Last 'Monument Man' and Jewish war hero dies at age 92

Harry Ettlinger was a German-born Jew who escaped Nazi Germany only to be sent back during World War II.

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October 24, 2018 16:35
1 minute read.
World War II veteran Harry Ettlinger, a monuments man, speaks at a Gold Medal ceremony

World War II veteran Harry Ettlinger, a monuments man, speaks at a Gold Medal ceremony honoring the monuments men. (photo credit: JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS)

 
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Harry Ettlinger, one of the famed Monuments Men who worked with Allies forces to save art and artifacts from Nazi destruction, died at age 92 this past Sunday in Trenton, NJ.

Ettlinger received the US Congressional Gold Medal and delivered a speech in front of Congress on behalf of the Monuments Men.
The German-born hero escaped Nazi Germany and fled to America in 1938. After settling in Newark, NJ, Ettlinger joined the army and was sent back to his home country to fight against them.


Moments before heading into the deadly Battle of the Bulge, he was plucked from the convoy and asked to translate for the army instead.


He would serve as a translator and driver for the Monuments Men, helping to save artwork, sculptures and tapestries before the Nazis demolished them.


After the war, Ettlinger went on to have a successful career in aerospace engineering. He served as the State Commander for the New Jersey Jewish War Veterans.


In 2014, the Monuments Men received renewed attention as the subject of a George Clooney-directed film. In an interview with the New Yorker about the film, Ettlinger called himself the only living Monument Man left.


Ettlinger's funeral will be held on Friday in Livingston, NJ.

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