The planets have aligned, y’all. Like furrealz, everything in my life from the past month has come together to finally make sense.
Here are the bits and bobbles of seemingly unrelated things that have happened:
- I moved to Munich.
- I learned from my trusty Rick Steves guidebook that during World War II, in order to present an outer facade of confidence, the Nazi government left many museums and churches open, and they didn’t even hide or protect a lot of their artwork and architecture. Instead, they just took pictures of everything. So lots of church altars and palace murals and the like got destroyed in the bombings, and the Germans had to use the pictures to restore everything.
- I watched a documentary, recommended by Natasha (name changed to protect her identity), called The Rape of Europa; it explores the ins and outs of Hitler’s mad obsession with art, and the ways that he and the Nazis bought or stole thousands of pieces of European art in an attempt to create the largest and greatest art museum in the world. He even made elaborate plans to build this museum, called the Führermuseum, in his childhood home of Linz, Austria. It also talks about how everyone on all sides of the war was hiding art in every nook and monastery and cranny. And it talks about how over 50,000 works of art are still missing today, some because people who had hidden pieces kept them after the war instead of turning them in to the art recovery authorities, and some because they were missing during the war and just got completely destroyed before people knew of their whereabouts.
- Natasha also told me about this movie called The Monuments Men that’s coming out early next year. It’s based on a true story about American soldiers during World War II who were tasked with finding, restoring, and returning all the above-mentioned art that the Nazis stole from Poland, Austria, France, Russia, Italy, and the Jews.
- I visited Neuschwanstein castle in southern Bavaria, where I learned that Hitler used this castle to hide thousands of the stolen paintings. After the war, the Allies found and carted 49 train cars worth of stolen art out of Neuschwanstein.
All of these things happened the past few weeks, and then lo and behold, yesterday Natasha posted this article on my Facebook wall. Essentially, German authorities recently found what they believe is a giganto stash of around 1,500 pieces of art that were stolen by the Nazis during World War II. And they found this giganto stash in some random dude’s apartment in MUNICH. Munich, people. Like how is this happening to me?
I’ll tell you how: it’s this thing called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Carl Jung called it synchronicity. Basically it’s where you learn about a concept that you’ve never heard of or thought about before, and then all of a sudden that concept wants to be your best friend and so shows up all over the place, like in your cereal bowl and on a flyer outside the gym and under your pillow when you go to bed.
And while all of these crazy coincidences are happening, life makes perfect sense.