National Archives and the Monuments Men Foundation Announce Press Conference for the Donation of “Hitler Album” of Looted Art

Opportunity to examine original “Hitler Album” and meet Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger

WHAT: To mark the May 8 anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe in 1945, the National Archives will hold a press conference to unveil the last known leather-bound “Hitler Album” of art works stolen by the Nazis during the war. The Monuments Men Foundation will donate to the National Archives this album, which was found at Hitler's home in Berchtesgaden, Germany, in the closing days of the war and has since been in private hands.

WHO: David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist and expert on Holocaust-Era Assets records

Robert M. Edsel, Chairman of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, and author of The Monuments Men

Harry Ettlinger, one of only six living Monuments Men

WHEN: Thursday, May 8, 2014, at 1 p.m.

WHERE: Archivist’s Reception Room, National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

Press should use Pennsylvania Avenue entrance.

PLEASE NOTE: Photographers welcome, however additional lights are prohibited.

Background: Created by the staff of a special Nazi task force, the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg(ERR), the so-called “Hitler Albums” document the unprecedented and systematic looting of European art by the Nazis, a story recently brought to the screen by George Clooney in The Monuments Men film. The ERR was the main Nazi agency engaged in art looting in Nazi-occupied countries. As the ERR looted, photographed, and catalogued French collections, they created albums, including the one being donated. Each page of the album shows a photograph of one stolen item.

After the war, the U.S. Army discovered 39 of these albums and turned them over to the Monuments Men for use in identifying art work to be restituted. These volumes, in the holdings of the National Archives, served as evidence in the Nuremburg trialsto document the massive Nazi art looting operations. Until recently, it was believed that the missing ERR albums had been destroyed. Thanks to the Monuments Men Foundation, four additional albums have been recovered, and the fourth will be donated at this event.

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For more information call the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300