About the National Archives

Remarks at the Robert Edsel Diary Donation

Archivist's Reception Room,  National Archives Building, Washington, DC
April 29, 2019 

Good morning, and thank you for joining me for this important event.

Thanks to Robert Edsel the National Archives is able to add to its collection.

The special Nazi task force, the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg - or ERR - created the so-called “Hitler Albums,” which documented the unprecedented and systematic looting of European art by the Nazis.

The National Archives holds millions of records created or received by the U.S. Government during and after World War II relating to the Nazi-era looted cultural assets, including the official records of the Monuments Men.

In 2014, this story was brought to the screen by George Clooney.

One of these Monuments Men was S. Lane Faison, Jr.

Faison kept a diary that his four sons later donated to the Monuments Men Foundation.  Foundation Chair Robert Edsel is here to donate the diary to the National Archives, where it joins the collection of so-called “Hitler Albums” of looted art that the Foundation previously donated.

Robert Edsel is no stranger to the National Archives. In 2014 he received the Records of Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding work bringing to life the storied history of men and women who served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section of the Allies during World War II.

Because of Robert’s efforts, there is an increased interest in this subject: people all around the world know more about the heroic acts to protect, recover, and return priceless artifacts damaged in World War II or looted by the Nazis.

We are grateful to Robert and the Monuments Men Foundation for their continuing work to recover cultural and historic treasures and documents that were stolen during the second world war.

I’d like to ask Robert to say a few words, and then I’ll call on Dr. Greg Bradsher to speak. Greg is a senior archivist at the National Archives and an expert on Holocaust-Era Assets records.