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There are many words that historians use to call the infamous Hitler: despicable, abhorrent, reviled, and… cultured? That’s right folks, Hitler was an art lover! One day, he decides to build the greatest museum to ever exist in his hometown. Unfortunately for him, all the greatest artworks to ever exist were already owned by other museums, so he went with the only logical course of action: looting! Meanwhile, on the other side of the war, the allies are concerned with not only keeping and returning the works of art where they belonged, but also protecting them from collateral damage in the war. What ensues is a long battle between Hitler’s forces and the Monuments Men, volunteers for the art-preservation operation, for the most priceless paintings in history. Forget every other treasure hunt you’ve heard of: for this one my friend, is the greatest in history.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s reading a book on something that was never discussed in any of my history classes, something that this book does pretty well. Let me tell you, not once has “What happened to all the famous artwork and historical monuments as Europe was under siege in WWII?” ever crossed my mind before I read the summary on the jacket, which I feel is a very important detail. Art had such a great impact on history, after all! I recommend this book to any fellow history aficionados like me.
My favorite parts were about the Monuments Men’s civilian lives. I am a firm believer that everybody has a story to tell, so I’m glad I got to read about who they were before the war could change them.
Reviewed by Dahlia, Twin Hickory Area Library