Hitler's Holy Relics by Sidney Kirkpatrick
A True Story of Nazi Plunder and the Race to Recover the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire

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From Paris to Stalingrad, the Nazis systematically plundered all manner of art and antiquities. But the first and most valuable treasures they looted were the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. In Hitler’s Holy Relics, bestselling author Sidney Kirkpatrick tells the riveting and never-before-told true story of how an American college professor turned Army sleuth recovered these cherished symbols of Hitler’s Thousand-Year Reich before they could become a rallying point in the creation of a Fourth and equally unholy Reich.

Anticipating the Allied invasion of Nazi Germany, Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler had ordered a top-secret bunker carved deep into the bedrock beneath Nürnberg castle. Inside the well-guarded chamber was a specially constructed vault that held the plundered treasures Hitler valued the most: the Spear of Destiny (reputed to have been used to pierce Christ’s side while he was on the cross) and the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, ancient artifacts steeped in medieval mysticism and coveted by world rulers from Charlemagne to Napoleon. But as Allied bombers rained devastation upon Nürnberg and the U.S. Seventh Army prepared to invade the city Hitler called “the soul of the Nazi Party,” five of the most precious relics, all central to the coronation ceremony of a would-be Holy Roman Emperor, vanished from the vault. Who took them? And why? The mystery remained unsolved for months after the war’s end, until the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, ordered Lieutenant Walter Horn, a German-born art historian on leave from U.C. Berkeley, to hunt down the missing treasures.

To accomplish his mission, Horn must revisit the now-rubble-strewn landscape of his youth and delve into the ancient legends and arcane mysticism surrounding the antiquities that Hitler had looted in his quest for world domination. Horn searches for clues in the burnt remains of Himmler’s private castle and follows the trail of neo-Nazi “Teutonic  Knights” charged with protecting a vast hidden  fortune in plundered gold and other treasure. Along  the way, Horn has to confront his own demons:  how members of his family and former academic  colleagues subverted scholarly research to help  legitimize Hitler’s theories of Aryan supremacy  and the Master Race. What Horn discovers on his  investigative odyssey is so explosive that his final  report will remain secret for decades.

Drawing on unpublished interrogation and  intelligence reports, as well as on diaries, letters,  journals, and interviews in the United States and Germany, Kirkpatrick tells this riveting and disturbing story with cinematic detail and reveals— for the first time—how a failed Vienna art student, obsessed with the occult and dreams of his own grandeur, nearly succeeded in creating a Holy Reich rooted in a twisted reinvention of medieval and Church history.

About Sidney Kirkpatrick

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SIDNEY KIRKPATRICK is an award-winning filmmaker and international bestselling author. The New York Times wrote of Kirkpatrick’s previous bestselling book, A Cast of Killers, that it was “not mere scholarly speculation on dusty archives involving people long since gone to their graves. In Kirkpatrick’s hands it’s a living case.” He lives in Stony Brook, New York. CHARLES STRANSKY has appeared on Broadway in Glengarry Glen Ross and The Front Page. He can be seen in The Spanish Prisoner, Homicide, andThings Change, all written and directed by David Mamet, and many other films. He has appeared in sitcoms such as Newhart, Murphy Brown, Frank's Place, My Sister Sam, in several episodes of Law & Order, and also in daytime dramas and commercials. He has narrated numerous audio books.
Published April 30, 2010 by Simon & Schuster. 364 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Travel, War, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Using military records, correspondence, diaries, interviews and archival materials, Kirkpatrick shows how scholar-soldier-sleuth Horn overcame a foot-dragging American captain whose own sloppy supervision had caused the relics’ loss, former Nazi functionaries reluctant to divulge all they knew an...

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The Telegraph

In fact, as McKinstry convincingly argues, by rights the Hurricane should be the more celebrated aircraft: 1,715 Hurricanes fought it out in the blue summer skies over southern England 70 years ago – more than double the number of Spitfires engaged and, tellingly, four fifths of the enem...

Aug 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Hitler's Holy Relics: A True ...

World War II Database

The reader, Charles Stransky, was a storyteller, which was certainly appreciated in reading a dramatic book like Hitler's Holy Relics.

Sep 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Hitler's Holy Relics: A True ...

Culture Mob

Kirkpatrick’s immensely entertaining Hitler’s Holy Relics (Simon & Schuster, $15) tells the story of the special mission, authorized by then-General Dwight D.

May 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Hitler's Holy Relics: A True ...

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