THE RAPE OF ART by

THE RAPE OF ART

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This account of Hitler's art thefts (published in Britain as The Jackdaw of Linz) has the unadorned melodrama of an autopsy. In analyzing Hitler, we are involved in an infinite serial (call it The Insidious Dr. Hitler) which began years ago and which will never end. In the present installment Dr. Hitler is stealing Europe's greatest paintings and art treasures and hiding them in a salt mine. His purpose: to transform his home town, Linz, into the post-bellum apotheosis of Nazi glory. During the bleakest hours of the War this cold-blooded madman has architects turning out hundreds of blueprints for museums which Dr. Hitler himself has designed with rough-and-ready pencil, compass and ruler. To think, after all this murder, that these museums were the pin-point summit of his intentions, staggers the mind. Dr. Hitler, an art student manque, loved realism and had the aesthetics of a Woolworth countergirl. Hitler created an efficiently methodical machine for looting Europe and building the world's greatest art gallery. It was, as the authors say, ""part of the German character to create even dreams in a painstaking fashion."" The book makes valuable comments on distinguishing between genuine and counterfeit art and this story is as inherently fascinating as opening up King Tut's tomb.

Pub Date: April 8th, 1965
Publisher: Coward-McCann