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Hitler's Last Hostages: Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich
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Hitler's Last Hostages: Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Adolf Hitler's obsession with art not only fueled his vision of a purified Nazi state--it was the core of his fascist ideology. Its aftermath lives on to this day.

Nazism ascended by brute force and by cultural tyranny. Weimar Germany was a society in turmoil, and Hitler's rise was achieved not only by harnessing the military but also by restricting artistic expression. Hit
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by PublicAffairs
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Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
*********Happy publishing day!**********(Many WW2 novels have been incorporating degenerate art and Hitler's attempt to re-culture Germany through art lately-- this is your nonfiction read if you are interested in learning more about that!)

"Gurlitt took advantage of the desperate straits of the Wolffson family, offering only 150 reichsmarks for Gothic Church and 300 reichsmarks for Roofs, roughly $60 and $120 at the time. Immediately after buying them, however, Gur
Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

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This is an incredible story, but also a sad one. I've read a lot about WWII, and generally the focus is on the tremendous loss of life that occurred-- both as casualties of the fighting, and also as a result of genocide. I've never thought of the other casualty: the loss of culture. HITLER'S LAST HOSTAGES is about the art that was looted by the Nazis or destroyed for being "degenerate." Called "the last hostages" of the war because of a d
This is my first ever DNF, so that should say something in itself.
I went in excited to hear about all the lost art recovered and the possibility of the journey it made being revealed.
The book starts off strong with the (somewhat) recent reveal of a giant stash of art found in the hands of the Gurlitt family.
I found the book was more about the history of the individual artists rather than the art.
A large chunk of the book dealing with history prior to Hitler coming to power (or even being born).
Maine Colonial
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, world-war-ii
I received a free publisher's advance review copy.

I think anybody who knows anything about Hitler knows that he was a failed artist and that he retained an interest in art and architecture even during World War II. Some may also know about the Nazis’ exhibitions of so-called “degenerate” art, contrasted with their notions of beautiful Aryan art. In this deeply researched book, Mary M. Lane tells us the history of Hitler’s art obsession, the Nazi regime’s treatment of art and artists, and follows
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book grew on me as a read it. Here's why:

The book starts in 2013, when the author, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, gets assigned to write the story of a certain waste of human skin named Cornelius Gurlitt. This reprehensible specimen had been found to have been hiding for decades literally thousands of works of art stolen by, or sold under coercion to, the Nazis, in the person of Cornelius Gurlitt's father, Hildebrand Gurlitt. This introduction moved along nicely and made me (as I thi
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hitler's last hostages refers to artwork and other rare and beautiful items that the Nazis looted during their occupation of much of Europe, which we are starting to learn more about through the efforts of people engaged as Monument Men during and after WWII. The sheer numbers of things looted and hauled around Europe to fill the museums, homes, and government buildings of the Nazi leadership, was immense, and unfortunately, toward the end of the war, they destroyed many priceless things instead ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hitler’s Last Hostages is and incredibly detailed and well researched book. I have a degree in art history and I’m also a WWII buff, so I was excited to delve into this. I was aware of the Gurlitt case and remember when the story was in the news several years ago, but this book shined a new light onto a less talked about part of WWII history.

Cornelius Gurlitt, the son Hildebrand Gurlitt, was hiding over 1,200 works of art in his apartment including many infamous Old Masters, Impressionist, Cubi
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Third Reich and Hitler are a part of history that shall never be forgotten due to the terror and murder that was committed by them. However, there is also a side to Hitler that isn’t so readily discussed and that was the fact that he was a failed artist and a lover of art. To this end Hitler and his men took to plundering and pillaging sending all fine art back to Hitler. It didn’t end there though, anything that was considered to be anti-Nazi and detrimental to the cause of the Third Reich ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WW2 history is well known, but this book brings to light ongoing turmoil that proves the war continues for many. This well researched book doesn’t just highlight a legal issue, but a moral issue, and the overarching theme is the banality of evil. The book follows the history of the lesser known cultural policies in the Nazi regime, the choices people have to make when faced with evil, and ultimately makes the reader reflect what we do, or don’t do, today that may allow tragedies of history to re ...more
Luke ( LUCI ) Peterson
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Mary M. Lane (b. 1987) is a nonfiction writer and journalist specializing in Western art,Western European history, and anti-Semitism. Lane received one of five Fulbright Journalism Scholarships at 22 years old, gained international recognition as the chief European art reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and published numerous exclusive Page One articles on the art trove of Hildebrand Gurlitt. S ...more