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Monuments Couples: Celebrating the Monuments Men Who Found Love During Their Military Service


Ole Risom & Agnes von Rechberg

Ole Risom and Agnes von Rechberg

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ole Risom enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division until February 1944, at which time he was sent to the European Theater of Operations. Cpl Risom was assigned to U.S. Third Army and arrived at the Munich Central Collecting Point in July 1945. There, he worked closely with Agnes von Rechberg, Chief Secretary and Administrative Assistant at the collecting point.


After falling in love during their restitution work, they married in May 1947 and moved to the United States. Mr. Risom would go on to work at Random House Publishing, where he would collaborate with the greatest creative artists of his time including Dr. Seuss, Jim Henson, Charles M. Schultz, the Berenstains, Marc Brown, and Laurent de Brunhoff. Mrs. Risom would open and manage her own store, Book Ends Cottage.



Samuel Rosenbaum & Edith “Ducky” Caspary

Edith “Ducky” Caspary and Samuel Rosenbaum

Sgt. Rosenbaum enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 1942. Following the D-Day landings, he served in Paris after liberation, and in Luxembourg during the Battle of the Bulge. He and German music critic and freelance writer turned underground resistance fighter, Edith “Ducky” Caspary met in Paris after liberation.


Caspary, who worked with anti-Nazi resistance groups in England, France, and Switzerland, had been imprisoned by the Gestapo for her involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler and had spent nearly 18 months in solitary confinement. Upon his discharge from the U.S. Army in February 1946, Rosenbaum volunteered for service with the MFAA as an Investigator at the Munich Central Collecting Point.


The couple returned to the United States in early 1947, where Sam and Edith Rosenbaum helped manage his family’s home furnishing business in Paterson, New Jersey. Edith was finally awarded her United States citizenship in 1958.



James A. Reeds & Hedwig Neumann

James A. Reeds and Hedwig Neumann

Monuments Man Sgt. James Reeds and Hedwig Neumann met during the war after Neumann had fled to England to escape Nazi persecution in Vienna. Much of her extended family, based in Austria and Poland, was killed in the Holocaust. Seeking refuge in England, she worked for the U.S. Civil Censorship Division in Germany after the war.


James and Hedwig would return to the United States in early 1947 and both would go on to teach at the University of Missouri, Kansas City for many years. In 2007, James Reeds was one of the four Monuments Men attending the ceremony at Congress announcing the creation of the Monuments Men Foundation.



Frederick Charles Shrady & Maria Louise Likar-Waltersdorff

Frederick C. Shrady and Maria Louise Likar-Waltersdorff

Frederick C. Shrady’s impressive career as an artist was placed on hold with his enlistment in the U.S. Army in June 1943. In August 1944 Shrady applied for an assignment with the MFAA. He was eventually attached to U.S. Third Army.


While serving in Vienna, Austria, Monuments Man Lt. Shrady met his wife, Maria Louise Likar-Waltersdorff, who was an interpreter for the MFAA. They married in 1946.


Following his return to the United States, Shrady abandoned painting to focus exclusively on sculpture. In 1982 Shrady became the first American artist to be commissioned by a Pope. His 12-foot marble statue, Our Lady of Fatima, was presented to Pope John Paul II and resides in the Vatican Gardens.



Clyde Kenneth Harris & Princess Cecilie of Prussia

Clyde K. Harris and Princess Cecilie of Prussia

Clyde Kenneth Harris and Princess Cecilie Viktoria Anastasia Zeta Thyra Adelheid of Prussia, daughter of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia and granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II, met while Monuments Man Lt. Harris was assigned to the MFAA Branch, U.S. Group Control Commission. There, he was responsible for inspecting the repositories of the Darmstadt Landesmuseum and of the collections belonging to the family of Prince Ludwig von Hessen.


The pair soon fell in love and married on June 21, 1949, at the Castle Burg Hohenzollern in Hechingen in the Black Forest Region. Their fairy-tale romance received international attention and the couple eventually settled in Amarillo, Texas, where Harris established an interior decorating business. He designed and decorated many beautiful homes in Amarillo, inspired by European architecture and furnished with items imported from Europe.

We would like to extend a special thank you to the families that shared photos and memories of their loved ones. We are grateful for their continued friendship and support.


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