For any American museum to ignore its responsibilities under the Washington Principles, which govern their duty to victims of Hitler and the Nazis, is more than just shameful. It ignores the moral arc of history—what Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower referred to as the “ideals” for which the war was fought. On April 12, 1945, Eisenhower, alongside Generals Patton and Bradley, walked through Ohrdruf, a Nazi forced labor subcamp to the Buchenwald system, in utt
I am very excited to share the news of an upcoming book, written by my dear friend, Susan Eisenhower, about her grandfather titled “How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions.” This outstanding book is filled with suspenseful moments covering the breadth of Eisenhower’s remarkable career in which his astute leadership skills were on full display. Reading this story about a true war hero and leader is to put on x-ray vision glasses that see throug
It was quite an honor and thrill to be in Castellabate, Italy last Saturday evening to receive the Pio Alferano Award for service to the arts. The open-air celebration and fireworks show that followed added to the excitement. I met a wonderful group of people and beautifully arranged, like only the Italians can do. One highlight: these very moving remarks delivered by Dr. Vittorio Sgarbi [translated into English below], one of the foremost cultural critic and art historians i
Imagine young boys like this American soldier on guard duty, having never traveled before their military service, being shipped overseas to fight a war on foreign lands and coming upon a site like the Temple of Hera in Paestum, Italy. What stories they had to tell upon returning home!
I’ve been fortunate to travel often, but seeing this incredibly well-preserved Greek settlement for the first time left me speechless. It left many others speechless too. The renowned philosop
Monuments Man Lt. Fred Hartt, a towering figure in the art world and one of the saviors of Tuscany’s incomparable works of art – both during World War II and again in 1966, when floods devastated the city – died in 1991. His remains are buried in the cemetery on the hill of San Miniato in Florence, the only city he ever considered home. His spirit, and that of Monuments Man Capt. Deane Keller, who is also buried in Tuscany (at the Campo Santo in Pisa), were present today as w
During World War II, the United States and England established the high bar for the protection of cultural treasures during war through the work of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section of the Western Allied armies. The fullness of the achievements of the Monuments Men and Women, both during and especially after the war, are only now being realized. Today, however, that mantle of leadership has passed to the Cultural Heritage Protection Unit of the Carabinieri, the I
Freedom to never vote and still be entitled to criticise those in public office.
Freedom to disrespect or even desecrate the nation’s flag yet not fear arrest.
Freedom to be ignorant of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights and at the same time enjoy their protection and their privileges.
Freedom to be a resident of the United States without speaking English and not be treated like a foreigner.
Freedom to choose not to work, not have an income,
Today marks the 75th anniversary of “D-Day,” when Western Allied forces landed tens of thousands of troops along the Normandy coastline in what was the largest seaborne invasion in history. Today the outcome is not just well known, but legend. Countless books and films have been written about just that twenty-four hour period; many more will, no doubt, follow in the future despite the passage of time. But the success of the invasion was anything but assured. President Rooseve
“I wish I had more money.” “I wish I had more free time.” “I wish I could get that promotion at work.” “I wish I were young again.” “I wish my son was alive.” This Memorial Day, I wish my fellow Americans, in the luxury of a safe environment, far away from snipers’ bullets and improvised explosive devices, will pause long enough to give thanks for the things that are NOT on their wish list. Today, far too many American military families bereave the loss of their loved one, th
Over the past sixteen years I’ve been fortunate to visit the White House, Congress, the Vatican, and the National Archives. Those special moments have drawn public attention to my work honoring the Monuments Men and Women. Far less visible, but no less meaningful, is my effort to share these heroes’ legacy with students and teachers in the United States and around the world. Our youth will be the leaders of tomorrow. To effect positive and lasting change, we must engage their
Certainly the greatest privilege of my work these past sixteen years has been meeting the Monuments Men and Women and the friendships that evolved with them and their families. In the fall of 2014, one of the Monuments Men Foundation researchers learned that Rouben Sami, who served as Deputy Director of the Offenbach Collecting Point, was alive and well. A week later, I was sitting in the kitchen of his South Florida home visiting with Rouben, his wife, Lena, and daughter, Re