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Greenlit: Hunting Hitler’s Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men, Nat Geo

Hunting Hitler’s Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men (1 x 60′) – Sheds light on an unlikely unit of middle-aged art scholars that rescued thousands of years’ worth of European art and culture from Nazi-occupied Europe. The remarkable true story is told through the personal accounts of a surviving member of the actual Monuments Men unit, interviews with expert historians and family members, and candid conversations with the A-list actors who appear in the movie.It weaves together extensive archive video and photographs, journals and letter extracts, along with exclusive footage from the feature film, to offer a unique blend of nonfiction storytelling with a flair of Hollywood cinema.

As the Allies fought to liberate Europe, it was the Monuments Men’s job to save its soul. Volunteering for the front lines of the bloodiest war in history, these brave men, among them museum curators, artists, architects and art historians, hunted down thousands of cultural treasures that had been stolen from the private collections of wealthy Jews. During the final years of World War II, Adolf Hitler plundered Renaissance masterpieces, Michelangelos, DaVincis and a mind-boggling number of priceless historic artifacts. They even “burnt Picassos, they burnt Salvador Dalis, they burnt Klees, they just pulled them out and burned them,” explains Clooney. The looting was all part of the Third Reich’s vision to culturally dominate the world.

Starting just a month after the first shot was fired on D-Day and ending in the desperate last days of the Soviet advance on Berlin, this film charts the remarkable journey of this overlooked group who risked their lives to save, recover and return an estimated 5 million irreplaceable pieces of art and cultural artifacts stolen by the Nazis during World War II. Without the deliberate actions taken by the Monuments Men, an important chapter of history would have been completely lost.

Channel: National Geographic

Producer: October Films

TX: 5th February 2014

Source: National Geographic press release (via TV by the Numbers)

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