The German Officers Of The Kunstschutz: An Analysis

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messages such as "Vorsicht beim Heizenl Du zerstorst sonst historische Werter ' (Caution with heating! It may destroy historic works!) Posters such as this were hung in noticeable areas throughout the German occupied territories.
Somewhat surprisingly, in light of infamous art theft and persecution of occupied peoples at the hand of the Nazi Party, the German officers of the Kunstschutz were quite successful at maintaining positive relationships with occupied peoples. These positive relationships are most evident with citizens of France. Mettemich disdained the extremism of Nazi ideology and, like other members of the Kunstschutz, believed it was their duty to protect French heritage. The men chosen for the Kunstschutz were typically not
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Many of Mettemich 's actions directly assisted French art officials in several important ways. He guaranteed the Direction des musees, or "Directorate of Museums," in France that German soldiers would not requisition chateaux housing precious art collections. Eventually, the good relationships that Metternich and his staff had developed with the French gained negative attention from Adolf Hitler. One of the reasons Mettemich was transferred in June 1942 from Paris back to the German Rhineland was because Nazi party members were discomforted by how much the French favored …show more content…
Being in a Nazi-controlled state limited their options when it came to disciplining officials who choose to participate in art theft. These noble actions did not please Nazi officials, especially Hermann Goring. Some Kunstschutz representatives stood up to Goring personally, despite his rank as the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany after Hitler. In one confrontation at the Quai d 'Orsay museum in France, Goring and a representative of the ERR arrived to collect a portfolio of photographed Jewish artworks that Hitler wished to acquire. They were met with a Kunstschutz representative who dutifully informed Goring that the French government protested the activities of the ERR. He was silenced by Goring, but spoke up again saying that the legal position of the art transfer was uncertain. In June 1942 Goring removed Mettemich from command of the Kunstschutz and returned him to Germany. Goring had deemed him "too independent minded" and replaced him with a new

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