Recipient of the 2014 Terezin Legacy Award
HARRY ETTLINGER, Monuments Man
Harry Ettlinger is one of only nine surviving members of the Monuments Men, a group of about 350 men and women from thirteen allied nations who worked in the effort to recover treasures stolen by Hitler. He will receive the 2014 Terezin Legacy Award at the private Benefactors' Dinner with the Artists.
Mr. Ettlinger was born in Karlsruhe, Germany in January 1926. In 1938, the day after his Bar Mitzvah, Ettlinger and his family fled Germany and settled in Newark, New Jersey. Six years later, Harry was drafted by the Army and returned to Europe as an infantryman in the 99th Division. Because he was fluent in German, he was re-designated as an interpreter. While awaiting assignment in Munich, Harry volunteered his services to work with the MFA&A section, aka "The Monuments Men." He had a hand in combing through 40,000 cases of cultural objects hidden in the Heilbronn mines and in recovering Rembrandt’s original self-portraits, and, in Baden-Baden, he found his own grandfather’s treasured art collection.
“For the first time in history, (the U.S.) adopted a policy of ‘to the victors do not belong the spoils of war,’” he says. “The fact that we adopted that policy made me very proud to be an American.”