Monuments Men

Shortly before D-Day, General Eisenhower outlined instructions for the most comprehensive effort in history by an army to fight a war while also trying to minimize the damage to cultural treasures; a program known as the "Monuments Men."
The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, often referred to as the "Monuments Men," was an international group established in 1943 that worked under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections to help protect cultural property during and after World War II. Their mission was as follows:

  • Identify art, architecture, monuments, and archives that needed to be preserved.
  • Work with Allied commanders to limit damage to these cultural resources.
  • Work with local officials to stabilize and repair damages to monuments and architecture.
  • Identify and locate art, archives, and other cultural resources that had been removed by German forces.
  • Gather recovered works into staging areas for identification and preservation.
  • Return the works to legitimate owners.
  1. Documents
  2. Photographs
  3. Other Sources