The Monuments Men is based on the true story of a group of brave men and women who hunted down and rescued millions of cultural treasures stolen by the Nazis at the close of World War II. Our lesson plans, discussion questions, maps, and other features can engage learners about this little-known chapter in World War II and guide thinking about the importance of protecting cultural heritage in times of war. The lessons are suitable for middle and high school classrooms and are linked to Common Core State Standards.
The Monuments Men
The Monuments Men were a group of men and women from 13 nations, most of whom volunteered for service in the newly-created Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section, or MFAA, during World War II. Most had expertise as museum directors, curators, art scholars and educators, artists, architects, and archivists. Their job description was simple: to save as much of the culture of Europe as they could during combat. These Monuments Men not only had the vision to understand the grave threat to the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of civilization, but then joined the front lines to do something about it.
Although their task was large, their numbers were not. Approximately 345 individuals worked to protect monuments and other cultural treasures from the destruction of World War II. In the last year of the war, they tracked and located more than five million artistic and cultural items stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. In the years that followed, they returned these to their rightful owners. Their role in preserving cultural treasures was without precedent.
Meet the Monuments Men and Women:
World War II's Heroes of Cultural Heritage
George Clooney as Frank Stokes
George Clooney's role as Frank Stokes is inspired by real-life Monuments Man George Stout.
Click for biography of George Stout
Matt Damon os James Granger
James Granger, the character played by Matt Damon, draws from real-life Monuments Man
Click for biography of James Rorimer
Cate Blanchett as Claire Simone
Cate Blanchett plays Claire Simone. Some of Claire's story resembles the actions of Rose Valland.
Click for biography of Rose Valland
1Eisenhower, Hitler & The Monuments Men
Adolf Hitler is stealing, General Dwight D. Eisenhower is protecting. These historic documents let students explore the value of cultural heritage from both sides of the war.View PDF Download RTF
2Is Art Worth a Life?
Giving up one’s life to save a work of art provokes strong debate. Place students in the role of a Monuments Man or Woman and have them discuss what they would do to protect art in times of war. What is worth protecting?View PDF Download RTF
3Priceless Art, Personal Objects, Countless Lives
The Jeu de Paume Museum was a collecting point for Nazi art looting in France. Learn what was held within its walls, where it came from, and where it went.View PDF Download RTF
4The Monuments Men Were a Long Time Ago. Why Does This Matter?
What can we learn from the Monuments Men as the world’s cultural heritage continues to be threatened?View PDF Download RTF
Goering, Art, & NeuschwansteinVideo
Berlin, Berchtesgaden, BuchenwaldVideo
Merkers Salt MineVideo
The Monuments Men in Pursuit of Stolen Masterpieces
Follow the path of two priceless pieces of art looted by the Nazis and trace the routes of two Monuments Men determined to track them down.Explore
Debate and Discussion Questions for Groups
Discuss topics raised by both the book and the film, The Monuments Men.Download PDF
Local museum to see Monuments Men exhibitions and works of art associated with the Monuments Men story.Download PDF
WWII Museum Webinar
Register for a webinar with The National WWII Museum featuring The Monuments Men author Robert Edsel on JANUARY 23rd at 12:00 P.M. CTRegister
If you and your organization would like to see THE MONUMENTS MEN, please contact Group Sales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (877) 488-4258.Buy Tickets
Veterans History Project
"The Monuments Men have told their story - it's time to uncover the untold story
of the veteran in your life."
More at http://bit.ly/VHP15min. Ensure these important voices - those of the veterans in your life and community - are part of history, preserved for posterity at the Library of Congress.Learn More