Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazis developed and operated an elaborate procurement system for art which they had looted from Jews and other victims of persecution during the Third Reich. Works of art were confiscated, and many art collectors were forced to sell below value. In 2000, a report to the U.S. Congress by historian and Holocaust researcher Dr. Jonathan Petropoulos revealed the full extent of the theft: Some 600,000 works of art were taken by the Nazis within the sphere of influence of the Germans – a third in Germany and Austria alone. Many still have not been recovered.
In his latest book, Göring’s Man in Paris: The Story of a Nazi Art Plunderer and His World, Dr. Petropoulos tells the story of Bruno Lohse, one of the key art experts who helped the Nazis loot European Jews. Join the American Council on Germany for a conversation with Young Leader alumnus Jonathan Petropulos, which will be led by Dr. Ronald J. Granieri, Associate Professor of History in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College and Templeton Education Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, who is also a Young Leader alumnus.
Dr. Jonathan Petropoulos is an American historian who writes about National Socialism and the fate of art looted during World War II. Dr. Petropoulos is John V. Croul Professor of European History at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California.
He began working on the subject of Nazi art looting and restitution in 1983 when he started his graduate work in history and art history at Harvard as a student of the late Richard M. Hunt, Vice Chairman of the ACG. He is the author of several books on the subject. His most recent book is Göring’s Man in Paris: The Story of a Nazi Art Plunderer and His World.
From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Petropoulos served as Research Director for Art and Cultural Property on the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States, where he helped draft the report, Restitution and Plunder: The U.S. and Holocaust Victims’ Assets. In this capacity, he supervised a staff of researchers who combed archives in the United States and Europe in order to understand better how representatives of the U.S. government (including the Armed Forces) handled the assets of Holocaust victims both during and after the war. As Research Director, he provided expert testimony to the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport in the U.K. House of Commons and to the Banking and Finance Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Dr. Ronald J. Granieri is Associate Professor of History in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College and Templeton Education Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI).
A graduate of Harvard and the University of Chicago and a former Federal Chancellor Scholar of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Dr. Granieri is the author of The Ambivalent Alliance: Konrad Adenauer, the CDU/CSU, and the West, 1949-1966 as well as articles on German history, European-American relations, the Cold War, and contemporary politics.