“This story isn’t about the Kronenstrasse Synagogue, the internment camp at Dachau, or even the Holocaust against the Jews. It is about a different act of negation and aggression Hitler perpetrated on the people and nations of Europe: his war on their culture.” – Robert M. Edsel
Artistic license can take many forms when applied to historical narrative, and it is my hope that in reading my reviews of the book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, and the film adaptation, The Monuments Men, the reader will get a full picture of the heroic men and women who rescued European art from the Nazis – the Monuments Men, and how they have been portrayed in print and on the silver screen.
The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel, with Bret Witter, takes the reader into the World War II war theater through the stories of ten of the brave men and women, the Monuments Men, who rescued art that had been stolen by the Nazis in Europe. The book is chronological, and the author cleverly weaves in historical anecdotes to show the importance of the preservation of art and culture during times of mass destruction and genocide. Edsel’s powerful, moving narrative emphasizes the role of humanity in protecting the artifacts of antiquity, and stresses the non-monetary value of those artifacts which represent human possibility, creativity, and intellectual achievement. The storyline allows the reader to travel with the Monuments Men on their journey to the front lines on a treasure hunt through Europe to find, identify, and return stolen art.