The Rape of Europa: A Harrowing Journey Through Europe’s Lost Art

Review of The Rape of Europa by Leah L.

At first glance this films seems like any other somewhat boring documentary that you’re forced to watch in your history class. That is however, only at first glance.

The Rape of Europa is a dynamic, extremely powerful film that explores Adolf Hitler’s campaign to steal and plunder all of Europe’s “inappropriate” works of art. This huge chunk of history, that is left out of most lectures on WWII, is conveyed through images of the Nazi Regime bombing Russia, Italy and five other countries, destroying not only people, but the priceless pieces of art that were hidden within the cities.

The film not only covers the pillaging of cities and artwork, and the Allies who attempted to save and preserve them, but it also portrays Hitler’s brutal and terrifying attempt to completely eradicate Jewish and Slavic culture.

Based on art historian Lynn H. Nicholas’s book, about Europe’s most prized museums under the fate of Nazi rule, The Rape of Europa, pulls the audience inside Hitler’s eyes and his vision of a completely Germanic-ruled Europe. It sheds light into some of the darkest corners of history that people are not educated about and doesn’t shy away from the complete evil and insanity that took place in Europe between the years 1937 and 1945.

As many people don’t know, Adolf Hitler was an artist himself, and after not being accepted into the Vienna Academy of Art he decided to start a collection of his own and steal some of Europe’s most priceless pieces of art, including Raphael’s Portrait of a Young Man.

He and his “Nazi bureaucracy” created a list of Europe’s most prized possession and continued their murderous, ego-centric rampage to steal 19th century sentimental paintings, both to embellish and improve the Reich museums, and his own private collection.

In the end, over 16,000 paintings were stolen, due to their modern and Jewish aspects.

The whole 117 minutes of film is filled with solid, factual history that is mostly unknown and fascinating to the viewer. The Rape of Europa leaves you with new insight and feeling for art and the ability it has to change people’s lives.

Leah L.
February 10th, 2008

The Rape of Europa
SIFF Cinema
Through February 14th
More info and showtimes:
SIFF Cinema Ticket Office: 206-324-9996
Ticket office opens 1 hour before show time.

SIFF Cinema is located at the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, on the north edge of Seattle Center. It is served by buses 1,2,3,4,13,14,15,16,18,45,74 and 82. For bus schedules:

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