February 5, 2021
Untold Pieces Of Priceless Literature Just Sitting There...
During World War II, the Nazis executed the most heinous mass slaughter of millions of people the world had ever seen. Obviously, those deplorable acts rightfully took precedent over the other massive Nazi crime in WWII: the looting and plundering of billions in art, gold, and valuables taken from the people they decimated. Wars and natural disasters always provide opportunities for the worst in humans. However, the Nazis took it to a whole other level of loathsome by systemically stealing priceless art, artifacts, and other treasures. Hitler envisioned his own Führermuseum, housing the great works taken from all over Europe.
People living all over the world are looking for "Nazi loot" or "Nazi Gold" every day, because with over $5 billion in value, it certainly feels like a safe alternative to a full-time job in this economy. But the amount of culture, humanity, and imprint of people's emotions we've erased with war and colonialism just shows the extent of the cultural erasure and how much cultural damage much even one war can bring into the art world of any country.
The Amber Room
The Amber Room was designed in the 18th century, a gift from Prussian King Frederick William to the Russian Emperor Peter the Great, symbol of the Prussian Russian alliance against Sweden. Wall to wall gold was inlaid by fossilized amber, precious stones, and gold leaf. Modern estimates of the room ranged from $142 million in 2007 to more than $500 million in 2016.
When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa in 1941, the Amber Room sat in a chamber of the Catherine Palace in the town of Pushkin. The Germans, believing the room to be theirs, (as if that mattered) completely disassembled the room from top to bottom. It was then shipped to a castle museum in Konigsberg, Germany, which is now Kaliningrad, Russia. The allied bombing of the town was believed to have destroyed the precious room. Still, treasure hunters search for its remains.