August 27th, 2014
Robert Edsel, author of The Monuments Men, went from the oil business to art history
By ERIN ELLIOTT BRYAN / Community News Editor
In February, Columbia Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox released The Monuments Men, which was written and directed by George Clooney.
Clooney also starred in the film as Frank Stokes, a member of a military unit during World War II that was tasked with protecting artistic masterpieces from damage during battle, as well as finding and rescuing pieces looted by the Nazis.
“You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they’ll still find their way back,” Stokes says in the film. “But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements and it’s as if they never existed. That’s what Hitler wants and that’s exactly what we are fighting for.”
Sept. 12 at Temple Israel
The film was based on Robert Edsel’s book titled The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. Edsel will be the featured speaker for Temple Israel’s seventh annual Holocaust Remembrance Program on Sept. 12.
“These works of art that we enjoy — in museums and churches, synagogues — they haven’t survived by accident,” Edsel told the AJW in a phone interview last week, during his travels in Switzerland. “It’s happened because, in the case of works of art, other people who came before us made tremendous sacrifices to make sure these things survived for future generations.”