Werner Markus ( 1923-1996 )
Werner Markus was born in Düsseldorf, Germany on January 11, 1923. He grew up in a Jewish family during the tumultuous rise of the Nazi Party, witnessing the coming of war and fearing for the safety of his family and friends. In 1939, at the age of sixteen, Markus and his family, including his younger sister, fled Germany. The family escaped through the Netherlands, where they boarded a ship bound for the United States. Arriving in New York in August 1939, Markus worked as a farmer until his enlistment in the U.S. Army in September 1944. He became a naturalized American citizen the following November.
By December 1945, Markus had joined the MFAA Branch of the Office of Military Government for Bavaria, Regierungsbezirk Oberfranken and Mittelfranken. He served as the assistant and driver to Monuments Man Lt. Frank P. Albright, drafting reports on Albright’s work and accompanying him on field trips. Together, the pair conducted inspections of churches, castles, and repositories in the area surrounding Ansbach and Nuremberg, including Guttenberg Castle, the hiding spot for objects belonging to the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg. They also inspected Colmberg Castle in Asbach, where they discovered enough Russian icons to fill four rooms floor to ceiling. Markus remained involved with the MFAA in Germany until February 1946, when he was discharged on account of hardship and returned to the United States.
Werner Markus died in Carlsdbad, California on February 10, 1996.
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