Congress Honors "Monuments Men"
On Wednesday, Rep. Frelinghuysen participated in a ceremony honoring World War II heroes known as Monuments Men. The Monuments Men are a group of American World War II heroes who worked in the War Department s Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives section. These individuals, nicknamed Monuments Men by American GI s, rescued tens of thousands of pieces of art and monuments from Hitler and the Nazis, including some of the most famous works of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Raphael, Vermeer, Picasso, and DaVinci.
One of the Monuments Men, Harry Ettlinger, is a resident of the 11th Congressional District.
This unique multinational group of more than 400 men and women served behind enemy lines and joined frontline military units to ensure the preservation and restitution of the world s greatest artistic and cultural treasures. Only 13 are known to still be alive.
Harry Ettlinger emigrated to the United States from Germany with his family in 1938, escaping the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party, said Frelinghuysen. As a young man, he was drafted into the service of his adopted country and spent many months overseeing the removal of precious artwork from the Heilbronn salt mines. He and the other Monuments Men saved countless precious works of art so that they may continue to be enjoyed and studied by generations to come. They are owed a debt of gratitude and today s recognition is richly deserved and long overdue.
Mr. Ettlinger is very active in Morris County and in New Jersey with a number of veteran organizations and also chairs the Wallenberg Foundation of New Jersey, named for Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish-born Protestant who assisted with the rescue of approximately 100,000 Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust.