Two albums used by Adolf Hitler to document priceless pieces of art and furniture stolen by the Nazi's were discovered in private homes and donated to the National Archives. This is a huge find. These albums were in the hands of Hitler during World War II and they detail one of the biggest art heists in history.
“These albums are significant because they are the smoking gun of the Nazi's systematic and premeditated looting of collectors in particular Jews in Paris,” said Robert Edsel, President of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art.
The albums are filled with photographs of priceless pieces of art and furniture stolen from wealthy Jewish families and museums during the war. Every item is meticulously catalogued and dated by the Nazi's. American GI’s taken the albums after the war as a kind of souvenir and put them in their attics or garage. Now, with the help of the Dallas based Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, the albums were recovered. During a ceremony at Southern Methodist University, they were donated to the national archives and it’s considered a key discovery.
“It's huge,” said Archivist of the United States David Ferriero. “It's more documentation. It's going to fill in gaps in just how widespread this whole campaign was to steal the cultural heritage of Europe.”
The monuments foundation was created by Robert Edsel in Dallas to honor the real Monuments Men and women who recovered millions of pieces of stolen art and artifacts after World War II. And, it encourages people to see if family members may have something from the war that could hold a lot of historical value like these albums and donate them.
Hollywood star George Clooney was so impressed with the story of the Monuments Men and Edsel’s book on the subject that he is currently writing a feature length movie about their heroism. Clooney will direct and star in the picture. Shooting is slated to start next January.