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William Walker ( ? -? )

William Walker served with the MFAA Section of the Office of Military Government for Bavaria (OMGB). Due to the commonality of his name, we cannot be certain of his identity and thus know nothing of his life before and after the war.

Walker assisted Monuments Man Capt. Edward E. Adams with the evacuation from Neuschwanstein Castle (near Füssen in the Bavarian Alps) of more than twenty thousand works of art stolen from private collectors and art dealers in France, many of whom were Jews. These included the Rothschild jewelry collection, silver from the David-Weill collection, and paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Fragonard, Watteau, Canaletto, along with the detailed records of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg. The ERR was a task force commissioned by Adolf Hitler to plunder art including works destined for his planned Führermuseum in Linz, Austria.

Adams and Walker devised a carefully detailed evacuation plan using a limited supply of ropes, wood planks, and manpower. The pair was responsible for double checking each crate’s contents, assigning an adequate number of guards, and ensuring that the shipment remained on schedule. Slowly but surely, over 600 crates made their way down the castle’s steep staircases. The crates were then loaded into 52 trucks before being driven seven kilometers to twenty-one train cars. On October 25, 1945, the first trainload of looted objects departed Füssen for Paris escorted by French Restitution Officer Monuments Man Capt. Hubert de Brye.

The Foundation is very interested in learning more about William Walker’s life, as well as his military service as a Monuments Man. If you have any information, please contact abottinelli@monumentsmenfoundation.org.