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Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art (Uncommon Valor) [Paperback]

Thomas C Howe Jr. , Steve W Chadde
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

6 Feb 2014 Uncommon Valor

Salt Mines and Castles is a first-hand account of the work of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section of U.S. Forces, European Theatre (MFA&A), immediately following the end of World War II in 1945. Often simply referred to as the “Monuments Men,” this group of unlikely soldiers included art curators, scholars, architects, librarians, and archivists from the U.S. and Great Britain. Their war-time mission was to identify and protect European cultural sites, monuments, and buildings from Allied bombing. After the war, and the focus of this book, their mission was the challenging effort to locate and recover works of art that had been looted by the Nazis.

Uncovered were thousands of pieces of art—including priceless paintings by Leonardo DaVinci and Johannes Vermeer, sculptures by Michelangelo, and the Rothschild jewels—hidden across Germany and Austria in underground mines, castles, churches and monasteries. Following the recovery of the art, the no less daunting task of inventorying the thousands of items, identification of the owners, restoration of damaged works, and transporting delicate canvases and sculptures to their home countries began.

Included in this edition is a new Introduction by Steve W. Chadde and twenty-four pages of photographs illustrating the collection of art by Nazi leaders, plus the recovery of looted pieces by the Allies.


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Salt Mines and Castles: The Discovery and Restitution of Looted European Art (Uncommon Valor) + The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (6 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1495443841
  • ISBN-13: 978-1495443848
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 13.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Quite a few 'slow' passages but if one persists an excellent read which was full of memories for me.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nuts and Bolts 24 April 2014
By Jerry Werzinsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about one man's story: Thomas Howe Jr, Lt Comdr USNR, also Director of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, with the Monuments Men of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section of the American Military Government in Germany. It's a good "nuts and bolts" story of how he and other experts in the arts went about recovering all the stolen art pieces and other valuables that the Nazis had taken during their conquest Europe. Honestly with all the thieving they were doing I don't see how the Nazis had time to fight a war! I enjoyed reading about their comradery, challenges with just dealing with the volume of all loot they were recovering (he often used the word "loot" in the book), working within the military fame work, and the lack of resources working in a postwar area. I actually got a copy of the original book printed in 1946 from the library, which had great photo plates in it, so I'm not sure how the Kindle edition looks, but it still should be a good read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 19 Jun 2014
By florida - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I started with Monuments Men and couldn't stop! The story of how the American and British military tracked down, recovered and returned Europe's art treasures should be read by everyone. Never before in history had a nation at war not looted art treasures. Not only did they recover art belonging to museums but to private owners as well and even returned art to German museums! The next time you see the Mona Lisa or Michangelo's David take a moment to remember that they might not exist we're it not for American and British military. An amazing story well written!
2.0 out of 5 stars he managed to make this quite boring, spent more time talking about what trucks he ... 24 July 2014
By Virginia from Virginia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
he managed to make this quite boring, spent more time talking about what trucks he had to use and the bad roads than about finding the great paintings, sculptures etc - there are much better books on this subject,
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling story 6 July 2014
By mizk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I too got interested in the work of the Monuments Men after seeing the movie. I particularly like the contemporary account. I found it a compelling read. I do have some comments about the editing that I would like to share with the author/editor if someone would care to contact me.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 11 July 2014
By Austin Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fascinating review of the monuments program. Very informative.
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