MORRISTOWN, NJ, January 21, 2015 – Harry Ettlinger of Rockaway, one of the last surviving Monuments Men, will speak about his experiences at the Woman's Club of Morristown on Tuesday, February 17. The Monuments Men were charged with finding and saving thousands of important pieces of art and culture before the Nazis could destroy them at the end of the Second World War. The talk, which begins at 2:00 p.m., is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. Please call 973-539-0467 by Thursday, February 12, to reserve a place. The Woman's Club is at 51 South Street in Morristown.
Ettlinger and his parents and siblings were among the last German Jews to escape Nazi Germany. The family came to America in 1938 and settled in Newark. Ettlinger joined the American army at 19, initially joining the infantry. Because of his fluency in German he was asked to join the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program, better known as the Monuments Men. That group's story was told most recently in the book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel and in the 2014 George Clooney film The Monuments Men. Ettlinger inspired the film character Sam Epstein, played by Briton Dimitri Leonidis.
Ettlinger worked at several of the sites where the Nazis had stored stolen artwork, including Neuschwanstein Castle. He was also at the salt mine in Heilbronn, from which the Monuments Men retrieved the stained glass windows of the Strasbourg Cathedral and a self-portrait by the Dutch artist Rembrandt. More information is also available at our facebook.