Robert Edsel's Blog

Blog entries for the ‘Help Wanted’ Category

Good morning! Buongiorno! Guten Morgen! Bonjour!

January 14th, 2015 | 10:16 am

Good morning! Buongiorno! Guten Morgen! Bonjour!

I am proud to share with you that our Monuments Men Foundation website is finally available in four languages: English, Italian, German and French.


I hope that this will allow more people around the world to understand the heroic work of the Monuments Men during and after World War II as well as to embrace and support the mission of the Monuments Men Foundation. For the time being, some pages still remain available only in English, but I am confident that with time and with your generous support, we will be able to complete also those translations.


I would like to extend my special gratitude to François-Xavier Bernard  for volunteering his time to complete the French translation. Passionate of World War I and history in general (@ww1photographs), Francois-Xavier gave us his expert, generous and enthusiastic support and we are extremely grateful for it. We welcome your help and support at any time!




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Support the restoration of the Canonica di Belforte!

November 13th, 2014 | 2:18 pm

Dear Friends,

Help me support the restoration of the Canonica di Belforte in Italy! We have only until the end of November to show our support. The Canonica di Belforte is in urgent need of restoration.

If you’ve read my last book Saving Italy then you will remember the “Flying Priest” Don Guido Anelli. The Canonica di Belforte is the building in which Don Anelli used to meet and supervise the other partisan fighters, those brave Italian patriots who risked and lost their lives during the dark days of 1943-1945.

Don Guido Anelli, far right, shortly before Christmas 1944. (Sergio Giliotti Collection)

“What are we without our history? Preservation of the Canonica di Belforte presents us with an opportunity to not only restore an important building of the Middle Ages, one that still possesses its original roof of stones, but preserve the meeting place of partisan fighters and their leader, Don Guido Anelli, who played a critical role in contributing to the defeat of German forces in Italy during World War II.  This important building gave birth—and was a place of refuge—for those brave Italian patriots who risked and lost their lives during the dark days of 1943-1945.  Its preservation will serve as a reminder for us all that freedom is not free.”

Please, show your support to our friends of Circolo Belforte and vote for the restoration of the Canonica di Belforte. Your vote will give the Canonica a chance to win a restoration project sponsored by FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano (the Italian National Trust).

Just click HERE and vote away!

Unfortunately the wesbite is only in Italian, so here are some easy steps to guide you through your vote:

–       Click on the green button on the right, where it says “VOTA” with a thumb up
–       This will take you to a registration page and you can choose whether to log in through your Facebook account (easy) or to create a new account
–       To create a new account, click on the orange button on the left and enter your information as requested (Name, Lastname, Postal Code, Email address, Username, Password and Retype Password). Make you sure you also select the box confirming that you’ve read terms&conditions.
–       Click the green button that reads “REGISTRATI” and that’s it!

–       A confirmation email will be sent to your inbox. Make sure you click on the orange button “CONVALIDA IL VOTO”  wihtin the email body to confirm your registration and then log on back to the website and vote!
–       Enter your newly created username and password by clicking on the green button in the top right corner of the website that reads “ACCEDI”

The small town of Belforte in Parma (Italy) and I thank you for your important support!

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Honor Our Veterans!

November 11th, 2011 | 2:12 pm

Veterans and Monuments Men Bernard Taper, Harry Ettlinger and Horace Apgar and President of the Monuments Men Foundation Robert Edsel (second from right) at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

During World War II, while tens of thousands of Allied troops were flooding the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, the Monuments Men were impatiently waiting to cross the English Channel for their chance to contribute. For Monuments Man James Rorimer, future director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the gravity of the situation gripped him that day as he wrote in a letter we found while researching my last book:

“We are told that the invasion of Western Europe by overwhelming forces is underway…Now I am thinking of the combat troops and the task which is theirs. We older men are anxious on the one hand to help deal the death blow to tyranny, and on the other we think of our families at home and the obligations which we have as husbands, fathers, sons, and members of the peace-time community.”

-James Rorimer Letter to his Family, June 6, 1944

Over the last few months, I have been conducting research for my next book, Saving Italy, which will also rely on the letters the Monuments Men wrote to their families. One of the first things that occurred to me while reading these letters, was the extent to which the thoughts and feelings conveyed reflect their age and maturity. The Monuments Men had an average age of 40; a few had even fought in World War I. For the most part, these heroes were not the fearless young men who went to war before their adult lives had really begun. In contrast, these men had accomplished careers, they had wives and children, they had learned lessons from life’s experiences, and they had everything to lose. Reading their letters always reminds me about their commitment to saving the cultural world and its great artistic treasures we all cherish, and the courage of their convictions in volunteering to serve.

So today, I would like to thank the Monuments Men for their service, and all of the Veterans and service men and women of our country. Their cumulative sacrifices enable us to live the lives we lead. It is a silent sacrifice, one without complaint, as these brave soldiers “just do their job” out of duty and honor to our nation. We can’t say thank you enough to these remarkable men and women. We celebrate your bravery today and every day.

Click Here to Watch a Video about The Veterans Story

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Book Giveaway Contest Starts Today!

October 20th, 2010 | 2:55 pm

Dear Supporters,

To continue celebrating the release of The Monuments Men paperback edition, we are having a book giveaway contest. Here is how you enter to win your free copy of The Monuments Men:

1. Go to our blog

2. Under the comment section leave your favorite Monuments Men story or your favorite WWII story. One story will win every day for the next two weeks!

It is that simple. Please share your stories with us for a chance to win.


Robert Edsel