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Old January 17, 2015, 02:43 PM   #424
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 21,592
Patton, behave yourself

During WW II, the Germans looted art that belonged to Jews or from conquered nations. They had to store it somewhere until the war was over at which point the art would be displayed in public museums or be in the private hands of high ranking Nazis. Herman Goering was prominent among the looters. Anyway, one storage place was the Merkers mines. Sculptures, papayri, rugs, mosaics, paintings and a lot of gold bars and stolen gold were there.

It was captured by the Allies and Ike, Bradley, Eddy (XII Corps) and other generals went there to inspect it. There was only one elevator down and they were all on that single elevator. Patton said,"If that clothesline should part, promotions in the United States Army would be greatly stimulated."

Ike wasn't too happy about that crack and in the darkness silenced Old Blood 'n Guts, "OK, George, that's enough. No more cracks until we are above ground again."

As we know, no one died from that visit and the officer in charge of securing it was told by one fellow that he could take a helmet filled with US gold eagles. He estimated it at $35,000. When he tried, he couldn't lift the helmet and placed the gold back into the bags. After all, he had more important things to do.

Anyhow, as late as today, art with nazi provenance is returned to its rightful owners. Source is The Monuments Men. It's the story of the soldiers who were in charge of securing monuments, art and archival material.
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