The real Monuments Men (and Women) worked to protect Europe’s cultural heritage during World War II. Learn more about them in a Twitter chat on Tuesday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m. ET hosted by the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National Archives.
You may not recognize Ira H. Hayes from his Marine Corps Paratroop School photograph here, but you would certainly recognize another photograph he appears in: “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.”
Hayes was one of the men in a now-famous photograph taken on February 23, 1945, by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal.
Hayes was a Pima Indian. He was born on a cotton farm in the Gila River reservation in Arizona. After the flag-raising photograph catapulted him to fame, President Roosevelt asked that the three surviving men in the photo return to the United States for a war bond drive. He died in 1955 and is buried in Arlington Cemetery.
Image, original caption: Pfc. Ira H. Hayes, a #Pima, at age 19, ready to jump, Marine Corps Paratroop School, 1943. National Archives Identifier 519164.
This World War I veteran wore his uniform to enter Santa Anita Park assembly center. He joined other people of Japanese ancestry evacuated from the West Coast during World War II.
Dorothea Lange took this photograph on April 5, 1942.
Just a few weeks before, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt had signed Executive Order 9066. The War Department used this order almost exclusively to intern thousands Americans of Japanese descent until the order was rescinded in 1944.
Today is the Day of Remembrance for Japanese Americans interned during WWII. Read more about the Executive Order 9066 on the OurPresidents Tumblr.
Image: National Archives, 210-G-3B-424
Robert Edsel, author of the book The Monuments Men, will speak at the National Archives tonight at 7 p.m.
The program is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (You also watch online at Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/usnationalarchives)
Edsel and a panel will discuss his books, the recent film adaptation starring George Clooney, and the work of the Monuments Men.
The panel includes Greg Bradsher, senior archivist at the National Archives; Nancy Yeide, head of the Department of Curatorial Records at the National Gallery of Art; Michael Kurtz, former Assistant Archivist for Records Services at the National Archives; and Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, President Clinton’s special representative on Holocaust-era issues.
Learn more about the Monuments Men and related documents in the National Archives: http://go.usa.gov/Bp6j
It’s an evening dedicated to the Monuments Men on Wednesday, February 19, at 7 p.m. at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
Robert Edsel has dedicated years to painstaking research about the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program–the group known as the Monuments Men–and has written several books including The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.
Edsel and a panel will discuss his books, the recent film adaptation starring George Clooney, his work as founder and chairman of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, and the work of the Monuments Men.
The panel includes Greg Bradsher, senior archivist at the National Archives and author of Holocaust-Era Assets: A Finding Aid to Records at the National Archives at College Park, MD; Nancy Yeide, head of the Department of Curatorial Records at the National Gallery of Art; Michael Kurtz, professor at University of Maryland College of Information Studies and former Assistant Archivist for Records Services at the National Archives; and Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, President Clinton’s special representative on Holocaust-era issues.
A book signing of The Monuments Men and Saving Italy will follow the program.
Image: Artworks that were confiscated and collected for Adolf Hitler, seen here examining art in a storage facility, were designated for a proposed Führermuseum in Linz, Austria. (242-HB-32016-1)
Doesn’t George Clooney look like George Stout, on the far left in this photograph from 1945? Clooney’s character in the film Monument Men is based on Stout.
Did you love the movie? Want more Monuments Men?
Don’t miss your chance to hear Robert M. Edsel, author of The Monuments Men on February 19 at 7 p.m. in the McGowan Theater at the National Archives.
Edsel will discuss his book and the film adaptation along with archivist Greg Bradsher and others. A book signing will follow the program.
And on display until February 20 as our Featured Document
display is a recently discovered album of artwork looted by the Nazis donated to the National Archives by Edsel.
And don’t miss the new exhibit at the Archives of American Art: "Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe’s Art, 1942–1946."
Image: Monuments Men (from left to right) George Stout, Sgt. Travese, Walker Hancock, and Lt. Kovalyak at the excavation of Bernterode. George Clooney plays a character based on Stout in the movie. (Walker Hancock Collection, courtesy of the Monuments Men Foundation.)
When the movie “Monuments Men” opens today, there’s one macabre story you won’t see on the silver screen. Not only did the Nazi hide art, but they also hid bodies!
In this case, they hid the remains of German leaders, including Frederick the Great and Frederick William I, in a salt mine. (The photograph shows the coffin of Frederick the Great as it was found, draped with a Nazi flag, May 1, 1945.)
The Germans had hidden the caskets containing the bodies of the Fredericks and former Weimar President Paul von Hindenburg and his wife in a mine in a remote area to conceal them from the approaching Russian troops. But the war ended, and U.S. troops made it to the mine first and found the caskets. They were in a room divided into different compartments hung with brilliants flags.
Capt. Walter K. Hancock, an officer specialist with the Monuments Men, described the scene: “Crawling through the opening into the hidden room, I was at once forcibly struck with the realization that this was no ordinary deposit of works of art. The place had the aspect of a shrine … all suggested the setting for a modern pagan ritual.”
Stout later described the casket in an oral history interview with the Archives of American Art in 1978. In the movie, Clooney’s character is based on Stout.
You can read more about the strange discovery in today’s Prologue blog post: http://go.usa.gov/B5Zm
Sometimes our archivists look for one document and find a little something extra! When archivist Alan Walker tried to track down a photograph of a 90mm antiaircraft gun for a World War II veteran, he couldn’t find one.
"I spent half the day trying to track down a decent shot of the antiaircraft gun Mr. Evans requested, and I came up empty. Then I read through his letter again. He and his gun crew set a record for downing 12 Japanese bombers over Rendova? Maybe they had been photographed after their feat; the military services are always on the lookout for a good story to tell the folks back home.
So I checked out series 127-GW, under the heading Rendova … and what do you know?”
There was the gun, and Mr. Evans, aged 22!
Mr. Evans was on the far left, behind the gun, and next to him were P Pvt. Roy E. Boone and Pfc. John S.Gembarowski.
Read the original request letter and the full story here: http://go.usa.gov/BByx
Author Richard Rashke discusses his new book at noon on Friday, January 17, at the National Archives Building.
Rashke takes us back to a time just after World War II when the United States recruited “useful” Nazi war criminals to work in Europe as spies and saboteurs, as well as scientists to work in the United States. developing rockets and armaments during the Cold War and Space Race. This allowed a number of them to slip into America through loopholes in U.S. immigration policy.
Years later, dedicated men and women in the U.S. Congress and Justice Departments, worked to find and investigate alleged Nazi war criminals and successfully prosecute them for visa fraud and deport them to stand trial for their crimes. A book signing will follow the program.