The Monuments Men and the Recovery of the Art in the Merkers Salt Mine April 1945

So neat!

The Text Message

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher.

In the forthcoming movie The Monuments Men there will be a scene of Monuments Men entering the salt mine at Merkers, Thuringia, Germany in April 1945, and beholding German and looted gold, concentration camp victims’ gold teeth, and fabulous artwork.  The scene looks something like this:

Capture of Germany’s Gold

 Merker's Mine

ReichsBank wealth, SS loot, and Berlin Museum paintings that were removed from Berlin to a salt mine vault located in Merkers, Germany. The 3rd U.S. Army discovered the gold and other treasure in April 1945.

RG 111-SC-205409

Of course the movie version takes liberties with what actually happened, as documented in the record holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration.  What follows is a brief overview of what actually happened as documented in those records, focusing on the artworks. For a more detailed account see “Nazi Gold: The Merkers Mine…

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