How a "Dream Team" of Rescuers Salvaged Masses of Jewish Cultural Treasures Looted by the Nazis

Prewar, no countries had wanted to take in Europe’s Jews. Postwar, many were poised to claim the spoils of the murdered—until an unprecedented group of experts stepped in.

September 17, 2019 | Diane Cole
About the author: Diane Cole is the author of the memoir After Great Pain: A New Life Emerges. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street JournalNPR online, and elsewhere, and she serves as the books columnist for Psychotherapy Networker.

From the cover of A Mortuary of Books: The Rescue of Jewish Culture After the Holocaust by Elisabeth Gallas. NYU Press.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the U.S. and Allied armies deployed a team, popularly known as the Monuments Men, to locate and restore to their rightful owners huge caches of European art and cultural works that had been looted by the Nazis or, in some few cases, successfully hidden away for safeguarding.

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