The Rape of Europa
by Phil Boatwright

This documentary tells the story of the Nazi theft of art during WWII.  The Rape of Europa is a very current film, not only for the recent news of the discovery of a cache of art in Germany that has been in the headlines. In addition to theft, the film tells the story of the Monument Men who were charged by the US Army with the preservation of western civilization's masterpieces during that war. The story of the Monuments Men will be retold in the upcoming film Monuments Men starring and directed by George Clooney.  That film will be released February 7, 2014 by Sony Pictures.

Admittedly, it’s kind of like watching a film in high school civics. While The Rape of Europa is educational, there’s also a lot of info to digest in the nearly two-hour-long documentary. But I’ll tell you something, it’s not only provocative and mesmerizing, it’s also timely and a most important film.

The Rape of Europa doesn’t just concern the stealing of art. It lays out Hitler’s determination to wipe off the face of the earth anyone he felt unfit or unworthy. Somehow, he convinced many in his nation that Jews and others were guilty of Germany’s problems. Slowly, then quickly, he and his military generals carried out demonic acts that still haunt the world. This is one of the most important films you’ll ever watch, because when history is not studied and understood, it usually repeats itself.

The film is unrated, but it contains some disturbing visuals of death camps and slave labor that are unsuitable for children. We see oppression, devastation and learn of the horrors of war, with visuals of dead bodies to bring the message home. But The Rape of Europa from Menemsha Films isn’t just a history lesson, folks. This film will grab your emotions and never let go.