The Art That Hitler Hated

October 28, 2014

On a train crossing from Switzerland to Germany, an old man was searched by customs officials. They found 9,000 euros in cash. Their suspicions started a journey back in time, to a hoard of art hidden since the Third Reich. It has reignited passions that seemed long spent. These were not old masters but new – works the Nazis labelled ‘degenerate’, like the Jews themselves. They tried to wipe out both.

Hildebrand Gurlitt, the father of the old man on the train, was a dealer for the Nazis, selling these works abroad and keeping some for himself.

In this two-part special, imagine… follows the extraordinary story of the Gurlitts, and those of the families who have been fighting to find their lost art.

“Jill Nicholls lays out the case against the German art establishment like a QC conducting a lethal cross examination – calm, forensic and utterly damning.”
The Times

‘Riveting two parter examining one of the most extraordinary and explosive art stories of recent times’
Daily Mail

“Leaves one seething with incredulous rage.”
Financial Times


  • Artecinema 2015 – Official Selection



Executive Producers Nick Fraser (‘Storyville’) and Anne Webber
Producer/Director Jill Nicholls
Field Producer Nicky Bolster
Series Editor and Presenter Alan Yentob
Film Editor Allen Charlton
Cinematography Daniel Meyers