- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 25, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780679756866
- ISBN-13: 978-0679756866
- ASIN: 0679756868
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 174 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War Paperback – April 25, 1995
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From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"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
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Ms Nicholas writes in a manner that makes the subject matter unfold almost like a thriller. Even portions of information that one may deem dry come across in an interesting way. One issue however: I sometimes struggled to keep names in order--there is a large cast of art dealers, Nazis, etc. This may not be a problem for you.
I love art, and have found this telling of a rarely discussed part of WWII (I knew almost nothing about it) very interesting and educational; it really broadens your scope of the art world and even the second World War. If you like art, art history, the history of WWII, or are simply looking for a fascinating (true) yarn, The Rape of Europa is an excellent choice. I highly recommend it.
Also, if you have seen the documentary but have not read the book, I would encourage you to still read it; it covers significantly more than the documentary is able to.
Original Review: I am still in the beginnings of this paperback book. The subject matter is really intriguing and not until I saw the film (a few years back) based on the book did I give this subject much thought. After watching the movie I wanted to read the book, but unless you have a base knowledge of the art that the writer discusses or a good memory of the film which showed the art in question, then you are left to looking it up to have a fuller understanding. Also, separate knowledge of not only the major but also minor Nazis will make this book a fuller read. I don't normally need " pretty pictures" in my reading, but given the subject matter and the myriad of players involved, photos of at least the main surviving works mentioned and a short bio of the people involved you could flip back to. Unless detailed notes are provided by the author, I guess this is where reading on a Kindle or other book reader makes it easier because you can quickly and more easily flip back to your notes and highlights - which is what I normally do whenever a new person or character is introduced as a helpful guide for me because since I've become disabled I am a slower reader without the greatest of retention (not only in pace I read but also the amount of time I can spend reading at one sitting has greatly diminished). After reading a couple Kindle books, I usually find myself wanting the "feel" and "smell" of a good book in my hands so I will switch to a printed book. I wish I had chosen the Kindle version over print for this particular book. While the writing and subject is 5 star, I knocked off a star for the reasons mentioned above and really it is because of my own peccadillo. I don't know if the author couldn't get the rights (which is hard to believe) to include photos of at least the major art works, but it and a short bio in the Addendum (including the artists involved since I don't know a lot about Germanic art) would have made this book richer and given the reader a deeper reading experience and not left them wanting.
of Hitler's officer art "korps." The OSS-attached group of American officers, led by scholarly art historians, future museum directors, future art critics, and hundreds of other enlisted U.S. soldiers (one of which took part in looting the found treasures) were themselves overwhelmed by the irreplaceable works hidden throughout, mostly, caves and railroad tunnels in southern Germany, and one
remote castle. The PBS documentary that was produced based on Lynne Nichols' book is far superior to the recent "Monuments Men" film, which tries futilely to make a "story" out of the realism of the period. The reluctance of the Vienna State Museum to return the paintings of Gustav Klimt to the relatives of the Bloch family is, in itself, an indictment of the twisted arguments given by
those who collaborated with the Nazi looters.
First, I have to highly commend the author on the fantastic research she has done. She has focused not only on thefts from the famous museums such as the Louvre and the Uffizi but also on private collections and smaller art galleries. She has also done justice to accurate portrayls of each of the so-called "art experts" in Nazi Germany Second, the hypocricy of some of the Nazi leaders is so blatant: first, they host an exhibition of degenerative art and then they secretly go on to buy or steal some of the same art.
This book can serve as an excellent textbook across several disciplines: art history, criminology, forensic science, not to mention political analysis of Nazi-occuppied Europe.