After Germany had returned the painting The Lamb of God back to Belgium as described in the Treaty of Versailles, the Belgians saw the threat of World War II. In 1940 they decided to provide a safe refuge in the Vatican. When the painting was en route to the Vatican, Italy declared war with Germany and the plans were changed. They chose to put the painting in the castle of Pau. In 1942, Adolf Hitler, however, gave the order to move the painting to a castle in Bavaria. On August 2 1942, the curator in Pau received a telegram from his Vichy government to give the painting to the Nazi Director General Buchner. That's how the painting got back in German hands.