World War II was not just the most destructive conflict in humanity—it was also The Greatest Theft in History: lives, families, communities, property, culture and heritage were all stolen.


This three-disc set includes the award-winning documentary film, The Rape of Europa, based on the book by scholar Lynn Nicholas, and narrated by Academy Award-nominated actress Joan Allen. It also features interviews with key figures, including the Monuments Men and other war heroes, victims of the Nazis' thefts, and prominent cultural figures, including Major Corine Wegener (retired), a modern-day "Monuments woman" who served in Iraq.

With almost nine hours of content,The Greatest Theft In History addresses the questions of our time about the role of art in defining culture, and our shared responsibility to protect it. Included are Charlie Rose's interviews with author Lynn Nicholas and Robert M. Edsel, co-producer of The Rape of Europa and author of the companion book, Rescuing Da Vinci.


Disc I

Introduction

By Monuments Man, Harry Ettlinger

The Rape of Europa

The Charlie Rose Show

Interviews: Lynn Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa; Robert M. Edsel, co-producer of The Rape of Europa and author of the companion book, Rescuing Da Vinci


Disc II

Chapter 1 - The Villains

Adolf Hitler
Hitler, the Artist
Hitler and Linz
The Nazis’ Plan to Loot
The Nazi Looting Machine
Nazi Propaganda

Chapter 2 - The Heroes

The “Monuments Men”
Rose Valland
Life as a Combat Soldier
The “Purple Heart Battalion”

Chapter 3 - The Victims

Surviving the Holocaust
The Nazis through the Eyes of a Boy
The Anschluss: Vienna in 1938
“My Grandparents”

Chapter 4 - Preparations

Winged Victory of Samothrace
Evacuating the Louvre
Guarding the Mona Lisa
Protecting Florence’s Treasures
Hiding the National Gallery’s Paintings

Chapter 5 - Theft and Destruction

The Battle of Monte Cassino
Cracow and the Veit Stoss Altarpiece
The Theft of the Big Three
Protecting the Wine of Tour d’Argent
The Liberation and Destruction of Florence

Chapter 6 - Finding, Returning, and Rebuilding

Discovery of the Merkers Mine
Entering Alt Aussee
The Collecting Points
Warsaw Royal Palace: Soul of the People
Wawel Castle: A Restoration
Restitution: A Painting Returns Home
Rebirth of a Cemetery: The Campo Santo

Disc III

Chapter 7 - The Former Soviet Union: A Special Case

Never Forgetting: The Legacy of War
Saving the Hermitage
The “Blockade”

Chapter 8 - Altmann V. Republic of Austria

Case for the Prosecution: E. Randol Schoenberg
Case for the Defense: Gottfried Toman
Homecoming: Maria Altmann

Chapter 9 - What is Art: Who Owns it?

Why Art Matters
The Life of a Picasso
Property as a Symbol
A Museum’s Responsibility
Understanding Restitution

Chapter 10 - Learning From the Past

Dr. Bruce Cole, Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities
A Model for the Future
Protecting our Heritage
A Shabbos Goy
Finding the Treasure; Getting it Home
What Happened in Iraq…and What Didn’t

Chapter 11 - Masterpieces and Museums

Vermeer’s The Astronomer
Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine
Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece and Michelangelo’s Bruges Madonna
Michelangelo’s David
The Louvre in Paris
The Hermitage in St. Petersburg
The Uffizi in Florence
The Czartoryski in Cracow


Acknowledgments

Original footage and other materials derived from the film production of “The Rape of Europa,” used with the permission of Actual Films, and based on the book by Lynn Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa.

Presented in Theatrical Release and Sub-Distributed in North America by Menemsha Films

Attention: Neil Friedman, President
neilf@menemshafilms.com
213 Rose Avenue, Second Floor
Venice, California 90291
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(310) 452-1775