Robert Edsel's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Harry Ettlinger’


February 18th, 2011 | 2:42 pm

Please listen in tomorrow to Travel with Rick Steves for a revealing interview with Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger and me about a unique, one of a kind trip we have designed in conjunction with The National World War II Museum.  This September we will be taking a small group, limited to just 35 people, on a unique experience: In The Footsteps of the Monuments Men.

I will be leading this 10 day trip during which we will visit the key locations in which the Monuments Men worked including some of the most dramatic moments of their wartime duty:  discovery of Nazi treasure troves at the Castle of Neuschwanstein and in the Alt Aussee salt mine. We will also visit the site of Hitler’s home in Berchtesgaden and the Eagle’s Nest where many of the albums of photographs of works of art stolen by the Nazis were located.

Founder and President of the Monuments Men Foundation Robert M. Edsel and Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger

This is our third appearance on Travel with Rick Steves, Rick and his outstanding producer, Tim Tattan do a great job with these programs. They were very excited about this show in particular because of the news of our trip and Harry’s participation.  For more details on the trip please click on this link:

The National World War II Museum is the leading tour provider of trips to key World War II sites and has years of experience organizing such trips all the result of its co-founder and leading World War II historian, Stephen Ambrose.  We are so very excited to be working with their team of experts and historians in making this an experience everyone will forever cherish.



February 18th, 2011 | 9:57 am

Robert Edsel is talking about the “Monuments Men” on “Travel With Rick Steves” radio program this weekend. He is chatting with an original “Monuments Men”, Harry Ettlinger,  a German-born Jew whose family escaped to America and now helps repatriate the treasures of Europe from caves and castles where plunder was stashed.

To find out what station airs “Travel with Rick Steves”, click the link

If you missed the broadcast of this episode, you can still listen to the program through Rick Steves’ Program Archive: The program will be available on February 20th.

About the Program

“Travel with Rick Steves” is a fun, hour-long, practical talk show with guest experts and questions from travelers. This weekly program is a lively conversation between travelers and the experts as we learn to

If you want to learn more about “Travel With Rick Steves” radio program, click here:



January 28th, 2010 | 9:46 am


Monuments Men Bernard Taper and Harry Ettlinger

My dad used to say, “the most important thing about birthdays is to keep having them!”.  A little Yogi Berra I admit, but like many things he told me, the wisdom became more apparent with time.

Part of his message was to slow down and celebrate them; each is precious. So today we pause for a moment to acknowledge the birthdays of two of our heroes, Monuments Men Bernard Taper and Harry Ettlinger.  I’ve spent a lot of time with both of these men and they are wonderful human beings over and above their many life accomplishments.

Strangely enough, I introduced Harry and Bernie to each other on June 5th, 2007, the day before our Senate Ceremony to honor all of the men and women of 13 nations who served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section.  They were like two bugs in a rug from the outset swapping stories, sharing experiences.  It didn’t take long to make a significant connection:  both had interrogated Hitler’s good friend and personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffman, interestingly almost a year apart.

I walked behind them through the halls of the Senate as we headed to an appointment to meet Senator Hillary Clinton, leaning over their shoulders ease dropping on their conversation.  I always marvel at how similar older people are to young kids in the most endearing of ways. Watching the two of them get to know each other reminded me of two boys at a playground immediately engaged in conversation as if they had known each other all their lives, void of pretense and ego, just happy to have a friend.  I always cherish their first meeting among my many memories.

So here’s to our friends, Harry Ettlinger and Bernard Taper:  may you both remain in good health and be with us for many more such happy occasions!



September 4th, 2009 | 11:43 am


I am Harry Ettlinger, the youngest and one of the very, very few WWII Monuments Men still alive.

As we go through life, we keep learning and bring to our minds a great variety of experiences.  Recently I saw a film about the destruction of Buddhist figures by the Taliban in Afghanistan.  It ended with a showing of a banner over the entrance of the Art Museum in the Capital of that country.  Its message: “No nation can exist without culture and history.”

I realize today that as Monuments Men, we started the work to restore the culture taken away by Nazis from hundreds of millions of human beings. Today, we must distribute that important part of history to the billions of men and women in this world.


In a tiny way, I, having been given the privilege of working as a Monuments Man, feel now compelled to aid in spreading the message, so eloquently stated on that banner.

You can start by reading Robert Edsel’s new book The Monuments Men.

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September 2nd, 2009 | 4:39 pm


Tomorrow begins the realization of more than 7 years of work:  publication of my new book entitled The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. This is the narrative telling of these heroes’ stories through the experiences of just 8 men and 1 woman–the unlikeliest of spies–who are in a race with time to save the greatest cultural treasures from Nazi fanatics.  The book can be ordered online and will be in bookstores nationwide.  It is being published in more than 16 languages, and will also be available as an audio book.  I hope you will read the amazing stories of the men and women which I have told using their letters home to loved ones written during combat.

Harry Ettlinger speaking at the Hope for Humanities Dinner in Dallas, November 2008. (Photo Courtesy of Robert M. Edsel Collection.)

Harry Ettlinger speaking at the Hope for Humanities Dinner in Dallas, November 2008. (Photo Courtesy of Robert M. Edsel Collection.)

This Friday we will have the first of many Guest Blogs…appropriately, the first guest blogger will be Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger.  Harry figures prominently in The Monuments Men.  He provides a fresh insight into these events and speaks eloquently as to why this part of history is so vitally important.

Please check it out this Friday!