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Showing 1-10 of 144 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 170 reviews
on February 20, 2016
This book deserves the best review I can write! I found it after the Monuments Men movie was recommended and it is amazing. The level of research alone done for this work deserves an award and the content of it makes it a MUST for the well-rounded historical reader.. The theme is the intrigue and involvement of the treasures of Europe (artwork, statuary, books, letters, historical pieces, painting, poetry and prose) and the treachery with which men attempted to elevate their wealth and/or stature or their country's wealth, some with little to no regard for the historical, personal and ethnic value behind these pieces. The story begins long before WWII when the Nazis were consolidating their power base. As this book shows, history is NOT dull. It took a long time to read, as I needed to check my historical knowledge along the way and covers YEARS of the intrigue and military involvement regarding the world's treasures. FABULOUS book and I DO understand the word "masterpiece."
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on October 24, 2016
Imagine a tale where the action heroes are the curators and art historians, where the people in the invaded towns defend their art and history through ruses, intricate strategies and sometimes amazing feats of strenght and character. This is the kind of tale Lynn Nicholas is weaving here.

You might feel that the amount of names and dates is too dense, and maybe have some trouble with all the footnotes. However, the Kindle format can help make the reading experience more streamlined (loving the XRay function for this one), and once you get past that, you'll discover a fabulous book that manages to articulate all the simultaneous things that were happening around European art and artworks during the WW2.
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on April 22, 2013
I have first encountered this book a few years ago at the Yad Vashem museum shop. Our guide told us that Yad Vashem considered this particular book to be the best record of stolen artwork by Nazi Germans. I was delighted when it came out in Kindle edition.

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.
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on December 31, 2013
This book is foundational in understanding how the Nazis plundered the art of Europe prior to WWII and beyond. The families who lost their treasures and family members are depicted with sensitivity. The monstrous Nazi socialist regime ruined lives and families through theft and destruction. Today we seek these art works in order to return them to their rightful owners. A moving story of heartache, theft, and what happens when the state is not checked by laws to protect citizens and their property. I highly recommend this work to everyone interested in art history, art theft, the Holocaust, socialist regimes, and the evil unleashed by the Nazis.
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on July 7, 2017
My wife used this book as a reference book for a class and still needs to actually sit down and read the book from start to finish. She says it is very informative and would recommend it to others who are interested in the subject matter; World War II and European art/artifacts.
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on February 24, 2014
I knew the story in bits and pieces, from books and one movie starring Burt Lancaster as a French resistance fighter trying to stop artwork from leaving the country. Rape of Europa was the first time I understood the sheer immense number of works involved, in nearly every country in Europe. The film is effective in setting the story, focusing on key events, and using still photos dynamically, as Ken Burns does. If one were to trace the movement of art in Europe during WWII, it would map out as a crazed anthill, with some ants carrying the same piece three or four times, back and forth. Heroic what was done to restore the art to its original owners, and criminal how so much property was never returned. The photo of a cavernous space full of household items with no living owners, still shocks me. How much simply could not be returned, as the synagogues, the businesses, the homes and the lives of so many Jews ceased to exist.
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on January 26, 2015
This is an outstanding piece of work on an important subject. Lynn Nicholas obviously spent countless hours researching the theft of art from private owners, museums, and the like during a chaotic period of history, and has documented the movement of many of the artworks as the war wound to its end. This book is a valuable documentary record that has relevance to the present day. Because of the detailed history, one had to read carefully (some might say slowly) so as not not miss important facts. That is not a criticism but, rather, an observation of the virtue of the work. For a somewhat quicker, but historically accurate, read about a part of the Nazi confiscation of artworks-- the looting of art from museums-- I enjoyed The Woman Who Heard Color by Kelly Jones. It deals with Hitler's effort to stamp out modern art, which he called "degenerate" art, and replace it with "wholesome" Aryan art.
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on November 2, 2014
Nicholas has unturned every stone, gone done every conceivable path to discover what happened to the great art collections in Europe that were in Hitler's sights. Of course, there is a healthy dose of what happened to private collections in the hands of the Jews but this is not a titillating horror story of what happened to people in the Holocaust. It is a scholarly examination of how great art was desired and pursued by good people and bad, how dealers and museum directors from all over the world ignored the looting, thieving and murder that enabled them to get their hands on valuable works, and how dedicated soldiers and scholars strove to find and restore such works to their rightful owners (sometimes in vain).

Nicholas is a wonderful writer. This extraordinary book reads like a thriller, with twists and turns worthy of PDJames. No need for you to be an art historian, lawyer, WWII buff or scholar to enjoy this story.
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on February 14, 2016
An inside look at the unique blend of greed and corruption of the Nazi regime from a novel perspective. I personally do not feel that the business of marketing investment grade art in the Capitalist industrial west beforehand or at wars end is exactly a model of propriety mind you..... That said,it should come as no surprise that people like Hitler & co. who are murdering psychopaths also have no class,and yet somehow this book proves the point.I am not an art historian, but the research seems to have been thorough.Whenever I randomly seek out a picture or an event or personality involved in this sorry business on wikipedia,its all there.
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on April 15, 2014
After seeing The Documents Men movie, I read the book of same name. A friend recommended The Rape of Europa...and I am glad I read. Tho filled with lots of names, places, names of artwork I do not know, the overwhelming greed, dishonesty, outright stealing that occurred throughout the Nazis reign is outrageous. It is a part of history I missed, ignored, or simply never took time to explore. No people, country, or class were innocent. Any the search and discovery of many of the stolen artwork continues...and some will never be found. Truly, an amazing chapter in history. I highly recommend.
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