Allied Looting in World War II

Thefts of Art, Manuscripts, Stamps and Jewelry in Europe

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About the Book

Looting has long been recognized as one of the crimes committed by the Third Reich during World War II, a crime which stripped economic wealth and artistic treasures from the populations the Nazis terrorized. This historical text reveals the shocking extent of looting by Allied forces, exploring their thievery against the Germans and others. It follows the journey of the Hungarian Crown Treasure from a muddy oil drum in Austria to Fort Knox and back to Hungary, and discusses numerous lost treasures ranging from priceless art works to rare manuscripts, including the earliest known printing by the Gutenberg press.

About the Author(s)

Kenneth D. Alford is an internationally known historical consultant for television productions that involve Nazi looting, and is the author of several books. Retired from a career in banking, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Kenneth D. Alford
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: 26 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6053-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8014-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Foreword by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick      1

Introduction      3

Part I: STEALING A TROVE OF STAMPS

1. The 273rd Infantry Regiment      7

2. The Looting of Anton Wiede      13

3. The Investigation      19

Part II: A PASSION FOR LUCAS CRANACH PAINTINGS

4. Donovan Senter’s Early Days      33

5. The Counter Intelligence Corps      40

6. The Quest for Lucas Cranach Paintings      47

7. The Charade Continues      59

8. Unanswered Questions      71

Part III: PLUNDERING PRICELESS MANUSCRIPTS

9. The Capture of Bad Wildungen      79

10. Lieutenant Bud Berman      85

11. The Rare Book Dealer      91

12. The Papal Countess      96

13. Other Bad Wildungen Robberies      102

Part IV: THE SCHWARZBURG CASTLE

14. The Robbery      109

15. A Break in the Case      117

16. Churchill “Chuck” Jones Brazelton      122

17. The Nun and the Poster      135

Part V: VIGNETTES OF LOOTING

18. The Gravediggers Pillage Reutti, Germany      141

19. The U.N. Red Cross Robbery      146

20. The Rabbi’s Egyptian Ring      149

21. Frederick the Great’s Handwritten Manuscript      153

22. Berlin Central Archives      157

23. The Golden Book of Saarbrücken      162

24. The Priceless Mainz Psalter      166

25. Raphael’s Portrait of a Young Man      170

26. Clara Elisabeth Hertling      180

Part VI: LOOTING FROM HUNGARY IN WORLD WAR II

27. Hungary      189

28. The Hungarian National Bank’s Gold and Silver Reserves      191

29. The Acquisition of the Hungarian Crown Treasure      201

30. The Gold Treasure of Kremsmünster      211

31. Cardinal Mindszenty      214

32. The Return of Saint Stephen’s Crown      221

33. The Hungarian Gold Train      227

34. The American Army Takes Custody      232

35. The General’s Kingdom      235

36. The End of the Gold Train Property      239

Appendix A: Anton Wiede’s Missing Stamps and Paintings      245

Appendix B: The Missing Kaltenbrunner Treasure      248

Appendix C: Thefts from the Weimar National Art Collections      251

Appendix D: Otto v. Falke’s Description of the Crown of Saint Stephen      254

Chapter Notes      259

Bibliography      269

Index      271

Book Reviews

“carefully researched and engagingly told”—On Point.