trivial point, but I fell down this information-era rabbit hole and I enjoyed it. I hope you will, too. Question: What is the surname of former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George? My life has been sadly lacking in opportunities to write about this gentleman, but nevertheless I maintain a strong opinion (unfettered by actual need) that it is "Lloyd George" and not "George". Mary Lane disagrees (Kindle location 2073 and elsewhere). Wikipedia gives this fairly unhelpful guidance: "His surname is usually given as 'Lloyd George' and sometimes as 'George'." I will tell you from hard experience that typing "What is Lloyd George called?" does not yield a productive result. After a few iterations of increasingly strategic search-bar typing, Wikipedia yielded up this obscure nugget which restored (at least partially) my faith in mankind through the knowledge that at least two or three people have explored this topic to the point of mania. Furthermore, I enjoyed that the overwhelming evidence points to "Lloyd George" as the correct answer. Sorry, Mary -- you deserve a better editor.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Traci at The Stacks

    I was impressed with how Lane was able to make this heavily historical book into a thriller at parts. The writing was very approachable. The Nazi parts were very interesting, the art sections less so. It’s well done but also fairly inconsistent.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie Stielstra

    Fascinating exploration of the roots and branches of the curious Gurlitt case, from the young journalist who covered the story for the Wall Street Journal in 2013. A reclusive old man was investigated for a suspicious border crossing from Switzerland, carrying 9000 Euros in cash. The German tax authorities raided his apartment, to find it stuffed with over a thousand astonishing works of art. Mary Lane has put together a fuller account of this drama, from the rise of Hitler, his obsession with a Fascinating exploration of the roots and branches of the curious Gurlitt case, from the young journalist who covered the story for the Wall Street Journal in 2013. A reclusive old man was investigated for a suspicious border crossing from Switzerland, carrying 9000 Euros in cash. The German tax authorities raided his apartment, to find it stuffed with over a thousand astonishing works of art. Mary Lane has put together a fuller account of this drama, from the rise of Hitler, his obsession with art (Lord, don't we wish that art school had let him in??), through the Nazi confiscations, art-and-book-burnings, "degenerate art" exhibitions balanced by "Great German Art" shows - sometimes with the same artists represented in both - to conniving, opportunistic art dealers out to save their own skins and line their pockets and walls by fleecing frantic families trying to escape before the Nazis pounded on their doors. One of these art dealers was Hildebrand Gurlitt, and it was in his son Cornelius's apartment that this particular trove was discovered. The story has been told before, of course, but Lane's thorough and detailed (perhaps too detailed sometimes?) account is still compelling. Hitler's youth and rise to power is covered, focusing largely on his artistic aspirations and passions. The biographies of various prominent artists of the era are also provided, notably George Grosz and Emil Nolde - the first a veteran of the Great War and a brilliant illustrator and painter who warned against the rising evil through his savage images, who fled to the US days before the Nazis came looking for him; the second a confused, self-pitying and also dazzling painter who became a fawning Hitler supporter to the extent of reporting a fellow painter as Jewish, who was not. I was familiar with some of these artists, but not others... mostly the "approved" Aryan / German / heroic types favored by Hitler. Here's where it got interesting, as I Googled away on my iPad to see what kind of work they produced, like Adolf Ziegler ("master of pubic hair") and Hermann Hoyer. Sources on these fellows was much sparser, and I discovered I had almost immediately fallen down a white supremacist rabbit hole in NeoNaziLand... Ai yi yi. I shudder to think what kind of Facebook and Google ads I'll be seeing. Coverage then shifts to the lootings, confiscations, and shady dealings that deprived many households of their art belongings. Gurlitt was very shrewd about covering his tracks - or not leaving any, and accumulated a massive collection he squirreled away as the war ended. A selected fraction was obediently turned over to the Allies' "monuments men," whose resources were stretched so thin and under such pressure they couldn't unravel the hidden treasures. And so this particular trove winds up stacked on shelves, stuffed into cupboards, and leaned against the walls of an isolated, paranoid old man. The German authorities were - are still are, mostly - interested only in the tax aspects. In terminally failing health - and no fool - Cornelius hastily writes up a will from his hospital bed, leaving his collection entirely to a small art museum in Switzerland. Upon his death, that's where it goes. Four works - out of over 1500 - have been eventually restored to their original owners after literally years of lawsuits, which the German government has little interest in discussing. Their stance is that the statute of limitations for reclaiming these stolen works has run out. Of course it has: the art has been stashed away in utter secret for decades, and reclamation would require proofs and papers that the owners would not have. Well, one did: the Toren family managed to send out their papers with a child gotten out via the Kindertransport before the parents were sent to death camps. The son kept them, ended up as an attorney in the US, and kept the papers in a safe in his office. His office was in the World Trade Center. George Grosz, the expat painter, returned eventually to Germany after the war, in hopes of relocating some of his work left behind. He did not, and died a sad alcoholic's death. I have not been able to find an image of a drawing he did in 1940: Adolf Hitler, dead in an armchair from a self-inflicted gunshot, and a news story on the wall about Germany's defeat by Russia. 1940! Though we perhaps get more pages of Grosz than is strictly necessary, I came away with a new admiration and sympathy for this damaged, angry, gifted, tragic man. Even with some of the content well-known historically, there is still something to surprise (I didn't know the disturbing story of Hitler's half-niece, Geli), unsettle (Hitler's aides knew to present him with only brief summaries of issues as "the Fuhrer doesn't like to read reports," and his insistence on the military swearing their oaths of loyalty to him personally, not the citizens or state of Germany), infuriate (the current German government's unwillingness to exert any pressure to restitute works of art), and fascinate. Crisply written, well-researched, with perhaps a little pacing trouble, this is well worth the read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Hitler's last hostages refers to artwork and other rare and beautiful items that the Nazis looted during their occupation of much of Europe, which we are starting to learn more about through the efforts of people engaged as Monument Men during and after WWII. The sheer numbers of things looted and hauled around Europe to fill the museums, homes, and government buildings of the Nazi leadership, was immense, and unfortunately, toward the end of the war, they destroyed many priceless things instead Hitler's last hostages refers to artwork and other rare and beautiful items that the Nazis looted during their occupation of much of Europe, which we are starting to learn more about through the efforts of people engaged as Monument Men during and after WWII. The sheer numbers of things looted and hauled around Europe to fill the museums, homes, and government buildings of the Nazi leadership, was immense, and unfortunately, toward the end of the war, they destroyed many priceless things instead of having them retaken by the Allies. What is really astounding is that one of Hitler's 4 main art dealers was also engaged in collecting works of art and that he was able to keep most of them, hidden, after the war; moreover, he wasn't even punished for collaborating with the Nazis! The lengths that the present German government has gone to, to avoid both returning looted artworks, and not wanting to comment on the whole subject, makes one wonder just how sorry many Germans actually are for stealing Jewish art, jewelry, books, etc., since they fight hard to NOT have to give them back. This book did a great job of illustrating how the whole scheme was dreamed up by a madman--Hitler--who was instrumental in not only taking Jewish--and other--lives, but also stealing their businesses, homes, and possessions. A very interesting read for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    C Teahouse

    Multi-million dollar art theft, Nazi profiteers, and a crime 75 years in the making - this is the story that Ms. Mary Lane weaves through an incredible narrative about how Hitler and the Nazi regime stole millions of dollars worth of priceless artwork and continue to get away with it to this day. Expertly combining meticulous research, a bold journalistic style, and interviews with the families of the artists who personally suffered from these crimes, "Hitler's Last Hostages" stands as one of th Multi-million dollar art theft, Nazi profiteers, and a crime 75 years in the making - this is the story that Ms. Mary Lane weaves through an incredible narrative about how Hitler and the Nazi regime stole millions of dollars worth of priceless artwork and continue to get away with it to this day. Expertly combining meticulous research, a bold journalistic style, and interviews with the families of the artists who personally suffered from these crimes, "Hitler's Last Hostages" stands as one of the top books of the year. Ms. Lane weaves four separate narratives into a cohesive whole that, together, shed a previously unseen light on how the unscrupulous Gurlitt family of art dealers took advantage of the Nazis' cultural ambitions to turn an astounding profit while also building a trove of over 1300 priceless works of stolen art. All of this occurred directly under the noses of the very artists who were suffering under the Nazi ban on "degenerate" art, as the Gurlitt family continued to feign interest and maintain contacts with "degenerate" artists to buy their works on the cheap and sell them for enormous profit. The first narrative details the surprising depth of the Nazi ambition to re-make the German art world according to "Aryan" principles. Beginning with Hitler's early days as an aspiring yet failing artist in Vienna, Ms. Lane highlights the conditions in the pre-war German diaspora that established Hitler's views and solidified both his continued focus on artwork and his virulent strain of racial politics. From this base, she proceeds to highlight the Gurlitt family, and how they went from respectable avant-garde art dealers in a backwater German town to being one of Hitler's preferred agents in the procurement of stolen artworks for the Third Reich. All the while, she paints the picture of the deteriorating lives of the great artists themselves. Suffering the full effects of World War I and the aimlessness of the Weimar Republic regime, these artists encountered first hand the conditions that led to the rise of National Socialism and tried desperately to warn the world of where Germany was headed. The sense of looming despair for these artists is palpable on every page, as more and more great German artworks are labeled "degenerate," artists are arrested, and many flee for their lives, leaving their livelihood behind. These narratives converge in the modern day, after the German government stumbled upon the hidden trove of stolen Gurlitt artworks after raiding the eldest son's apartment during a tax evasion investigation. Instead of full disclosure to the international community, the German government stonewalled any investigation into the origins of these works, attempting to hide an inconvenient and embarrassing truth. This is an important book, both for the avid history reader and the layperson who has even a passing interest in World War II, the European art world, and true crime. This book truly shines a light on the reality that the effects of the Nazi regime on Europe still persist to this day, and the families who most deserve justice are still searching for it. Hopefully, this book can serve as a wake up to call that history is never truly left in the history books, but effects us each and every day in ways both mundane and profound.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    The basic premise of the entire book is revealed in the first chapter as the author investigates the art-world shattering revealing that the German government had confiscated a massive art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, his eventual bequest of his property to a Swiss museum and the bungling of the German government when dealing with the fact that his collection was at the core of art confiscated by the Nazis during the second World War. In the end, two pieces - out of over 1200 - were returned The basic premise of the entire book is revealed in the first chapter as the author investigates the art-world shattering revealing that the German government had confiscated a massive art collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, his eventual bequest of his property to a Swiss museum and the bungling of the German government when dealing with the fact that his collection was at the core of art confiscated by the Nazis during the second World War. In the end, two pieces - out of over 1200 - were returned to the survivors of the original owners while the others become museum pieces. Perhaps not the museum they were originally intended for - Hitler planned to load his Fuhrermuseum with the choicest pieces - but museum nonetheless. Then the author spends the majority of the book talking about Hitler with his obsession with art and designating dealers that would provide works for the proposed Fuhrermuseum project; the artists at the time who were having to deal with the continuing rise of Nazi political power and whether their works would be accepted or designated 'degenerate' which ruined their careers. One artist focused on was George Grosz who used his art to make political statements regarding the Nazis and what he foresaw in the coming years before he fled Germany for the United States for decades. Hildebrand Gurlitt gaining the position as a finder for the Fuhrermuseum project, his finds that he bought for disturbingly low prices before selling them for hundreds, if not thousands of times what he paid. How Gurlitt managed to rid himself of the Nazi taint during the years following the war and hiding his collection from the notorious Monument Men and eventual death and his son, Cornelius' anti-social behavior and preferred seclusion. The truly disappointing part - not due to the author or their writing ability - but the actions - or lack thereof - of the German government when confronted with the thousands of artworks within Gurlitt's apartment. They 'knew' they were likely dealing with Nazi looted art and did nothing to investigate the purview of any of the pieces. As far as the Germans were concerned, the statue of limitations had ended so it didn't matter if they were stolen or confiscated. They did not want to deal with the moral ambiguity and any judicial questions. Admittedly, the directors of the Kunstmuseum Bern - inheritors of the Gurlitt collection - decided to accept the collection for the supposed simple reason that if they did not accept it, the German government would likely sell the entire thing in lots and most would disappear into private collections, never to be seen again. Lane did a great job extensively researching all these aspects but the massive backgrounds she felt needed to be included just bogged down the entire book. Yes, it was a view into Nazi cultural policies even as they were working on other 'projects' and policies. It also showed what some people are willing to ignore if it doesn't 'suit them. With this one work, Lane has shown that even though the war has been over for nearly 75 years, it is still making a profound impact on the world today. 2019-178

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Kennedy

    In "Hitler's Last Hostages," Mary M. Lane has exhaustively researched the means by which Hitler's Third Reich looted artwork from museums and from Jewish families, whom he then sent to the gas chambers. His theft was facilitated by Hildebrand Gurlitt, who rounded up the art for Hitler's proposed "Fuhrermuseum," whose life the author follows. In the next generation of the Gurlitts, Hildebrand's son, Cornelius, is found to be hoarding hundreds of looted artworks, which he refuses to repatriate to In "Hitler's Last Hostages," Mary M. Lane has exhaustively researched the means by which Hitler's Third Reich looted artwork from museums and from Jewish families, whom he then sent to the gas chambers. His theft was facilitated by Hildebrand Gurlitt, who rounded up the art for Hitler's proposed "Fuhrermuseum," whose life the author follows. In the next generation of the Gurlitts, Hildebrand's son, Cornelius, is found to be hoarding hundreds of looted artworks, which he refuses to repatriate to the rightful owners, even when the provenance is clear. The story of the artwork is fascinating -- the reader hears of paintings by famous artists such as Matisse, Van Gogh and Monet and those of lesser known artists (at least to me) such as Pechstein, Grosz and Nolde. Not only were they looted by Hitler, but the Third Reich then went on to resell some of the stolen paintings in order to finance the Fuhrermuseum. The author brings the reader into the present time, when she discovers through her reporting that the German government is still balking about returning looted artwork to the descendants of Holocaust victims. By refusing to change laws to accommodate the transfers, the government is blocking efforts to repatriate the property through its inaction. I was all in for the read at the beginning and in the final third of the book. However, the narrative flags in the middle when the author spends too much time with one artist, George Grosz, and his life and work. To me, it reads as if the author dropped in a thesis from her college days to fill out the book. If so, it was unnecessary and distracting, as the story of the looted artwork is strong enough to stand on its own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ashley (book_grams)

    Hitler’s Last Hostages is and incredibly detailed and well researched book. I have a degree in art history and I’m also a WWII buff, so I was excited to delve into this. I was aware of the Gurlitt case and remember when the story was in the news several years ago, but this book shined a new light onto a less talked about part of WWII history. Cornelius Gurlitt, the son Hildebrand Gurlitt, was hiding over 1,200 works of art in his apartment including many infamous Old Masters, Impressionist, Cubi Hitler’s Last Hostages is and incredibly detailed and well researched book. I have a degree in art history and I’m also a WWII buff, so I was excited to delve into this. I was aware of the Gurlitt case and remember when the story was in the news several years ago, but this book shined a new light onto a less talked about part of WWII history. Cornelius Gurlitt, the son Hildebrand Gurlitt, was hiding over 1,200 works of art in his apartment including many infamous Old Masters, Impressionist, Cubist, and Expressionist pieces. Hildebrand Gurlitt was a German art dealer working for Hitler and the Nazi party to buy, loot, and in many cases steal works of art from civilians, mostly those of Jewish faith. After the introduction, Lane chronicles Hitler’s upbringing including his relationship with his mother and his father’s alcoholism, his time as a homeless youth in Vienna, to his eventual rise to power following the Germanic social and economic downturn that stemmed from WWI. We also follow several contemporary artists of the time including George Grosz, Otto Dix, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. These artists and their work were considered “degenerate” by the Nazi Party due to their un-German/non-Aryan nature. Lane did an incredible job researching this topic. It’s amazingly sad that after all these years, Holocaust survivors are still seeking restitution for property that is rightfully theirs. Thank you to the author and the publisher for proving me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Miller

    An account of Nazi thinking about German culture, specifically the visual arts, with a focus on the career of Georg Grosz--the artist who was eventually branded as "degenerate" and fled Germany in the early 1930s, not to return until the 1950s--and the art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt and his son Cornelius, the former who worked to assemble an art collection for Hitler's hometown of Linz, Austria. Using his position and connections, Gurlitt was able to assemble a personal collection of over 1000 pi An account of Nazi thinking about German culture, specifically the visual arts, with a focus on the career of Georg Grosz--the artist who was eventually branded as "degenerate" and fled Germany in the early 1930s, not to return until the 1950s--and the art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt and his son Cornelius, the former who worked to assemble an art collection for Hitler's hometown of Linz, Austria. Using his position and connections, Gurlitt was able to assemble a personal collection of over 1000 pieces, often bought at bargain basement prices from Jews desperate to raise money to purchase exit visas as well as from German museums told to rid their collections of "degenerate" art. After World War II, Gurlitt managed to evade arrest and keep his collection hidden partly by lying to occupation forces and partly because he destroyed any records pertaining to his purchases. His son, Cornelius, inherited the collection and after it was discovered by German tax authorities, eventually bequeathed it to the art museum in Bern, Switzerland shortly before he died. But not before at least some of the art was returned to the original owners' heirs--but only after much delay and German bureaucratic inaction. A fascinating story that demonstrates, 75 years after the end of World War II, the enormity of Nazi looting and the personal tragedies of Jewish families and those artists who were branded and banned as "degenerate".

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    There is a great deal of information about Nazi looted art available in print and films. "Hitler's Last Hostages" is distinctive among these other quality works. The author, Ms. Lane, focuses on the infamous Hildebrand and Cornelius Gurlitt, and their evolving roles in procuring, profiting from, and hiding looted art. Ms. Lane goes into great detail how the Nazis passed laws, greased palms at French museums, and simply deported largely European Jewish collectors to attain their collections. She There is a great deal of information about Nazi looted art available in print and films. "Hitler's Last Hostages" is distinctive among these other quality works. The author, Ms. Lane, focuses on the infamous Hildebrand and Cornelius Gurlitt, and their evolving roles in procuring, profiting from, and hiding looted art. Ms. Lane goes into great detail how the Nazis passed laws, greased palms at French museums, and simply deported largely European Jewish collectors to attain their collections. She does use the sensational Gurlitt father and son to show how deep the roots of looted art are, even into the 21st century. Sadly, she also highlights the modern day German governments' selective ignorance about the survivors and their art, as well as their passive (almost choosy) ineptitude in handling the specific Gurlitt case. On a brighter note, the author does an academic and political background to several of the artists whose works were branded degenerate and found in the Gurlitt's hoard. This book covers a section of the wide spread Nazi looted art campaign. The author uses art historical, social, and political details to articulate a grotesquely fascinating piece of history.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    The Third Reich and Hitler are a part of history that shall never be forgotten due to the terror and murder that was committed by them. However, there is also a side to Hitler that isn’t so readily discussed and that was the fact that he was a failed artist and a lover of art. To this end Hitler and his men took to plundering and pillaging sending all fine art back to Hitler. It didn’t end there though, anything that was considered to be anti-Nazi and detrimental to the cause of the Third Reich The Third Reich and Hitler are a part of history that shall never be forgotten due to the terror and murder that was committed by them. However, there is also a side to Hitler that isn’t so readily discussed and that was the fact that he was a failed artist and a lover of art. To this end Hitler and his men took to plundering and pillaging sending all fine art back to Hitler. It didn’t end there though, anything that was considered to be anti-Nazi and detrimental to the cause of the Third Reich was outlawed and destroyed whenever possible. This book shines a light on how they went about collecting or destroying artwork and why they did so. The author brings us up to date with what has happened to all the art that was stolen and it’s interesting that not all of this art has been returned to its rightful owners. Even now, so many years after WWII Germany continues to refuse to make it possible for those who had property stolen from them and their families to claim it back. This is an interesting read about an interesting part of that era and how it still impacts some people today.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Highland Park

    The book was so informative of how art was such a driving force behind Hitler's plans for the "Aryan race" and his dream for the Fuhrer museum in Linz Austria. The book explains in detail what he considered "degenerative art" and how he went about destroying the lives and careers of these artists. It also delves into the lives of the Jews who owned valuable art and how their masterpieces were looted by the Nazi's when they were sent off to concentration camps. You learn how much of Europe's loot The book was so informative of how art was such a driving force behind Hitler's plans for the "Aryan race" and his dream for the Fuhrer museum in Linz Austria. The book explains in detail what he considered "degenerative art" and how he went about destroying the lives and careers of these artists. It also delves into the lives of the Jews who owned valuable art and how their masterpieces were looted by the Nazi's when they were sent off to concentration camps. You learn how much of Europe's looted art was hidden by the Nazi's and their collaborators especially Gurlitt and his son. The book unveils how in 2010 Cornelius Gurlitt was caught with over 1200 famous works of art and how some of the heirs of the deceased relatives who rightfully owned these have recovered some of their looted pieces through legal struggles with restitution. -Laura, Media Services

  19. 5 out of 5

    Giovanna Walker

    An interesting investigation into some of the stolen Nazi art - particularly from the Gurlitt collection. I did struggle with the structure - and the focus on the history of just one artist (wasn't sure why, and did skip this). I admire her research, absolutely. Also interesting about the modern day questions of art restitution. She is a young writer, and it shows I think with some of her assumptions about the characters in this real life story. She is also 'a proud American' (oh dear, really?). An interesting investigation into some of the stolen Nazi art - particularly from the Gurlitt collection. I did struggle with the structure - and the focus on the history of just one artist (wasn't sure why, and did skip this). I admire her research, absolutely. Also interesting about the modern day questions of art restitution. She is a young writer, and it shows I think with some of her assumptions about the characters in this real life story. She is also 'a proud American' (oh dear, really?). It would have been interesting to hear more about local opinions of the hoard - not just the few officials who would go on the record. I enjoyed the in depth research on how Hitler became so obsessed with art. Also where are these artworks now? A link to the photos - if there are any, she includes a plethora of references, but on looking I couldn't find it...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    This is the story of Hitler, those who supported him and his obsession with art. It is also the story of the artworks which were stolen from museums, galleries and Jewish individuals during Hitler’s reign. It is a maddening, sad story, one that is not totally resolved. It does not make the German government today look very good, in terms of their efforts to resolve disputes over the looted artwork. I learned a tremendous amount, not only about the art, but also about Hitler and his path to power This is the story of Hitler, those who supported him and his obsession with art. It is also the story of the artworks which were stolen from museums, galleries and Jewish individuals during Hitler’s reign. It is a maddening, sad story, one that is not totally resolved. It does not make the German government today look very good, in terms of their efforts to resolve disputes over the looted artwork. I learned a tremendous amount, not only about the art, but also about Hitler and his path to power. The ending seems to just drift off, but I think that is because there are still issues and situations that are unresolved. Looking at two specific works made the issues of trying to reclaim the work understandable.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Alvarez

    This book was fascinating and entertaining as well as enlightening. 75 years after the Nazi's stole property from Jewish families, the people who collaborated with this theft have more rights than the victims?? How can Germany claim to go forward, if they do not correct this injustice. The country will always have that tarnished reputation, until they have done everything they can to try to right the wrongs that the Nazis did. No matter how many generations or distance the government and those c This book was fascinating and entertaining as well as enlightening. 75 years after the Nazi's stole property from Jewish families, the people who collaborated with this theft have more rights than the victims?? How can Germany claim to go forward, if they do not correct this injustice. The country will always have that tarnished reputation, until they have done everything they can to try to right the wrongs that the Nazis did. No matter how many generations or distance the government and those cold officials try to say that all has been done. If you do nothing, you are destined to repeat the mistakes of your past.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mary G.

    I enjoyed the book’s content, but the structure leaves something to be desired. Lane starts by discussing the Gurlitt trove of art obtained during WW2 but then takes a long digression into art during this period and as early as WW1 (notably that of George Grosz), only picking up the Gurlitt story at the end of the book. The Grosz content is interwoven with Hitler’s museum building quest. As a reader, I found this quite disorienting. The table of contents gives no indication of this structure - t I enjoyed the book’s content, but the structure leaves something to be desired. Lane starts by discussing the Gurlitt trove of art obtained during WW2 but then takes a long digression into art during this period and as early as WW1 (notably that of George Grosz), only picking up the Gurlitt story at the end of the book. The Grosz content is interwoven with Hitler’s museum building quest. As a reader, I found this quite disorienting. The table of contents gives no indication of this structure - the chapter names have opaque titles and there are no larger sections that would indicate different topic areas.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David

    WW2 history is well known, but this book brings to light ongoing turmoil that proves the war continues for many. This well researched book doesn’t just highlight a legal issue, but a moral issue, and the overarching theme is the banality of evil. The book follows the history of the lesser known cultural policies in the Nazi regime, the choices people have to make when faced with evil, and ultimately makes the reader reflect what we do, or don’t do, today that may allow tragedies of history to re WW2 history is well known, but this book brings to light ongoing turmoil that proves the war continues for many. This well researched book doesn’t just highlight a legal issue, but a moral issue, and the overarching theme is the banality of evil. The book follows the history of the lesser known cultural policies in the Nazi regime, the choices people have to make when faced with evil, and ultimately makes the reader reflect what we do, or don’t do, today that may allow tragedies of history to repeat itself.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    Superb research and writing; I was captivated by the interweaving of the cultural history of the artists with the historical account of WWII - together with issues of returning the art to its rightful owners. I hadn't considered the distinction between the legal duty vs. moral obligation to return the art - and I thought this issue had been resolved ;) Turns out it hasn't. The exhibition in 2018 contains works of art that are known to have been stolen and the German government rejected a request Superb research and writing; I was captivated by the interweaving of the cultural history of the artists with the historical account of WWII - together with issues of returning the art to its rightful owners. I hadn't considered the distinction between the legal duty vs. moral obligation to return the art - and I thought this issue had been resolved ;) Turns out it hasn't. The exhibition in 2018 contains works of art that are known to have been stolen and the German government rejected a request to change the statute of limitations. Brilliant story.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Rodgers

    A historical look at the “who, how, where and when” of art stolen from Jewish families, museums in lands invaded by Nazis, and really anyone who owned art that Hitler or one of his minions wanted. A tragic story with repercussions still felt around the world today. And a sad and scathing look at the current German government’s response to descendants of those who owned the art, before The Nazis and those citizens who worked for them, stole it from them. In many many ways, it looks like nothing h A historical look at the “who, how, where and when” of art stolen from Jewish families, museums in lands invaded by Nazis, and really anyone who owned art that Hitler or one of his minions wanted. A tragic story with repercussions still felt around the world today. And a sad and scathing look at the current German government’s response to descendants of those who owned the art, before The Nazis and those citizens who worked for them, stole it from them. In many many ways, it looks like nothing has changed since the 1940s.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hamilton

    Reading a book which allows you to look at the deviant art of "communists" through the eyes of "communist" artists is something to marvel at in times like these. Backwards policies that become permanent fixtures of following generations is made a concept that sort of makes sense, even if I hate the concept. Groups of people are vast pools of evil to be tapped, by art. Artists, musicians, film makers have to read this book on how to get the empire jobs of the future. Reading a book which allows you to look at the deviant art of "communists" through the eyes of "communist" artists is something to marvel at in times like these. Backwards policies that become permanent fixtures of following generations is made a concept that sort of makes sense, even if I hate the concept. Groups of people are vast pools of evil to be tapped, by art. Artists, musicians, film makers have to read this book on how to get the empire jobs of the future.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Annette Johnson

    A book that traces in great depth and detail Hitler's plan to establish a great museum that would contain only "good", i.e. acceptable Teutonic and noble, art. Gives thorough biographies of the Fuhrer as well as the artists of that time, both acceptable and "degenerate." It also points a finger at the German government's less than stellar efforts to return looted ad otherwise shadily obtained art back to its rightful owners. A book that traces in great depth and detail Hitler's plan to establish a great museum that would contain only "good", i.e. acceptable Teutonic and noble, art. Gives thorough biographies of the Fuhrer as well as the artists of that time, both acceptable and "degenerate." It also points a finger at the German government's less than stellar efforts to return looted ad otherwise shadily obtained art back to its rightful owners.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Farabaugh

    This book does a very nice job of not ignoring the moral bankruptcies of the people involved through a feigned objectivity or falsely excusing their choices both during the war and after. She is very clear about the choices that people made freely to profit of the miseries of others and our current unwillingness to face it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Doctor Science

    DNF for no particular reason, I just didn't manage before it had to go back to the libe. Good on the history, from what I read, but not enough on what I was most interested in: the structure of denial. But that's me more than the book. DNF for no particular reason, I just didn't manage before it had to go back to the libe. Good on the history, from what I read, but not enough on what I was most interested in: the structure of denial. But that's me more than the book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    A bit too heavily historical about Hitler. It only centers on the artwork and restitution in the final several chapters.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.