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

 
War from a view you don't often see.
2 March 2013 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

The Rape of Europa is a fascinating documentary that tells of the story of the theft, destruction, and in some cases saving of art during World War II. Narrated by Joan Allen the film takes you through the Nazi plundering of paintings in Poland, France and other countries (especially by Nazi art collectors like Hitler and Goering) to the efforts by citizenry to save museum pieces in Paris and Leningrad, to the unfortunate destruction of Renaissance architectural wonders during allied bombings in Italy and the German army demolishing various important Russian structures in the east. It also goes into efforts that are still going on to track down pieces since missing, and tells of the work to give back personal effects to families of Jews, items the Nazis stole without thinking twice from people they considered inhuman.

All this is told with a delicate balancing act, reminding the viewer of the far greater tragedy of the war: the tens of millions of lives lost, most of them civilians. The misfortune of art during the war is not even close to that level of tragedy, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored. Art is part of one's culture and means a lot to great number of people. This is a story that deserves to be told, and though maybe this documentary goes in a few too many directions I found it quite interesting to see this perspective of the War that people rarely talk about.


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