In June 1945 the Munich Central Collecting Point was opened in the former Nazi Party Headquarters close to the Königsplatz downtown Munich. Central Collecting Points were established in Munich and Wiesbaden, to house and sort the thousands of works of art being found by Monuments Men in repositories across Southern Germany, and the Central Collecting Point in Munich was designated to primarily hold ERR (Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg) loot, Hitler and Goering’s collections, and other masterpieces found in Berchtesgaden, Neuschwanstein and the Altaussee salt mine.
Several hundred men worked with military forces for the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Allied armies. The program was established in 1943 to help save cultural property in war areas during and after World War II. The safeguard of historic and cultural monuments from war damage was somehow an illusion if one imagines the vast damages of cultural heritage caused by air-warfare with entire cities burned down.
After the German surrender in May 1945 the monuments men were around to find and return works of art and other items of cultural importance that had been stolen by the Nazis or hidden for safekeeping. In Berchtesgaden the 101st Airborne Division found more than 1,000 paintings and sculptures collected by Hermann Göring. The cache had been evacuated from his country estate, Carinhall, and moved to Berchtesgaden in April 1945 to protect it from the invading Russians. The film shows Major Harry V. Anderson working on an inventory of the masterpieces found. The civilian who shows the paintings is the galerist of Hermann Göring, Walter Andreas Hofer. The inventory lists masterpices of Old Masters like P.P. Rubens, Titian, van Dyck and others.
In Neuschwanstein Castle over 6,000 items plundered mainly in France by the ERR (Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, Alfred Rosenberg’s task force that handled the “legalized” looting of Jews) from mostly jewish private collectors in France were found. Furniture, paintings, jewelry and other belongings.