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Monuments Men: Saving Art and Treasure From the Nazis

1940s | October 12, 2016

The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) program, whose men and women were known as "Monuments Men", established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 to help rescue art and cultural property from obliteration during World War II.

The Monuments Men included servicemembers and art historians who aided in tracking down, identifying, and returning priceless works of art stolen by Hitler's forces.

MFAA officer James Rorimer supervises American soldiers recovering paintings from Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.
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National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons

In a cellar in Frankfurt, Germany, Chaplain Samuel Blinder examines Saphor Torahs (Sacred Scrolls) stolen from across Europe.
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National Archives

Loot found at a church in the German town of Ellingen.
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Natinal Archives

Master Sergeant Harold Maus of Scranton, PA, checks out an Albrecht Dürer engraving uncovered at the Merkers salt mine
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National Archives

General Dwight D. Eisenhower inspects art stolen by the Nazis. General Omar N. Bradley and Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr. are also pictured.
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National Archives

Officials inspecting and posing with a Goya painting at Le Grand-Lucé in France.
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National Gallery of Art

Gold and art uncovered by the US army in the Merkers salt mine in April 1945
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National Archives

The truck is transporting paintings recovered by the US Army to Florence, Italy.
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National Archives

Monuments Man James Rorimer, left, and Sgt. Antonio Valim examining valuable art objects at Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany which were stolen from the Rothschild collection in France by the ERR and found in the castle in May of 1945.
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Photo provided by The Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art of Dallas, AP

The rescuing of Michelangelo's Madonna and Child in Altaussee, Austria, in 1945.
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AP Photo/Smithsonian Institution

The evacuating of artwork from Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.
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AP Photo/Smithsonian Institution

This 6th January 1940 photo shows a 400 year old painting and silver drinking vessels rescued from a jammed safe in St Lawrence Jewry.
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Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

Monuments Man George Stout moves the central panel of the Ghent Altarpiece in Altaussee, Austria in July of 1945.
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AP Photo/National Archives and Records Administration

Monuments Man George Stout, second from right, with others as they remove Michelangelo's Bruges Madonna from the salt mine in Altaussee, Austria, July 10, 1945.
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AP Photo/National Archives and Records Administration

Soldiers preparing a Rubens painting for shipment, 1945.
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Archives of American Art

Lt. Kern & Karl Sieber examining the "Lamb," the famous Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck, one of the, if not the greatest single art treasure of Belgium
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Archives of American Art

Captain Edith A. Standen and Captain Rose Valland were both MFAA officials.
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National Gallery of Art

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