The Rape of Europa, Kathryn Anderson

I watched The Rape of Europa over the past two nights.  I would really suggest watching it if you have some time and are interested in the World Wars at all.   I was really enlightened and surprised to hear about the Nazi’s looting from the art perspective.  I had no idea the turmoil and destruction that went on throughout the wars on artistic culture.  The documentary traveled through each portion of Europe that was looted touching on Paris, Florence, Poland, and Russia and other museums.  What was so amazing was the magnitude of what was stolen.  There were hundreds of thousands of paintings, drawings, and sculpture misplaced, stolen and damaged.  If I hadn’t watched this video the loss of art and the complete disregard for culture would have remained completely off my radar.  The challenges that the museums went through in attempts to save the art was amazing too such as the museum in Leningrad; chipping away ice and shoveling snow out of the museum, went beyond extraordinary measures for volunteers.

This documentary also taught me about Hitler’s love for art, which had never been addressed in any other class.  I feel his cruel killing mentality and ruthlessness dominate conversation and lesson plans, but his passion for art was a key part of his personality.  How would his future had differed if he had attended art school.  What would the world be like today, and how would art history be  different without thousands of paintings and monumental architecture destroyed forever in Hitler’s greedy attempt to have it all?

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