Don’t miss Robert Edsel at the National Archives on February 19 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Today’s blog post comes from Miriam Kleiman of the National Archives Public Affairs Office.
The new Monuments Men blockbuster film opens with Herman Goering gleefully viewing looted artwork at a Parisian art museum. The biggest art theft in history–the Nazi’s systematic and looting of more than a million items–was spearheaded and managed by Alfred Rosenberg. For the first time, anyone (who reads German) can read Rosenberg’s diary and peek inside the mind of an architect of Nazi policy and the top art looter of the of the Nazi Regime.
Rosenberg’s diary was collected for possible use as evidence at Nuremberg, where prosecutors noted its importance: “Perhaps foremost among the prize acquisitions [of the captured records] was the neatly crated collection of all the personal and official correspondence of Alfred Rosenberg…” Rosenberg was convicted of crimes against humanity and hanged in 1946.
The bulk of his diary vanished shortly afterwards and has been recovered only recently with the help of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice. The diary was transferred to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on December 17, 2013, and is now available online.
Alfred Rosenberg headed the Third Reich’s Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, or ERR, the main agency for the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on February 18, 2014, under - World War II.
Tags: Alfred Rosenberg, art history, Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, ERR, germany, Greg Bradsher, Herman Goering, Monuments Men, Nazis, Office of Strategic Services, OSS, Robert Edsel, WWII
In the summer of 1942, the Allies’ war against Japan was in dire straits. China was constantly battling the occupying Japanese forces in its homeland, supplied by India via the Burma Road. Then Japan severed that supply artery. Planes were flown over the Himalayan mountains, but their payloads were too little, and too many pilots crashed in the desolate landscape to continue the flights.
The Allies were desperate to find a land route that would reconnect China and India. The task fell to two OSS men—Ilia Tolstoy, the grandson of Leo Tolstoy, and explorer Capt. Brooke Dolan. To complete the land route would require traversing Tibet, and to traverse the hidden country required the permission of a seven-year-old boy, the Dalai Lama.
When the two men arrived in Lhasa, the remote capital of Tibet, these spies were received as ambassadors. A military brass band played, and they were treated as guests of honor in a city that only a few decades earlier had forbidden Westerners to enter.
They came carrying a message from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On December 20, at 9:20 in the morning, they were granted an audience with His Holiness. As a further sign of his respect for these two emissaries, the men were allowed to ride horses up the Potala to the quarters of the Dalai Lama. After a brief wait, they … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on February 8, 2011, under - Exploration, - Spies and Espionage, - World War II, Rare Videos.
Tags: american history, Brooke Dolan, CIA history, dalai lama, Ilia Tolstoy, Ilya Tolstoy, National archives and records administration, national archives blog, Office of Strategic Services, OSS, prologue blog, spy history, tibet, world war 2, ww2