Continue Privacy Statement They found 1,500 repositories of stolen goods in southern Germany alone. The Monuments Men is an American-German co-production of Columbia Pictures (in association with 20th Century Fox) and Studio Babelsberg. The Monuments Men, officially called the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section (MFAA), were a small group of men and women tasked with the location, protection, conservation, and repatriation of the art, architecture, and material culture of European nations during and after World War II. barrels of gold teeth extracted from the victims of the death camps. Nowhere, notes Nicholas, were more of those treasures collected than at Altaussee, where Hitler stored the treasures intended for his Fuhrermuseum in Linz, Austria, a sprawling museum complex that Hitler planned as a showcase for his plunder. By Jordan Hoffma n. Stout transformed German sheepskin coats and gas masks into packing materials. In the greatest theft in art history, Nazi leaders used the inventories of Europe’s elite museums as a veritable “shopping list” for items to add to their personal collections. From 1943 through early 1945, a stream of trucks transported tons of treasures into the tunnels. He lives in Dallas. Europe may have been liberated, but its cultural treasures were still missing in action. The monuments men find him thanks to a remarkable coincidence: one of them has toothache, and his talkative dentist is Stahl's father-in-law. Does he change names and futz with facts to … Give a Gift. Communication was difficult; he was often unable to contact Posey. "Loaded less than two trucks by 11:30," Stout wrote on June 18. George Clooney (center) stars alongside Dimitri Leonidas, John Goodman, Matt Damon and Bob Balaban in the World War II drama The Monuments Men, … Directed by (1) Writing credits (4) Cast (116) Produced by (6) Music by (1) Cinematography by (1) Film Editing by (1) Casting By (2) Production Design by (1) Art Direction by (4) Set Decoration by (1) Costume Design by (1) Makeup Department (41) There wasn't enough packing material. Although most never expected to be called upon for duty when the war started, some of the Monuments Men were put right on the front lines. However, what is the grotesque find? "Calm and beautiful, the altarpiece was, quite simply, there.". ... Real 'Monuments Men' Width in pixels px Height in pixels px Copied to your clipboard Unable to copy. The deepest tunnels were more than a mile inside the mountain, safe from enemy bombs even if the remote location was discovered. The Nazi district leader near Altaussee, August Eigruber, interpreted the Fuhrer’s words as an order to destroy any objects of value, which required the demolition of the mines so the artwork would not fall into enemy hands. He was one of a handful of Monuments Men regularly in forward areas, though his letters home to his wife, Margie, mentioned only "field trips.". The next morning Stout accompanied them to the Munich collecting point. When the guns fell silent in Europe in May 1945, the work of the Monuments Men was only beginning. Thomas Carr Howe papers, Archives of American Art, Andrew Carnduff Ritchie papers, Archives of American Art, James J. 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In her book, Nicholas says Stout, during just more than a year in Europe, had taken one and a half days off. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. In 2014, a major Hollywood film named Monuments Men detailed true events around a platoon of soldiers who rescued artworks stolen during WWII. Stout also noted that there were plans for the demolition of the mine. Vote Now! He spent a few days packing the Bruges Madonna, which Nicholas describes as “looking very much like a large Smithfield ham.” On July 10, it was lifted onto a mine cart and Stout walked it to the entrance, where it and the Ghent altarpiece were loaded onto trucks. Kirstein and Posey were two members of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section of the Allies, a small corps of mostly middle-aged men and a few women who interrupted careers as historians, architects, museum curators and professors to mitigate combat damage. Feature trailer for The Monuments Men.. 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