Hitler's Last Hostages

Looted Art and the Soul of the Third Reich


By Mary M. Lane

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Adolf Hitler’s obsession with art not only fueled his vision of a purified Nazi state–it was the core of his fascist ideology. Its aftermath lives on to this day.

Nazism ascended by brute force and by cultural tyranny. Weimar Germany was a society in turmoil, and Hitler’s rise was achieved not only by harnessing the military but also by restricting artistic expression. Hitler, an artist himself, promised the dejected citizens of postwar Germany a purified Reich, purged of “degenerate” influences.

When Hitler came to power in 1933, he removed so-called “degenerate” art from German society and promoted artists whom he considered the embodiment of the “Aryan ideal.” Artists who had produced challenging and provocative work fled the country. Curators and art dealers organized their stock. Thousands of great artworks disappeared–and only a fraction of them were rediscovered after World War II.

In 2013, the German government confiscated roughly 1,300 works by Henri Matisse, George Grosz, Claude Monet, and other masters from the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive son of one of Hitler’s primary art dealers. For two years, the government kept the discovery a secret. In Hitler’s Last Hostages, Mary M. Lane reveals the fate of those works and tells the definitive story of art in the Third Reich and Germany’s ongoing struggle to right the wrongs of the past.


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Art will always remain
the expression and the reflection
of the longings and the realities of an era.

—Adolf Hitler



“I collected the paintings in the collections I have bought over the years, never for private purposes, but always exclusively for enlarging a gallery in my hometown of Linz on the Danube. It would be my most fervent wish for this legacy to be realized.”

—Adolf Hitler, dictating his will, hours before committing suicide on 30 April 1945

ON VALENTINE’S DAY 1945, HILDEBRAND Gurlitt stood outside what had once been his family’s stately home in Dresden, trying his best not to panic. The imposing iron gate guarding the house and its impressive garden had done nothing to stop the over 770 Royal Air Force bombers that had dropped 650,000 firebombs over the roofs of Dresden, transforming the picturesque city and his childhood home into a blazing hellhole. The air raid destroyed 80,000 houses and buildings, and 25,000 people had died. The Gurlitts had been comparatively lucky; after the sounds of bombs reverberated through the chilly night, Hildebrand, his elderly mother, his wife, and their two children raced to an underground shelter in the garden, where they slept until Hildebrand came up to survey the damage. Looking around, Gurlitt was glad that he had made one last sentimental effort the night before to sit for a few minutes on his late father’s stool, listening to the bombs as they fell around him. Now, although his childhood home’s walls were intact, the insides were gutted. The stool was now a smoldering pile of embers.1

Though angry over the bombing, the forty-nine-year-old Gurlitt felt overcome with panic for a far different reason: he secretly was in possession of well over 1,000 artworks, artifacts, paintings, sculptures, and sketches that he had acquired while working as an art dealer for Adolf Hitler’s covert “Führermuseum Project.” Once Germany won the war, Hitler planned to establish a museum to house and display thousands of masterpieces acquired throughout Europe through looting or shady deals. The latter had been Gurlitt’s specialty, and as long as a Nazi victory seemed possible, it had afforded the art dealer a protected and prosperous life unheard of for most Germans.

Yet the bombing of Dresden now made clear to Gurlitt that an Allied victory was a foregone conclusion. He had heard rumors about the so-called Monuments Men, a group of mostly American art experts tasked with protecting artworks and other cultural objects from theft or destruction. Most disturbing to Gurlitt was the remit given to the Monuments Men by Allied forces to investigate individuals who could have used the war to their advantage. Working with a select group of German and French dealers to assemble the Führermuseum’s collection, Gurlitt had not cared whether they acquired the pieces legitimately or whether they had been looted or stolen from persecuted Jewish European collectors and dealers.

In addition, Gurlitt had engaged in side deals to augment his secret collection. In early 1944, sensing that Allied victory was possible, he had moved around forty boxes of this stash to a secret location outside Dresden. Gurlitt still had between one hundred and two hundred artworks with him, however, and he was convinced that his reputation as one of Hitler’s art dealers would arouse suspicion among the Monuments Men, were they ever to find him.

Implementing an escape plan he had devised weeks before, Gurlitt gathered his family from the garden bunker and loaded them into a truck with the boxes of remaining artworks. He raced to Schloss Weesenstein, an eight-hundred-year-old manor fourteen kilometers from Dresden, where a colleague and fellow art looter was already hiding. Shortly after Gurlitt’s arrival, however, this colleague convinced him that they should all travel together to a manor four hundred kilometers westward into Bavaria to the estate of a fellow Nazi sympathizer, Baron von Pölnitz. The nobleman’s large house and grounds were far away from the Russian forces approaching Berlin and Dresden from the east. Gurlitt reasoned that if he escaped attention for long enough, perhaps the Allies would assume he was dead.

Surveying his family and his artwork, Gurlitt knew that his mother was too frail to make the trip. Leaving her behind would put her at risk of whatever violence the Russians brought with them, including sexual assault. After weighing the value of his art and alibi against the welfare of his mother, Gurlitt decided that the benefits of leaving her behind outweighed the risks, and he arranged for his mother to return to Dresden to the family’s bombed-out basement.

As the rest of the family chugged slowly along bomb-cratered roads in a truck fueled by wood chips, Gurlitt’s son and daughter, Cornelius and Benita, jostled for space with the part of their father’s collection that he planned to present to the Allies if he was captured. He would pretend that this was the entire collection when in fact more than 90 percent was hidden—and Gurlitt hoped would remain so. Gurlitt knew that, were the Monuments Men to find him, they would probably surmise that he had worked in some capacity as a dealer for Hitler, so he had carefully curated a mix of inexpensive items from non-European cultures and a selection of European masterpieces. Before the Dresden bombings, he had made sure to take no steps to preserve the artworks’ provenance—any documentation indicating previous owners of the works. African and Mexican decorative masks, statues from New Guinea, bronze Nepalese statues of Buddha from the 1500s, and even a Peruvian vase in the shape of a duck were nestled among artworks by famous European artists. Those included a portrait of the holy family by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a portrait of a woman washing herself by Edgar Degas, a statue of the Greek Titan Atlas by Auguste Rodin, and a landscape by Gustave Courbet.

Also in the stash were several works by Germans whom Hitler had labeled “Degenerate Artists.” He considered these “subhumans” to include not only Jewish Germans but also Christians who created artworks with themes that were too sexual, too primitive, or insufficiently reverent of the “Aryan race.” Among them were a pietà by communist artist and feminist Käthe Kollwitz, a self-portrait by Otto Dix, two scenes of wild Berlin life by George Grosz, and a depiction of a fishing village by Max Pechstein.

In the back of the truck, Hildebrand’s twelve-year-old son, Cornelius, had no idea that two of the looted works he was sitting with would come back to haunt him as an old man in the twenty-first century: Two Riders on the Beach by Jewish German Impressionist Max Liebermann and The Lion Tamer, a vibrantly colored portrayal of a dramatic circus act by Max Beckmann.

The Führermuseum was hardly a whim; it was a goal of Adolf Hitler’s since his childhood. The circumstances in which the future Führer was born and reared were hardly the product of traditional family circumstances. Both his father, Alois, and his mother, Klara, came from lower-class Austrian families mired in disfunction. Twenty-three years Klara’s senior, Alois was born out of wedlock in 1837. Adopted by the brother of his mother’s eventual husband several years later, he took the last name “Hiedler,” which he later legally changed, for unknown reasons, to “Hitler.”2

Alois, a customs officer, was a promiscuous man with a complicated relationship history. While married to his first wife, fourteen years his senior and the mother of his first child, he impregnated a teenager, causing his first wife to divorce him. His first wife died soon after obtaining the divorce. Shortly thereafter, he married his teenage mistress, who died several months later after giving birth to his second child. Alois subsequently impregnated and then married Klara, twenty-three years his junior, whom he had admired since her childhood. Klara, a dark-haired woman with blue eyes and about five feet, six inches tall, had grown up across from Alois in the Bohemian town of Spital, and even as an adult, she continued referring to her husband as “Uncle Alois.”3

Adolf was born four years into the marriage, on 20 April 1889 at 6:30 p.m. He was Klara’s fourth child and her first to survive infancy. She nicknamed him “Adi,” doting on him even after the births of his younger brother and sister, Alois and Paula. Filling out their household was Klara’s sister Johanna, who suffered from kyphosis, or severe curvature of the spine, and also was mentally handicapped.4

Although corporal punishment was not unusual at the time, the Hitler family’s neighbors noticed that Alois was particularly brutal. He would beat Adolf up to thirty times on his spine, and Alois Jr. once saw his older brother in such bad shape that he worried Adolf was dying. Klara compensated by showering her children with kisses in public, unheard of in such a stoic society.5

Adolf considered his mother, with her soft, dark hair, wide, mournful eyes, and willowy frame, to be infallible and angelic. When his father was away, he shadowed her constantly. When Alois returned, Adolf would dash outside to engage in his favorite childhood sport: shooting small animals with the family handgun. In 1895, Alois impulsively uprooted the family to a remote farm in Hafeld, Upper Austria, but after two years he relocated the family again to the nearby town of Lambach, where Adolf joined the local Benedictine Boys’ Choir. Adolf admired the priests and found comfort in the Catholic Church’s strict, repetitive rituals. While Klara admired Adolf’s newfound devotion, Alois considered it unmanly; whereas Klara regularly observed mass, Alois only attended once a year on the emperor’s birthday so that he could wear his official civil servant uniform.

Any stability that the Catholic Church provided Adolf was curtailed when the Hitlers moved yet again in 1898 to a town outside Linz, where they occupied a cheap house next to the cemetery; the location, also favored by a burgeoning rat population, provided ample targets for the now nine-year-old Adolf’s pistol.6 Because the family was poor, Adolf attended the local school tuition-free. Despite this charity, he was generally indifferent to his grades, repeating a year because he had failed math and natural history.7 After school adjourned each day, he was mostly preoccupied with avoiding nightly assaults from Alois, by now a chain-smoking alcoholic. Adolf regularly escorted his father home from the local bar, where he was a predictable fixture from 10 a.m. until closing.8

Attempting to divert his son’s attention from choir and toward more virile hobbies, Alois encouraged Adolf to peruse books on war in the family library. As he looked at pictures of battle and death, particularly those depicting the Franco-Prussian War, Adolf began feeling the emotional uplift he had experienced at mass. “Before long that great heroic campaign had become my greatest spiritual experience,” Adolf wrote later in Mein Kampf. “From then on I raved more and more about everything connected with war or with militarism.”9 The effects were noticeable. Adolf’s teachers became alarmed by his increasingly bellicose nature. “He lacked self-discipline, being notoriously cantankerous, willful, arrogant and irascible. He had obvious difficulty fitting in at school,” his French teacher, a Dr. Huemer, noted, adding, “Moreover, he was lazy.”10

When Adolf turned twelve, he announced to his parents that he would become an artist famed for painting battle scenes. He began neglecting his schoolwork altogether, and his grades plummeted as he focused on his drawings, which he hid from his increasingly enraged father who had no tolerance for his son’s artistic ambitions, war scenes or not.

The need for furtiveness ended abruptly on 3 January 1903 at around 10 a.m. when Alois, then sixty-five, slumped to one side while drinking wine in the local tavern. Other drinkers carried him into an adjacent room, where he died of pulmonary bleeding before the priest and doctor arrived.11

After her husband’s death, Klara moved the family again, this time closer to Linz’s city center. Adolf’s grades remained horrific, his attitude as antagonistic as ever, but Klara hoped that his reentering the Catholic fold via confirmation would provide him with structure and purpose. She selected as his godfather Emanuel Lugert, not because he had any personal connection to the family but because Lugert commonly mentored belligerent boys. Adolf was more virulent than anyone Lugert had sponsored. “I had to almost drag the words out of him” in conversations, noted his godfather. “It was almost as if the whole business, the whole confirmation was repugnant to him.”12

Adolf’s confirmation failed to revitalize his waning interest in Christianity. Instead, he became enraptured by the nationalistic rhetoric of one of his schoolteachers, Leopold Poetsch. At this point in Adolf’s youth, a nascent movement to unite Germany and Austria in a single state was gaining ground. Austrians, skeptical of their empire’s stability, were concerned that the aging Emperor Franz Joseph I was too feeble to manage it.13 Poetsch voiced one of the popular alternatives for the crumbling empire to his students: creating a united Austrian-German state based on their mutual, “pure” Germanic culture. Hitler and his peers were a rapt audience, but this rhetoric raised a larger question: Exactly who was culturally and ethnically qualified to be considered “purely” Germanic?

Anti-Semitic sentiments were rare at the time in Linz. Jewish Austrians comprised about 1 percent of the city’s population, and though Hitler and his classmates knew who was Jewish because they did not attend mass, they did not target Jewish kids for bullying. Jewish Austrians were active in the local workforce, particularly in education and medicine, and regional politicians awarded the local rabbi the prestigious Emperor Franz Joseph Medal of Appreciation for his work on the school board.14 Overall, the community rejected the rhetoric coming from a tiny minority of anti-Semites. When a local anti-Semitic newspaper made posters with racial slurs for readers to plaster on the windows of Jewish-owned shops, the Jewish worker’s union successfully sued for damages with the support of the Christian community.15

Despite Poetsch, Adolf’s grades plummeted, and he began to alienate himself from classmates, addressing them with the formal German version of “you” (Sie) as opposed to the informal version (Du) that children use with each other.16 From this point forward, Hitler socialized only with his mother and began inventing illnesses as excuses to stay home with her. When he announced in his mid-teens that he was quitting school to dedicate himself full-time to art, Klara acquiesced. Thus ended Adolf’s formal education. He adopted a dandyish mien and began walking around town, swinging a black ivory-tipped cane. At the family dinner table he refused to converse with his siblings or the boarders to whom his mother rented rooms to bring in extra income.17

In May 1906, Klara and Adolf decided he would benefit from a two-week visit to Vienna for artistic inspiration. After a six-hour train ride, Hitler first arrived in the city that he considered the epitome of high culture. It was loud and chaotic, simultaneously traditional and modern. He went to see a performance of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, a tragedy about forbidden love between a Cornish knight and an Irish princess, staged at the opera house located a few steps from the Ringstraße. The Ringstraße, or “ring road,” was the most significant change to Vienna’s layout since the Middle Ages. In 1857 Emperor Franz Joseph had ordered the drab medieval walls that encircled the innermost part of the city torn down. A wide boulevard was constructed in its place, and chic townhouses for the nouveau riche were built in the remaining free space on both sides of the boulevard.

Adolf was mesmerized. “For hours on end, I would stand in front of the opera or admire the Parliament Building; the entire Ringstraße affected me like a fairy tale out of the Arabian Nights,” he wrote.18 Hitler visited the Kunsthistorisches Museum, an institute that had opened in 1891 and already contained one of Europe’s best collections of Old Masters. It was a ten-minute walk from the Akademie der Künste, the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s most prestigious art academy and one of the world’s most revered. By the end of his trip, Hitler knew he had to apply. He was certain he would be accepted.

Returning to Linz, he told Klara his plan and even began taking piano lessons in October 1906 to diversify his “self-education,” an unsuccessful endeavor that caused his piano teacher to cringe for decades afterward when recalling his rehearsals. Adolf soon decided to move to the Austrian capital to prepare for the art academy’s admission test. “I went to Vienna with a suitcase containing some clothes and my linen in my hand and an unshakable determination in my heart. I, too, hoped to wrest from Fate the success my father had met fifty years earlier; I, too, wanted to become ‘something’—but in no event an official.”19

There Adolf settled down in Mariahilf, a district just a few steps from the academy.20 The academy’s ceiling was painted by Anselm Feuerbach, a Rhineland-born classical painter who had died in 1880 at age fifty. Adolf revered Feuerbach along with Ferdinand Waldmüller, Karl Rottmann, and Rudolf von Alt, all of whom depicted the German people as mighty and flawless. Such old-fashioned painters were unusual heroes for a young man in 1907, but the academy suited Adolf’s artistic predilections. Historical painting was still the dominant style—tradition was advocated over adventurousness—but other young artists were beginning to push back. Oskar Kokoschka, a student at the academy’s sister institution, the Arts and Crafts Academy, griped that the teachers at the academies were frozen in a stagnant historical style.

Thirty years later, the Nazis would actively target Kokoschka as degenerate.

Adolf embarked confidently on the elaborate application to the Akademie der Künste. “Armed with a thick bundle of drawings, I was convinced I would find the examination mere child’s play,” he predicted. “In secondary school, I was by far the best draftsman in my class. Since that time my ability had only improved. My own satisfaction in my ability lead me to hope for the best,” he noted. Around 110 hopeful students submitted artwork of their choosing to the academy, followed by two days of exams lasting six hours: three in the morning and three in the afternoon, with a lunch break in between. The applicants chose from a list of forty-six themes, ranging from the rather nebulous “peace” and “joy and moonlight” to specific Bible stories, including “Adam and Eve Discovering Abel’s Body” and “The Binding of Sampson.”21 “I waited for the results of my entrance exam as I was filled with excitement, impatience and proud confidence,” said Adolf.22

Nevertheless, an unfavorable verdict soon arrived: the academy deemed Adolf and the majority of the other applicants inadequate candidates. It admitted only twenty-eight students.23 “I was so convinced of my success that the announcement of my failure came like a bolt from the blue,” Hitler noted.24

The academy’s director met with a devastated Adolf, advising the young man that while he utterly lacked talent as a painter, his rigid, regimented measurements in drawing would suit him well as an architectural draftsman. Yet, having failed nearly all his classes and dropped out of school, Hitler lacked the necessary academic background to pass an architectural exam.

Angry and adamant that he had been wrongfully rejected by the academy, Adolf returned home in late October only to discover that his mother had terminal cancer, diagnosed by Linz’s respected Jewish doctor, Eduard Bloch, a few months after he had removed a tumor from Klara’s breast. Within six days, Klara was bedridden and too weak to move.25 In early November, Dr. Bloch started prescribing her morphine and placing cloths containing iodoform on Klara’s open wounds with the intention of “burning out” the cancer, then a standard practice. Klara submitted stoically, barely showing signs of the searing pain.

Klara knew she would be leaving behind eleven-year-old Paula and her mentally handicapped sister Johanna, but she told Dr. Bloch that she was most concerned for Adolf. Her eldest son tended to her devotedly and accompanied her to the iodoform sessions even though he would openly squirm at seeing the treatment applied to his mother’s skin. Dr. Bloch wrote in his notes that it was unusual for a boy Adolf’s age to come to such a session with his mother and that, in decades of medical experience, he had never seen a mother and teenage son so codependent. “To a very large extent this boy lived within himself. What dreams he dreamed I do not know,” Bloch observed.26

Klara Hitler died on 21 December 1907. She was forty-seven years old. Adolf felt rudderless, furiously sketching his mother before the undertakers removed her body. They buried her a few days later in an expensive polished coffin with metal ingots that Hitler had chosen. The elderly Bloch was accustomed to witnessing mourning, but Hitler’s behavior stood out. “In all my career, I have never seen anyone so prostrate with grief as Adolf Hitler,” he noted.27 On Christmas Eve, Adolf and Paula visited Dr. Bloch at his home to thank him for trying to save their mother. Hitler followed up by painting a Catholic monk in watercolor and sending it to Bloch with the inscription “My very best wishes for the New Year. With Eternal Gratitude, Yours, Adolf Hitler.”28

On hearing of Klara’s death, the post office in Linz offered the now orphaned Adolf a secure job with a solid salary. He rejected it, however, explaining that he was going to become a world-famous painter. When the postal workers pointed out that he did not have the financial means, he retorted, “Makart and Rubens also worked themselves up from impoverished conditions!”29

One local resident felt so moved by the teenager’s earnestness that she wrote to a friend in Vienna who knew Alfred Roller, a famous stage designer at the opera, who also taught at the Arts and Crafts Academy. On being asked to meet with Adolf, who would soon be returning to Vienna,30 Roller swiftly wrote back, “Do tell young Hitler to call on me and bring some of his works so I can see how he is doing,” listing the best times to call.31 Hitler was thrilled, aware that Roller’s powerful connections within the art world could open doors for him. Yet he was deeply shy and prideful. Back in Vienna, the eighteen-year-old loitered in front of Roller’s office with the prestigious man’s letter of invitation in his hand and dithered over whether to cross the threshold. He went into the building once, then turned around. He went in again—all the way to the staircase—before dashing outside. He went in a third time, and someone approached to ask if he needed help. Hitler mumbled an inaudible excuse and left, never to return.32

Thereafter, Adolf determined that he should limit his human fraternization to a bare minimum so that he could focus on his art. He cut off contact with his sister, Paula, who eventually assumed he had died. “I’m an entirely non-familial being, a non-socializing man by nature,” Hitler asserted. “I only belong to the German people.”33

While Hitler’s sense of his own national identity was intensifying, the position of Jews in the racial politics of the day began to come into question. By the time Hitler moved to Vienna in 1908, Jewish Viennese were integrating and prospering more than ever before, thanks in large part to an 1867 edict from Emperor Franz Joseph giving Jewish Viennese citizens equal rights. Though some highly conservative Jewish Austrians still maintained noticeably separate lives in parallel societies, most lived bourgeois lifestyles, routinely married into established Catholic families, and heavily influenced the Austrian art world by sponsoring artists and buying their works.

Within this social context, Hitler began grappling with three questions: What defined the pan-German race? What type of culture should pan-Germans produce? What specifically—if anything—made certain races inferior or even dangerous to others?

The intensification with which Hitler and right-wing intellectuals began contemplating these questions in 1908 was particularly galvanized by the work of Charles Darwin.

In 1859, Darwin had published On the Origin of Species in English. A German translation followed the next year. Darwin postulated that through natural selection, homo sapiens had evolved from other species. Inspired by Darwin’s research, a growing number of Europeans began espousing “social Darwinism,” the belief, predicated on Darwin’s scientific studies, that certain ethnic groups, or races, were intellectually, culturally, and physically superior to—more evolved than—other races and cultures. Though not supported by Darwin himself, the ideology gained traction because the movement’s interpretation of the revered scientist’s research, however misguided, gave it an air of scientific respectability.

Theories circulated throughout western Europe as to how to identify “degenerate” strains of humans and what should be done about them. In France, for example, increased mobility led young women from the countryside to migrate to Paris in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in search of better lives. Some prospered, but many failed and took up prostitution. The wave was so great that these women filled streets and brothels to an extent unseen elsewhere in Europe. French social Darwinists began asserting that economically supporting these women or providing them with other jobs was futile because they belonged to “degenerate,” or inferior, strains and were thus predisposed to engage in “abhorrent” behavior such as sex work. Social Darwinists also noted how Darwin had observed that different breeds within the same animal species compete with each other for space and resources. Consequently, they posited, different races of humans would compete so that one race—with its particular customs and culture—would ultimately dominate and eventually eradicate the others.


  • "A scrupulous account of Hitler's abiding obsession with art and Germany's cultural patrimony...a convincing, full-throated case for the German government to amend its laws and practices regarding looted property."—New York Times Book Review
  • "Lane engagingly recounts how dealers who formerly represented avant-garde artists quickly adapted and dumped their 'degenerate' modernist clientele, except for purchases at knock-down prices for their private collection[s]. . . . A gripping, original contribution to a still-unresolved Nazi crime."—Kirkus Reviews, starred
  • "Congratulations to Mary Lane...the author of the compelling, chilling and thoroughly researched Hitler's Last Hostages... It's a must-read."—Financial Times
  • "A detailed and intensely researched book."
  • "Essential reading...Hitler's Last Hostages is revelatory."—New City Lit
  • "A compelling and vibrant portrait."
    Historical Novels Society
  • "An excellent book...It really is a fascinating story of how history plays into modern politics. Well worth the read. Mary's a terrific reporter."—Ben Shapiro, The Daily Wire
  • "The revelatory saga of a monumental Nazi art theft and all the perpetrators, from Hitler to the modern museum directors who ignored the glaring signs of looted art. This riveting unraveling of one of the most outrageous and monumental chapters in stolen art is a must-read art crime chronicle."—Anne-Marie O'Connor,author of The Lady in Gold
  • "Mary M. Lane skillfully chronicles the saga of a huge trove of art that had seemingly disappeared during World War II and the Holocaust. It's a gripping tale punctuated by plunder, profiteering, and self-serving rationalizations. Most chillingly, the outright deceptions continued long after the collapse of Hitler's Third Reich."—Andrew Nagorski,author of 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War and Hitlerland
  • "In this valuable study of an important piece of history, Mary M. Lane tells a shocking story of theft, horror, and lack of redemption."—Laurence Rees, authorof Auschwitz and The Holocaust: A New History

On Sale
Sep 10, 2019
Page Count
336 pages

Mary M. Lane

About the Author

Mary M. Lane (b. 1987) is a nonfiction writer and journalist specializing in Western art,Western European history, and anti-Semitism. Lane received one of five Fulbright Journalism Scholarships at 22 years old, gained international recognition as the chief European art reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and published numerous exclusive Page One articles on the art trove of Hildebrand Gurlitt. Since leaving the Journal, Lane has been a European art contributor for the New York Times. She splits her time between Berlin and Virginia.

Learn more about this author