April 14, 2010

World War II Veteran Harry Ettlinger to Speak April 21

He will discuss his experience as one of the famed ‘Monuments Men’

Veteran Harry Ettlinger will give a lecture about his experiences during World War II in a squadron charged with the task of locating and protecting monuments, priceless works of art, and other cultural treasures stolen by the Nazis in war torn areas of Europe. The lecture will be 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 21 in the Williams Center for the Arts room 108.

This lecture is sponsored by the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Visiting Artist Fund and is free and open to the public.

Ettlinger will discuss his work with the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, which was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II. Members of the program, informally known as the “Monuments Men,” were responsible for saving a large portion of the cultural identity of Europe.

Ettlinger and his family were originally from Germany, but they fled to the United States in 1938 because of their Jewish heritage. After several years, Ettlinger joined the army and was eventually assigned to the Monuments Men. Ettlinger served with the team for 15 months, 10 of which he spent in charge of underground operations to recover stolen works of art from thousands of cases stored in two salt mines in Germany.

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