Allied Art Hunters: Saving Beauty

Walter Hancock Collection

As part of his twisted vision of the future, Adolf Hitler planned to construct the world's finest museum — the eponymous Führermuseum — in his hometown of Linz, Austria. By stocking it with the world's greatest works of art, he hoped to showcase the superiority of Aryan artists over their supposedly "degenerate" Jewish counterparts. Within months of invading Poland in 1939, Nazi troops began seizing selected pieces — including paintings by Raphael, Rembrandt and Vermeer — from churches, museums and private art collections. The artworks were then hidden in mines and remote castles for safekeeping until the war...