Serendipity Talk: How to Steal Priceless French Art

When German troops invaded France in 1940, they planned to seize fabulous French-owned art for Hitler’s planned National Museum in Linz and wound up with about 8,000 pictures, much “free,” (that is, looted).  When the Wehrmacht, the traditional armed forces, refused to transport loot from France before a direct order from Hitler, Hermann Göring helped the official Plunder Committee (called the ERR, Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg) with the use of his private train car and seized art “Beyond the Dreams of Avarice,” much from Jewish art dealers and art collectors. The Vichy French government grabbed as much as they could before the Germans could get it. And the Frenchperson with absent Jewish neighbors also often joined the looting. Author Helen Schwartz, OLLI favorite in DC and Saratoga, will use true-life examples from the historical record fictionalized in her historical thriller Thieves of Paris.

No registration is required. The Zoom link will be e-mailed to all those subscribed to the OLLI newsletter the morning of the talk. If you do not receive the newsletter and would like to attend, please e-mail olli@american.edu that morning.