Friday, April 6, 2012

Europa, Nazis, and Looting - The Documentary

Did I scare you away from The Rape of Europa by Lynn H. Nicholas with descriptions of its complexity and endless details? Fear not, because in 2008 a documentary film of the same was released. The documentary focuses on the role art played in the Third Reich; the plight of art works in Italy, France, the Soviet Union and Poland; and recent efforts at restoration and restitution. Included are interviews with victims and Monuments Men.

I think this 117 minute film is a great introduction to art looting during the Second World War and restitution of such works. It would be great addition to European Art History course or any class or unit on the War. For the latter it provides much of the same background as any standard documentary on the Nazis, but focuses more on their cultural impact as opposed to battles won and lost. There is also a three-disk version with much more material, which I've not seen. Visit the website here.

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