I heard about this 2006 film an ordered it from Blockbuster. We watched it tonight. The film was extremely well done, I thought even though I tend to avoid Nazi films and documentary accounts of the war and accounts of Nazi genocide. Done in documentary style with interviews and scholars as well as film clips from the war, it focused on the horrifying sub-plot of the Nazi's to not only acquire for the Third Reich, and their own personal art collections, the best of the best of the Culture of Europe and Russia, but the systematic plundering of the homes and apartments of Jews who had been deported. The trucks and train loads of furniture, artifacts, silver, and religious items shown in the film defy description. I knew nothing about this aspect of the Holocaust, although I did know that the Nazis stole artwork, and Hitler and Goering's art collections were legendary, the scale of the theft and plunder is unbelievable.
Of particular interest to me personally, had to do with the United States Army's "Monument Men" and film clips and interviews about Deane Keller, who was a professor of art at Yale University. He was assigned to help protect and recover as much art and treasure as he could from Italy and the cities that the allies were forced to bomb. He documented his activities and his writings are in the Yale Library where I found references online. His activities in Italy, and the return of thousands of artworks to cheering crowds in Florence did bring on a few tears.
His son, Deane G. Keller taught me to draw, or rather taught me to love to draw. I took several of his classes at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts and his teaching style was so low-key I barely remember his classes. In a most subtle way Deane Keller's incredible knowledge of anatomy and ability to draw seemed to come to me by osmosis.
This is a drawing I did in Deane Keller's Lyme Academy Class in 1990. I was very sad to learn tonight that he had passed away in 2005.