The story of Nazi Germany's plundering of Europe's great works of art during World War II and Allied efforts to minimize the damage.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator
E. Randol Schoenberg ...
Himself
Maria Altmann ...
Herself
Wolfgang Fischer ...
Himself
Jonathan Petropoulos ...
Himself
Kenneth Lindsay ...
Himself
Lynn Nicholas ...
Herself
Nancy Yeide ...
Herself
Gottfried Toman ...
Himself
S. Laine Faison ...
Himself
Andrej Kamienski ...
Himself
Maria Osterwa Czekaj ...
Herself
Monika Kuhnke ...
Herself
Count Adam Zamoyski ...
Himself
Vincent Pomarède ...
Himself
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Storyline

THE RAPE OF EUROPA takes the audience on a journey through seven countries telling a story of greed and warfare that threatened the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art. Young art historians and curators from America and across Europe fought back, mounting a campaign to rescue and return countless art works displaced by the war. Joan Allen narrates this chronicle about the battle over centuries of western culture. Written by Actual Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine The World Without Our Masterpieces


Certificate:

Unrated
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Release Date:

12 November 2006 (USA)  »

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(35 mm version)|

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1.85 : 1
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Referenced in The Monuments Men (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Art History Light
29 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Loosely centered on the well-known theft, from public and private collections, of great artworks and cultural artifacts by the Nazis, the Soviets, and common criminals during World War II and their removal in part to secret storage locations in Germany, Austria, and Russia, this documentary also touches on halting Allied war efforts to avoid the destruction of national heritage sites in Italy, still on-going restoration efforts after the war, issues of cultural patrimony (e.g., "Who owns, or should own, this stuff? The world? The nations from which it was plundered? The nations which suffered during wartime, won the war, and now claim it as restitution? Innocent purchasers for value? Religious communities? Descendents of long-dead wealthy collectors and benefactors who left it in place when they evacuated their homes?"), and the tens of thousands of artworks still unaccounted for. Hitler and Goering were collectors as well as thieves. Is it possible that the act of collecting is itself not totally above suspicion? Any of these minor themes, and others, would have made for an interesting documentary in itself. As it is, the documentary we see will please most history buffs and art fans. The historical footage is excellent -- Hitler was always Hitler, but pompous Goering surrendering his handgun momentarily showed fear -- the contemporary interviews of wartime survivors and art historians add flavor and insight, and the images of lost and found artworks are alternately chilling and thrilling. This film is accessible to an audience that may barely recognize the names da Vinci and Matisse. It tells something of the same story as "The Train" (1964) without the same level of fictional excitement.


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