The University of St. Thomas, with the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield and the Dr. Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Round Table, will present a lecture by internationally celebrated author Lynn Nicholas on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Lynn Nicholas

Lynn Nicholas

Nicholas is the author of The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War. She will give her presentation of the same title at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, in Room 126, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts. The presentation is free and open to the public.

First published in 1994, The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War is still in publication and considered the seminal work on the displacement of cultural assets during World War II. This is the gripping story of how some of Europe’s most important cultural treasures were sold, destroyed, or looted by the Nazis during their quest for world domination.

As Nicholas states in her book, “Never had works of art been so important to a political movement and never had they been moved about on such a vast scale, pawns in the cynical and desperate games of ideology, greed, and survival.”

While recounting these events, Nicholas also credits some of the most unsung heroes of WWII, the “Monuments Men,” who worked to preserve, catalogue and restitute cultural property back to the rightful owners at the end of the war. The consequences of these events are still being felt today as families and institutions continue to search for lost works of art and museums work to research the WWII provenance of their collections.

Nicholas was educated in the United States, Spain and England and received her B.A. from Oxford University. After her return to this country she worked for a time at the National Gallery of Art. Nicholas has served as an expert witness in restitution cases and testified before Congress on restitution issues. She was a presenter at the Washington Conference on Holocaust Era Assets at the State Department in 1998 and a member of the U.S. delegation to the Prague Conference in 2009.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower looks over a collection of art that the allies recovered following WWII.

She has lectured at many museums and universities both here and abroad and participated frequently in international symposia related to the wartime fate of works of art. Nicholas has been awarded the Legion d’Honneur by France and the Amicus Poloniae by Poland. She and her husband live in Washington, D.C.

Copies of Nicholas’ book will be available for sale at the lecture; a reception will follow the lecture.

Parking is available in the Anderson Parking Facility, on the corner of Grand and Cretin avenues. For handicap requests call 651) 962-6315.