I’ve never thought to write a journal until today. I feel like I finally have something worth documenting.
My city is under siege. This Vichy government is not my own. And occupied by the Germans, this city is no longer my Paris.
Armistice at Compeigne? This is not armistice. This is occupation. This is surrender.
As Petain said, “We are defeated”.
I never thought we would collapse so quickly.
We are strong. We are French. Was I wrong?
Most everyone else is gone. I’m the only one left. The lone custodian. The Jeu de Paume is now a Nazi shop—a clearinghouse for their systematic looting.
I can only think I am lucky to be here and to bear witness to their crimes. They underestimate us. They underestimate me.
I am scared. Not of death, but of living under their rule.
They see me as a simple woman. Weak and quiet. They are wrong.
One radical group cannot be let to destroy an entire culture.
I am so lucky they are fooled by my cooperative nature. These Nazis are brutal and their evil has blinded them.
If it takes my every last ounce of strength. If it takes my very life, fine. Because I will make them pay.
Today I had the unfortunate luck to meet quite a leech of a man: Hermann Goring. This Reichsmarschall may be Hitler’s second in command, but he seems more interested in enriching his own personal art collection than contributing to the Fuhrermuseum in Linz. Figures. These sick animals will destroy each other soon enough.
I know Paris is only a small slice of this battleground, but it’s my slice. And it’s painful to sit idly in their midst.
My museum had a new visitor today. He calls himself Colonel von Behr—a Nazi disguised as a gentleman. He loves art like a butcher loves animals.
His French is quite good, but I don’t count him as much of a threat. Von Behr is neither perceptive nor thoughtful.
He’s charming, but ultimately a savage. His intellect is no match for his blood thirst.
Von Behr sees the Jeu de Paume not as a place of art, but of treasure. He’s a bandit. He’s here to loot.
I am losing the ability to sleep. They’ve turned my place of work into a slaughterhouse. It haunts me.
I said before that I sat idly among them. I was wrong. I mustn’t let myself become so dispirited. It will not help my efforts.
I am not idle. I am patient. I am a spy. And I will persevere.
The Nazis steal from our museums, they steal from our families, and today, they steal from one another. I spotted Lohse hiding four paintings in the trunk of his car. Cannibals. They have no rules and no souls.
I never dreamed people could be so horrible. The reality, the pure depths of evil I witness, is devastating.
The wait is taking a toll on me. I don’t know how much more I can take. Everything keeps getting worse.
I feel I am doing all I can to help protect my city, my people, our culture—but I know the suffering is far from just what I see before me. The stories of violence. The mass killings. These men I see everyday are responsible. They’re mass murders and I serve them.
I hope my work will pay off. I want nothing more than to bring these men to justice.
Hitler is not just a monster, but a fool. He has designated all modern masters degenerate. The Nazis burned hundreds of irreplaceable works in the street today. Monet, Matisse, Van Gogh—our world has suffered an immeasurable loss. Hitler worships Vermeer why, because someone told him it was greatness realized? He is a failure to art just as much as to humanity—I will dance the day he vanishes from our Earth.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in prison. I’ve spent a good time of my life alone, but surrounded by these horrible criminals has made me feel more isolated than ever before.
With every shipment that comes through, I am haunted. These train cars are full of not just furniture and art; they’re holding whole lives. Homes looted, lives discarded, and this is all that’s left. It’s gut wrenching.
I am grateful to be in a position where I might be able to help, but it certainly doesn’t feel like enough.
Goring’s despicable art dealer Lohse spotted me looking at addresses on a crate.
I’m nobody. For all he knows, I can’t even read. They’re getting more paranoid with every day. This dynamic may come in handy.
I’ve never been one to play games, but I can’t beat these heathens by force.
My only weapon is their weakness.
Goring gutted my France again, today. He left the Jeu de Paume with some of man’s most beautiful works. I assume they’re going to Carinhall where Goring will hang his filched masterpieces next to his hunting trophies.
The coincidence only devastates me further.
This work belonged to the Rothschild family. I’ve catalogued hundreds if not thousands of paintings the ERR stole from the Rothschilds. And yes, of course, the Rothschilds were Jews. I don’t know if such an injustice can ever be repaired.
I spit in their wine. I couldn’t believe what came over me, but there I was in the
kitchen and the urge came over me. I was boiling. It was reckless, but I had to do it. And, to be honest, it felt so good. It was all I could do to contain my increasingly intoxicating contempt.
Stahl let Goring take Van Gogh’s Sunflowers . “A gift for the Fuhrer,” he said. Our civilization is not his to rob. Sunflowers to Berchtesgaden? It sickens me to think a man so evil owning something so great.
Peter is dead. Stahl came to my home threatening I’d end up next to Peter at the bottom of the Siene. I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. If I am discovered, I am dead and this will have been for nothing.
The Resistance has lost a great man. Goodbye, my brother.