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Lieutenant Colonel Julius Schlegel

Discussion in 'The War In Italy' started by Jim, Aug 26, 2010.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Lieutenant-Colonel Julius Schlegel was a Viennese officer in the elite Hermann Goring Division in 1943. He was also a dedicated art lover and, as the Allies approached Cassino, became increasingly concerned at the damage the monastery treasures might suffer if the building became a battlefield. In October he persuaded the Arch-abbot, Dom Grigorio Diamare, to allow his men to transport the priceless paintings, manuscripts and sculptures to safety in the Vatican. The Benedictine monks held a special Mass for Schlegel and presented him with an illuminated scroll as a sign of their gratitude. Unfortunately, the myth that the Germans had looted the monastery persisted after the war and it took no less than General Alexander's direct intervention to release Schlegel from prison.

    Some of the abbey's art treasures which survived.

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