- Share your favorite videos with friends
- Comment on videos and join the conversation
- Get personalized recommendations
- Enjoy exclusive offers
Purchased a FORA.tv video on another website? Login here with the temporary account credentials included in your receipt.
Thank you for being here. I want to certainly thank Dan as well as Jane Kratovil and Chad for their wonderful help in getting this all setup. And it's quite an honor for me to be here for a number of reasons not the least of which when I sold my oil and gas exploration business which is best we can tell was life two. My first life was playing some professional tennis tournaments and then I had a period of retooling living in Europe for about 7 or 8 years where I was studying art and really just getting away from all the years I had spend building the business and taking time off and deciding what my next great passion and journey was going to be and I will mention a bit more about that in a minute. But I was reading incessantly, it's amazing how much reading you can do if you don't have a job. And I was reading about 10 books a week and one of the books I was reading was some of the memoirs of our President Eisenhower, General Eisenhower it really in some way impacted me in this journey that I've been on because I was at that time about 41, 42 and struggling after having taken some time off trying to figure out how I was going to get reengaged from a career standpoint, what I was going to do? I was determined to do something different and I read was great interest. His reflections as a 48 year old man is, Chief of Staff for General MacArthur, feeling like he was stationed in the middle of nowhere and he was so good at his job, General MacArthur didn't want to like go of him and he kind of seem to almost make piece with the fact that this is what was going to turn out with his career. And then of course shortly thereafter he came back to Washington and the rest is literally the stuff of legend. And it was an extraordinary experience for me when I thought about it because it was a great reminder that it doesn't really matter how old you are, there is still a chance to pursue things that you love and follow your great passions and so there is a great particular affection on my part about being here this evening at the Eisenhower Institute. Without any further delay let me just say I sold my business 11 years ago and when I did I had no idea the path that I was going to follow, the journey that I would find in fact I am not sure that I found it as much as it found me. And I couldn't have seen the profound changes that would occur in my life, from really asking just a few question which began as I was living in Portofino, we are going in the wrong way here, hang above with me one second. I started off in Portofino, I having sold my oil and gas business and took some time off and ultimately moved to Florence and I was standing on the Ponte Vecchio, I am sure many of you all recognize this and I went down there one day and I was over looking the Ponte center return for those you that are been to Florence you maybe aware that all the bridges there in Florence were destroyed during World War II by the Nazi's as they flood the city with the exception of the Ponte Vecchio. And I have this moment of the epiphany where I wondered how on the world did all these extraordinary works of art and great monuments in Europe survived the destructiveness the greatest conflict in history in fact who were the people that saved them. And it led me on to this quest that followed and really out of a desire to find out the interest in myself, was the book was an absolutely unintended consequence. And in my effort to try and find information I was so frustrated and I didn't want to ask anybody because I felt like I was going to look like such a fool that I didn't know what the answer was. And after gathering some information with great difficulty, I did start asking people and over and over and over again I had them say to me I don't know, who did save that. And it really reinforces for me the anonymity of these extraordinary people known as the monuments men. Of course my journey is not dissimilar from the journey that these great works of art took during the World War II. You all of course recognize the Mona Lisa perhaps the most famous image in the world much less work of art, but the Mona Lisa was moved on 6 separate occasions between 1939 and 1945 by museum officials in Paris trying to keep the work of art away from the invasion of the Germans. In fact it was moved initially out of the Louvre, it was the only work of art that had its own form of transportation, it was moved in an ambulance and it was sealed up inside so tightly with the curator from the Louvre Museum that when they arrived at the first Chateau and Chambord the painting was in perfectly good shape but the museum director fell out of the ambulance almost suffocated from the absence of any oxygen. Well going to take a look at those again. So we have the situation of this work being moved and of course this fantastic other work by Leonardo da Vinci there are only 14 commonly accepted paintings by Leonardo. This is the last supper painted on a refectory wall of the Santa Maria delle Grazie refectory in Milan, Italy. And this painting of course couldn't be moved to protected, so local museum officials place scaffolding on it prior to the war in 1940 an air Allied bomb landed in the courtyard destroying three of the four walls of the refectory leaving the painting behind the scaffolding, this is the photo of what it look like prior to the final boards being put on the front. And I am frequently asked by people well tell what's the connection between your book and this other book out there that makes reference to Da Vinci. And I said well it's very simple, if it wasn't for the rescuing there wouldn't be any code. The story that we are going to talk about tonight involves a lot of the greatest, the greatest theft in history, the greatest treasure hunt in history and in my view really the most outstanding untold story of World War II and its hard to imagine especially for all of you are here, so literate on World War II to imagine that there is any untold story about World War II especially of any magnitude but I think you will see as we go along that this is something that's been buried here in front of all us. The story begins really with the raised power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. Adolf Hitler saw himself as a great artist wanting to be recognized and he along with Hermann Goering had these great ambitions to steal artworks throughout Europe. Now we know today these great works of art rest safely in the great museums of Europe such as the grand gallery in Louvre. But it was a very different situation in 1939 with the news of the non aggression treaty between Russia and Germany museum directors set into action plans that they had for years in advance to try and prepare for these events and in a matter of 14 days or so museum official at the Louvre packed more than 400,000 works of art to try and move them to nearby Chateau and countryside villas to try and protect them from the Germans and this was the scene that you would have seen. Extraordinary works of art such as the wings and (indiscernible) down the steps of the Louvre and crated up and moved out. In many cases by local officials as well as just volunteers the extraordinary painting the Night Watch by Rembrandt at the Rijks Museum was rolled up like a carpet and moved on a number of occasions before finally being placed in an area near Mastrick, Holland. In Florence paintings at the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi were packed up much as they did at the Louvre and taken to nearby Chateau's and villas however the day but due to its size and weight couldn't be moved and so local officials found an extraordinary innovative solution. They entombed in brick, leaving this view had you visited the academy on 1941, the slaves as they are known by Michelangiolo and the David entirely entombed. And in St. Petersburg, this is the scene you would see today in the Dutch gallery; it was a very different setting in 1941 with the news of the German invasion into Leningrad as these painting were packed up; more than 2.2 million items at the Hermitage were packed in a matter of weeks. Half of them were taken to, on trains to Siberia where they set out of the war but the other half had to be protected at the museum due to the speed with which the invasion took place it was too late to get them out. And even at the national gallery in Washington DC less in a month after the bomb in a Pearl Harbor, museum officials here were concerned about some of the great works of art in National Gallery and 71 works were packed up in the dead of night and taken by train and truck to the Biltmore Estate, Asheville North Carolina where they set out the war. And all this took place because of the great ambition of one man, Adolf Hitler with his raise to power; Hitler was determined to use art as a weapon of propaganda. He looked at art and determined certain artist view, painters have degenerate art, these were Jews, slavs, immigrants. Painters that he believed couldn't see nature as it existed and he was determine to remove those works of art from the German museums many of which were sold, many more were destroyed. All in an effort to try and reinforce these racial theories of Hitler and the Nazi party. This is a painting that's in the Fogg museum today a self portrait by Van Gogh that was purchased by an American collector, one of the sales of these works of art that came out of the German museums. Now Hitler was fairly pedestrian artist he had some talent, this is a water color that he painted, one of many such paintings, but imagine this painting at the time of a great German expressioners that were painting there Kandinsky, Modigliani on other painters (indiscernible) and it didn't have the cache and the interest the people had. And Hitler applied as a young boy, young teenager to the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna and he was rejected by a group of judges who he believed were Jewish and it no doubt fueld is raised for his towards the anti- Semitism as well as his determination to show the world what a great creative mind he had. So one of the past that he intended to pursue was to redesign the town he was from in Linz, Austria and at the center piece of the city would be the worlds greatest museum known as the FÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¼hrer Museum, this is him working with architect drawing and actual drawing by Hitler that they then designed skill models after. And of course the worlds greatest museum would have to have the worlds greatest works of art and their in begin the foundation for the theft that took place. Hitler less in a month before his suicide, this is a color photograph taken of him and his bunkers staring at the scale model of Linz and the museum. And he would look at this thing with a sound of Russian artillery pound in the right chance for a hour after hour explain to guests and visitors how excited, how extraordinary this museum was going to be, right down to the bitter end. His interest and knowledge of art really started with these state visits that he would make as fuhrer first to Venice in 1934 and then later to Florence, Rome, Naples in 1938 and then then again in 1940, this is a photo of him with Mussolini and Neville in 1938. And he went on to the Uffizi Palace and walked through the Uffizi with Mussolini behind him and Mussolini was heard to be adoring under his breath (to quest quadric), an Italian all these pictures, because he would seen it so many times before, but Hitler and the other who were with him were really quite fascinated. This is a book that I hold in my hands when we were doing some of the research in Krakow, Poland, it says in German artworks safe guarded and you learn very quickly in doing research that safe guarded this work, used over and over and over by the Germans that stands for robbed, stole, threat and many of the other forms that they used to try and legalize their process of confiscation. And these books would be assembled by German museum directors and other organizers that were involved his responsibility was to steal these works of art and they would include in them photographs of works of art that have been stole and they would send them to Hitler and he would look through this things much as a mail order catalog making decisions about which painting he wanted to have as an, in his own collection, in the FÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¼hrer Museum or which paintings might go into some of the new regional museum that would be build, all an attempt to try and diminish Venice cultural hold over Austria. This of course is a painting of the Lady with an Ermine one of the 14 paintings by the Leonardo da Vinci, and the painting on the front cover of the book Rescuing da Vinci. Goering had this great ambition to be seen as a renaissance man and one of the things that strikes me so much about the story is, I've yet to come across the photos seen General Bradley, General Patton, General Eisenhower, civilian uniform out doing, civilian cloths, out doing anything and you see Goering so many times in his multiple number of uniforms or in civilian close out shopping is this a case in 1940 in Amsterdam shopping for watches. He made 22 separate visits to the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris, adjacent to the Louvre where art work had been a symbol form all the Jewish households and other families who would had artwork robbed by a group called the ERR, it was formalized group but the Germans that was had a zit responsibility stealing works of art and their excused when later on pressed to provide explanation was "oh we didn't steal these things, we safeguarded them" and in the process of trying to explain that they said they were all these Jewish households in Paris where the, inhabitants were gone and there was no one there and of course they were not safe there so we confiscated them and took them for protection, well of course the Jewish wont there because they had loaded them up and placed them on trains, take them to concentration camps and they considered these things ownerless objects, so they passed laws to save the donorless objects, were things that they were entitled to take, to try and make it legal. Artworks over the course of time became the preferred gift among Nazi leaders in fact all of the leadership with the Nazi party was encouraged to collect artwork such as this painting that Hitler and Goering are sharing, enjoying but their ambitions so quickly exceeded just artworks. It included more than 5000 church bells from churched throughout Europe that the Allied forces found. Torah scrolls, more than a 1000 Torah scrolls powered 10 feet high, this is an American Chaplin standing on the sacred parchment trying to understand what they are and where they came from to begin the process and to trying to figure out what to do about it. Stained glass from Cathedral throughout Europe, this is stained glass from the extraordinary Cathedral in Strasburg that was taken and found in a salt mine by monuments men in Heilbronn, Germany. 1000's of libraries, million of books from libraries throughout Europe and Russia. Common household items, millions of pieces of furniture that were shipped back to the eastern countries and even the trolley cars from the city of Amsterdam that were placed on this flat bed train and ultimately found by the Allies and returned to the city. So very quickly the scale of the theft really turned out to be staggering. So it leads us to the story about who were these people? Who were the monuments men? Who were the people that saved all of this? And this is really where the story is taking such a personal interest for me as I've continued to dig into it and get to know some of these surviving people. And in 1941 in March that the dedication of the national gallery of art, President Roosevelt had the following to say "To accept this work today is to assort the purpose of the people of America that the freedom of the human spirit and human mind which has produce the worlds great art and all its science shall not be utterly destroyed". Now President Roosevelt and the other Allied leaders we including General Eisenhower and Patton and Marshall General, Eisenhower and Marshall in particularly understood the important of having respect for an appreciation of different cultures and it gave raise to the creation of an organization called the Roberts Commission named after Supreme Court justice Owen Roberts. And General Eisenhower in 1943 issued an order to the field that said today we are fighting in a country which is contributed a great deal to our cultural inheritance. A country rich in monuments which by their creation helped and now in their old age illustrate the growth of the civilization which is ours. We are bound to respect those monuments so far as war allows. And that was issued just before the invasion of Scilly. And General Eisenhower and General Marshall both understood the power of impressions and the importance of it appearing that we were sensitive and trying to protect these things. Museum directors and curators in the United States early before the United States entry into the war gained access to the White House and explained the potential pits falls for the United States, it sooner later having to enter this war and the invasion that would occur, the damage to cultural monuments and the prospects of us wining the battle so to speak and loosing the war of public opinion by destroying so much of western civilization. So it gave raise to the creation of this commission, the Roberts Commission and a group organized called the Monuments Fine Arts and Archive Section or MFAA. The people that were part of it were known as the monuments men by their fellow GI, it was a group of museum directors, curators and art historians who volunteered for service during World War II. They were about 350 of them from 12 nations about 70% were American, they included women and they were brought in because of their experience and having worked with art. Many of them were already some were naval reserved officers that were called up. And it was the first time in history an army that attempt to fight a war in one hand and medicate damage to cultural treasures on the other. And they began by taking aerial photographs of the great city's and important places in Europe and designate targets that had to be avoided by Allied bombers, this is the photograph of the city of Florence and you see the Arno river running through the city and you can probably see the various bridges crossing it. They also did other things, they were out there in the field in the frontline, these were back office people they were, at churches, such as this church in Belgium helping to restore glass that was damaged. Helping to recover monuments that were blown off the top of churches in the Normandy area and many cases by Allied bombing but as these damages occur these monuments men were there on the spot trying to work with local towns people to do what they could they to affect temporary repairs. They arrived at battle scenes such as this, this is monuments man Walker Hancock on the front left side helping the local towns people (indiscernible) Belgium remove this sculpture called (indiscernible) which was taken out of a church there was an artillery around and went straight to the side of the church during the Battle of the Bulge and they took this thing out and put it in a place of safe keeping. So these actions intended so much goodwill towards the people in Europe and of course ultimately return so many of these works of art, this is the scene of American's, the monuments officers returning works of art to the Piazza Signoria in Florence, works that have been taken out of the Uffizi and Pitti Palace by Nazi soldiers. The propaganda of Nazi's was extraordinary, they were masters at it, in fact I am not so sure different things, some of the things that we see today in our struggle to fight terrorism and this is a pamphlet it was put out by the Germans called the La Guerra contro l'Arte, the war against art, and it characterizes American as barbarians arriving on the shores to try and steal the cultural patrimony of Europe. And so I think it was understood by the American leadership, the importance of trying to combat that kind of propaganda by making earnest effort to protect these things. The focus of the monuments man of which there are only a couple, there are only a dozen or so by the time of the landing in Normandy, was on initially trying to protect monuments and buildings and churches. But by the time they arrived in the great cities in Germany, beginning with the town of Ockham this is the cathedral Ockham that this scene of devastation was so severe that the focus shifted towards movable works of art and they started to find these things in the most extraordinary places more than a 1000 hiding places in salt mines and castles and caves. This is the photo of British monuments officers in Britain row to Germany, I am sorry engrossed in Germany finding a 100's of painting lying on the floor of the salt mine that have been placed there by the Nazi's. Now you may recognize this castle, it's in Neuschwanstein in South West Bavaria and it was the model for Disneyland. But during the World War II it was chief hiding place for so many of the great works of art that were stolen out of Paris by the Nazi's. Could you turn the volume up? That's monuments man Harry Ettlinger, I call him the baby of the group, he is 82. Harry is a fascinating guy, he was the last boy to have a bomb midst, he calls Germany before crystal knot and his family came home and said we are moving to tomorrow. And they came to the United States and in 1943 he was drafted into service ion, in 1944 he went to Europe and fought as a young man. And then when they realized he was a native German speaker they pulled him out and put him in the Monuments Fine Arts and Archive Section, he became monuments man, fascinating guy. And this was the scene, this is on the steps of the castle of Neuschwanstein, the man standing there in the center is that Jim Rorimer, who later went on to become the Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city. And so of these monuments men and women had distinguished careers not just before the war but after the war, in addition to these remarkable things that they did during the war. So this was the scene that was faced with and that was really an extraordinary experiment. It was the first time anyone to try to protect cultural treasures like this, there weren't really any handbooks, the ingenuity and creativity of these monuments men and women were their guide and those who were able to act were empowered to do so. So they began by removing these works of art. Now so many of these things art of secure works, about the things everybody knows, this is the of course Botticelli's extraordinary Primavera painting which at the Uffizi gallery, that was found on the floor of a villa and it was unable to re stolen by the Nazi's because it was so large it wouldn't fit into the truck. This is monuments men Dean Keller standing next to the painting, of course I have mentioned Leonardo da Vinci's, Lady with an Ermine one of three porters, one of 14 paints which was found on the possession of one of the Nazi generals when we arrested him. And it was ultimately restituted to Cracow, Poland to the family from whom it was taken. And this is monuments officer Karol Estreicher, a polish monuments officer and standing on his left to your right is monuments man Frank Albright and that took us about 6 months to find out and identify who that guy was, he had a interesting career as museum director after the war, we had almost the help of an genealogist as we continue to continue this is, the book is done but the research continues on. We are trying to find out the names of all the people in these photographs and all the monuments men and I know some day, some one is going to come up to me that Uncle Bob and when I ask him why they haven't told us, they are going to say because no body ever asked. So part of our process is visibility to find these people and the answers were out there. This of course is self portrait of Rembrandt that was found in the salt mines in Heilbronn, Germany by monuments man Harry Ettlinger, that's him there standing on the right. And monuments man Daryl Ford on the left. One of two painting by Vermeer stolen by Hitler, this is the artist studio which was found in the Salt Mine in Alt Aussee Austria about 45 minutes from Salzburg. The extraordinary Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck from Ghent Belgium which was stolen by the Nazi's and it was found also in Alt Aussee by monuments man George Stout, that's the central panel there and you see the other pieces lining up against the wall. There salt mine entrances have been in, they are about this wide, in some cases not quite as tall as I am and they are back a mile deep into the ground and just extraordinary to imagine how they were able to take all these things in, really in many cases very hurriedly and the difficulty our guys faced in trying to figure out what do you do in a situation like this? There was no hand book for trying to rescue and recover art found in these kinds of circumstance. And this is a scope show by Bruges Madonna from Bruges Belgium, which was found rapped in a burlap sac along with more than 6000 other paintings works of art Justin for Hitler's museum also found at Alt Aussee that's monument man George Stout there in the center. Now they didn't find just works of art, they also found gold; in fact they found the lot of gold. This is the salt mine in Merkers, Germany and lead forces General Patton's army found some old women walking down the road and they heard them talking heartily about the comings and goings in the middle of the night by some German soldiers, they went over to this salt mine entrance saw recently been murdered up and they knocked a hole on it and struck their flash light in and were almost blinded by the reflection of these gold bars and what they found was the equivalent of Fort Knox buried underground the entire right spank gold reserves, paper currency, silver et cetera. Along with many of the great art treasures form the Berlin Museums which would only months before been evacuated out of Berlin. This is one of the great works by Eduard Manet that was found by American GI's and placed on top of this salt cart and you really get to see an idea of, the narrowness is when you look how narrow that card is. But this was repeated over and over and it leads to the photograph of the General as we refer to at the, in my officer, Generals Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton who on April 12th left SHAFE headquarters at the (indiscernible) a month before the war is over and started their day visiting the first concentration camp liberated by American forces at Ohrdruf and then went to Merkers because they wanted to see all of this for themselves and of course later that day came the news in Europe of the death of President Roosevelt. So it's quite a day April 12th 1945. Who are these monuments man? How in the world we made at this far without knowing anything about them and I certainly, first to put my hand up in the air and say I knew nothing about them either. This is monuments man Langdon Warner and you all probably don't know who he is. But probably going to recognize who portrayed him in a movie. Langdon Warner was this really interesting guy was professor and museum director, he really didn't like being in the office, he liked to be in the field, he lived in China, Japan over in Asia and he was very interested in Asian art and was responsible for forwarding various pieces that could be brought back when these things traveled more easily to some of his students that worked at particular museums at the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City and the great museum in Cleveland which accounts for their extraordinary Asian art collections. But he went to the war department in 1945 and explained the importance of two cities in Japan Nara and Kyoto that were the cultural historical centers of the country and the fact that if we had any hope of Japan ever getting back on their feet when the war ended we had to avoid destroying those two cities. And in fact efforts were made to retarget those cities away form some of the fire bombing that was taking place, that's not a good sign. And in both of those cities there are monuments too Langdon Warner for having saved the cities. So he was a really, really important fellow. But there were other monuments officers and those of you been to New York to the New York City Ballet, oh we just had it unplugged, that's a simple solution we hope. New York City Ballet, anybody been to New York City Ballet, monuments man officer, Lincoln Kirstein was the founder of that. He was a private first class who was empowered much of these monuments officers were, to be able to post various buildings as with no building signs and in fact General Patton had this great desire to have of all buildings in Munich that weren't destroyed, the Nazi party headquarters and Hitler's officer where two buildings that survived the bombing of Munich. And he had a great desire to have that lot of work from there to have that for his office. And this private first class Lincoln Kirstein was able to post no building sign on it prevent General Patton from having access to the use of this building because they had plans to use it as one of the collecting points where all this art was being brought in that was being found in the salt mines. Rose Valland an extraordinary heroine from France who was a museum curator at the Louvre and was assigned with the Jeu de Paume and on the notes of the German she spoke fluent German and during the day when she would see all of these works of arts coming from more than 50,000 homes that were eluded in Paris. She would go home at night and enter into the secret diary that she kept, paintings that she would see and what families they came from and ultimately turn that over to some of the American monuments man when they arrived and they proved of invaluable help in tracking down many of these great works of art. In some cases she even had the shipping invoices. Karol Estreicher one of the great polish monuments officers is holding the Lady with an Ermine. Jeffrey Webb who was the senior advisor to General Eisenhower, he treated the monuments section and the protection of art works no differently than he did the management of the war. He made sure that his right hand person to the cultural issues was British Soldier, Jeffery Webb. As well as this photo which I love dearly of Leonard Woolley, one of world's great archaeologist standing on the right. This was the photo I would run out of pages to use in the book, I came across late in my research and I was determine to use it, so we shrunk the print on the last page to find a way to fit it in there, this is the photo that was taken about 1913 in Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq and it was on a dig that took place and the fellow standing over on the left is Lawrence of Arabia. TE. Lawrence that is exactly right. Lincoln Kirstein I mentioned founder of the New York City Ballet, Tom Howe, the Director of the museum of Legion of Honor in San Francisco both before and then again after the war. Otto Whittman, Director of the museum in Toledo. Laurence Sickman, Director of the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City. Sherman Lee Director of the museum in Cleveland, Sherman Lee was the monuments officer who served in Japan. Andrew Ritchie, Director of MOMA. James Rorimer I mentioned Director of the Met and Charlie Parkhurst, one of the senior curators here at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and a recent photo from my visit with him a few weeks ago. Now I've been traveling around meeting these monuments man as we find them, I go and talk to them and I interview them and I am always interested in hearing their story so much of which we have, I showed the clip of the film earlier we have on other clip that is the courtesy of this outstanding group of film makers have worked with in California called Actual Films. And they have been involved in helping, the key in putting together a documentary based on one of your citizens here Lynn Nicholas who wrote an outstanding book called "The Rape of Europa" in 1994 and it was one of my objectives to time, bring that story to life and tell it through the power of photographs and film and they were kind enough to make available some of this footage that we could include today. This is monuments man Ken Lindsay on the right and also on the left, he was involved in the recovery of art works that went to the collecting point in Wiesbaden and the Bust of Nefertiti one of the most important works of ancient times that was in his custody. So I ask often times the questions of these monuments men as I interview them and the question I am really eager to ask is, is art worth a life, is it worthy efforts that we've been through to try and protect these things. I've spend so much time reading other interviews they have given and doing lot of research in many cases some of them being older or don't have a lot of recall about this specific events but they are all quite able to tell me the reviews of that, such an important topic like that and in 1941, 42, 43 during the horrible 900 day blockade in St. Petersburg and Leningrad at that time, with all the days museum directors and curators had to live inside the museum at one point and there were several 1000 people living inside the museum and this is a plaque that's on the employee stare while wall in tribute to the 46 employees who died during the blockade trying to protect the great works of art at the Hermitage and in fact many of them died a starvation. And due to the hard circumstances of the winter and the hotness of the ground, constant artillery coming in from the Nazi's many of then had to laid in the courtyard during winter time until the spring flow came and they could be taken to the cemetery. There were two monuments officers that lost their lives during World War II, one was Ron Balfour and he was a British officer that served with the first Canadian Army and on the news of his death one of his senior officers wrote "It's a great and unexpected blow". He had written only the day before so cheerfully delighted with being at the front and he was killed in action". We are actually engaged in saving some of those of art which he loved so much. The other fellow killed was Walter Huchthausen, Walter Huchthausen was in Germany he was in April of 1945 went to find a report of looted art and found himself disoriented behind enemy lines. And some machine gun has jumped up and shot him and David Finley who later became the Director of The National gallery wrote to his mother "The American commission is learned with the deepest regret of the death of your son Captain Walter Huchthausen". Captain Huchthausen was in the opinion of this commission; one of the outstanding monuments officers in the field and his work in the valley of the war ended oaken will remain as the signal contribution to the cultural preservation of Europe. His knowledge of Germany made him uniquely fitted for the work there and his loss is an irreparable one. Now just to give you a sense of how this story is living, breathing story, the other day I got a letter from a lady name Mrs. Keck, his husband a monuments officer since to Sheldon Keck one of the greatest stores in this country and what I told you about Walter Huchthausen in the book, that's what we knew and we went to press. And she told me about her life living as a student in Nazi' Germany up until 1932, 33 and she told me that her husband Sheldon was Walter Huchthausen's best friend and how one day he and her husband Sheldon had gone off to check out a report of stolen art and Walter was driving and her got disoriented and themselves behind the enemy lines and some German machines gun has jumped up and shot at the vehicle and killed Walter and Walter's body shielded her husbands body and saved his life. And that's the story we didn't know. So this is the kind of things that happen to us pretty frequently with people contacting us, telling the stories that unfortunately will go within to their grave and themselves sometimes they are not critically important but each piece helps provide the fabric of the overall story and we are so interested in hearing it. Now I've also talked to monuments men about this issue of art worth a life, and I asked Harry Ettlinger one day, is art worth a life and Harry looked at me and he said cathedrals and I said cathedrals, I love this coming from a Jew could you please explain and he said, well think about what happens in cathedrals and I said okay, walk me through it. And he said well, families are created in cathedrals, people get marry, there is baptisms, people take safe heaven in cathedrals and I said okay I am with you and he said well, because they have to fly lower and I said I am still not following, he said because the American pilots and Allied bombing pilots started flying machines in some cases during the day where they could see were these churches where to avoid hitting them. And in fact we have photos in the book that I am, sometimes ask about because it somewhat of a departure form the artwork about why do you use the photo of Frankfurt that one church they are the center and everything else was destroyed and I say well I use it to make the point that that church might also been destroyed too, but for effort to try and avoid destroying it. I also ask Burney question is art worth a life, a visitor with Burney in Berkeley California, and here is what Burney had to say in his own word. I read a quote last year and it was amazing how providence sometimes seems to match you up with a right piece of information at the right time. I was very, very frustrated because it was June 6, 2006 42nd anniversary D-day Invasion in the New York Times, sad to say a paper in my City Dallas Morning News and so many other papers across the country made absolutely no mention of being the 62nd anniversary of the D-day Invasion. And this really struck me because of the effort of, my effort to try and get out and recognize these monuments men and women who have never been recognized or honored by this country on a formal basis and not known by people throughout the world. And it's been a tremendous source of frustration for me. And I wanted to make sure that this things jumped around against, so could you perhaps take a look and see, let me continue on, I wanted to make sure that the story was known and in an effort to try and do that I though we are going to find every possible way to communicate to people this story using every medium we can find. And it started this effort to try and make sure that the story was told using films, so we started off with this documentary "The Rape of Europa" which I will tell you all about briefly in a minute. And I've mentioned this quote by John Kennedy in the fact that it was an important issue for me because I had spent time in Normandy, it was one of the first places I took my two year old son when we went over there in 1996. And I try to explain to him as much as you can a young boy, 9387 American's grave stones there and the important sacrifice that was placed and it was important for me to make sure that that memory wasn't forgotten for my son. And its been equally important with respect to the role of these monuments man to make sure that people know about what they have done, not just American's but people throughout the worlds. So it lead us into these various areas of beginning with trying to create an accurate list of all the monuments man, I think during the war no one had any idea what they were faced with and the first time experiences of finding art works hidden in all these various places, so we've developed a list, we took the list that existed and updated them by writing biographies on each one of these people, we had about a 150, we haven't identified yet. But the research goes on day by day. I mentioned we've found 15 living monuments men, I've interviewed all of them, but we are really in a raise with time and it was underscored for me on November 11th of all days when Lane Faison who was the member of the OSS, Art Looting Investigation Unit, ALIU someone who interrogated Goering who was in charge of, he and two other officers, two other OSS officers writing reports to explain this whole theft and trying on ravel what the motivations were. And I met with Lane a week before his 99th birthday, he was a great artistic professor Williams College, he educated so many of the museum directors in this country and he died 10 days later on veteran's days, November 11th. And then Craig Hugh Smyth who was the monuments officer responsible for setting up and creating the very first collecting point in Munich Germany which was in ironically the Nazi's party headquarters that was the building they used and all of these artworks were brought in from places, all over the areas of Germany and Austria where they were finding them and I met with Craig in December and he died a couple of weeks afterwards. He was 91 years old. We've worked with several people in Congress, I am proud to say Congress women Kay Granger from Fort Worth, that we slotted from New York to introduce the resolution in the Congress, resolution 48 to formally recognize the Monuments Fine Arts And Archive Section in the officers and we now began discussions and working on targeting the same type of proposal for the Senate is the first of number of steps I would like to see take place but it's a first and obvious place to begin. And this was the reason meeting we had to announce this resolution is December of last year in Key Granger's office with monuments man Harry Ettlinger. Of course I wrote the book "Rescuing Da Vinci" which I had to self publish because the various publishing companies that I spoke with felt like do you don't see the parallels with what we are doing within Iraq and any way they didn't really want to have anything to do with it. But I felt that was important and believed people not just in this country but throughout the world would be fascinated if it could be told in terms that we are so use to using today which are visual and there were so many photographs out there that hadn't been pulled together and it was an exciting part of the adventure for me. I mention "The Rape of Europa" which actually would be shown at the national gallery this up coming Sunday in the afternoon, it's been an effort of mine to try and make sure we have showings for free at various museums these monuments men had such an important role in helping to build after they came home from the war and I think it will be in theaters sometime in the late spring and will run its course from a theatrical standpoint. So we are very excited about that. The film is narrated by John Allen it was shot in seven countries, five languages and was labor of love by the film makers, actual films and I am a co-producer of the film, we spent a lot of time in Europe and all these places in the salt mines. So imagine enclosing if you will a world with no paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, museums without artworks, libraries without books and this was the very real circumstance that the Allied forces confronted in Germany during World War II. And it has lead me to be focused on trying to find ways to educate and help eliminate the message about what took place during World War II, so we can try and learn from it. So we are in the process of setting up a foundation called the Monuments Foundation. Monuments Men Foundation for the preservation of art and I wanted to do several things including get a copy of this book in all the libraries and school libraries throughout the country. I am also interested in creating monuments men award each year to recognize both people and groups that go to extraordinary works to try and protect artworks. As well as we have a role in trying to help us in inner locker tour and introducing people that are looking for missing works of art and people that have works of art or other important documents that don't know how to go about getting those things back home. So it's an important role and something I am excited about continuing on. This is such a current day story because there is 100's and 1000's of works of art still missing worth billions of dollars. Restitutions are announced practically every week but people don't understand the broad context in which this is all happening and this is a chance for all of us to have a front row seat as we watch this final chapter of history we've written. This is perhaps one of the most famous paintings that's still missing, a painting by Raphael, Portrait of a Gentlemen which was stolen from the museum in Cracow along with Leonardo. And this is the frame in which it was taken out of, that hangs on the wall hopping for the day that this painting is returned to the museum. Now I briefly mentioned Iraq we know in 2003 there was report of looting of the museum of Iraq and Baghdad the initial reports were there a 170,000 missing items and sadly our countries response to that by people on the ground was "really?" and it evolved to the Secretary of Defense regardless of who, it was in this case saying bad things happen during war people do loot. And of course that seems somewhat of a given but the impression that it created was very devastating and in the course of time as the research continued after we had our people there on the ground this is Colonel Bagdonas who was a real hero in the processes brought together a group that was try to track down many of these missing works of art and had a success. But in the course of researching that we discovered in fact there were more like 15,000 works of art stolen. 15,000 of course is not an insignificant number and these are very, very important works of art not just to Iraq but to the whole history of civilization. But at the same point in time it take the question for me, if how is it during World War II in the face of the truly world war were six year period this 350 men and women of the monument section were able to help find, locate and ultimately return millions, millions of cultural items to the countries from which they were stolen and clearly it underscored for me that the lessons were lost. And it's my commitment to try and maintain this legacy and help others understand that during World War II we got it right. And the Americans do care about these things and then protecting these cultural treasures are important for all of us. So I want to just say back to the question I ask is art worth a life, to me when we think about these things the history of these things such as this British monument officers standing looking out over the destroyed bridges in Florence are important because we want to go there with our kids as I do with my son who still lives in Florence today. You know the great museums of the world; I think museums private collections, churches these works of art don't exist in art owned really they exist for the benefit of all mankind. They are there for the fruitful enjoyment of everybody and as such I don't think it's just a responsibility of the people that have possession of them, it's all of our responsibilities to try and protect these things. And I think we do it because we want our kids to be able to enjoy those creative moments that fantastic spark of curiosity and creativity that we've been able to enjoy as we go and visit these museums. I think art serves as a guide post, for who we have been and helps provides instruction about who were becoming as a civilization. So when I think about that question is art worth a life in my view they are inseparable art is life. Thank you very much.