SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH
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THE THIRD REICH’S architectural triumphs, Olympic events and trade exhibitions, were extravagantly adorned by the most stunning sculptures. These splendours have since been destroyed and their records airbrushed out of the history books by the victors of World War II.
The staggering beauty and size of the statues, monuments, and war memorials created by Arno Breker, Fritz Klimsch, Josef Thorak, and Ernst Kunst among many others might be forgotten without this sumptuous illustrated record of the Reich Renaissance. Here is art that surpasses that of history’s great civilizations.
Leafing through its 144 pages with nearly 300 superb photographs and images supported by captions and biographies, Sculptures of the Third Reich Volumes I and II will leave you breathless. You will surely ask yourself, “What on earth have we destroyed?”
Until the fall of the Third Reich, Professor Arno Breker was a professor of visual arts in Berlin. While nearly all of his sculptures survived WWII, more than 90% of his public works were deliberately and systematically destroyed by the Allies after the war.
Historian Gerry Frederics says, “American soldiers used Fritz Klimsch sculptures for target practice. In 1945 his studio was plundered by American troops who thereupon destroyed a large part of his work and stole most of what remained.”
Ironically, the names and works of the greatest sculptors in history may be better known and appreciated in 2000 years than they are today. Today’s generation has this one opportunity to see for themselves what the victors of World War II have since tried to hide from them.
Massive, systematic destruction of National Socialist artworks has continued since August 1945 in accordance with the terms of the Potsdam-Agreement. Thousands of paintings, portraits of National Socialist leaders, images, artworks and paintings that included a Swastika or depicted military/war landscapes, were considered ‘of no value’ and destroyed.
With anything that came to hand, the Allies set about destroying countless sculptures and burned thousands of paintings. Around 8,722 artworks were plundered and shipped to military deposits in the U.S.
OMGUS regulated and censored the Allied view of the German art world. The Information Control Division (ICD, the key structure in the political control of post-war German culture in the American zone). With its seven subdivisions (i.e. press, literature, radio, film, theatre, music, and art) the power of OMGUS to destroy, confiscate and plunder Reich related art in all its forms was total. As the process of destruction continued unabated the artworks of what has been described as the greatest cultural renaissance since the birth of the Roman Empire was lost to posterity.
There was never a revenge or tit-for-tat motive: Gerry Frederics, the most diligent and erudite researchers specialises in German art. The art historian contacted the great European / Russian art galleries in German-occupied Europe. His purpose was to invite evidence of plunder by the German occupiers. Not one was able to do so.
However, the art historian says, “I have in my possession a letter from the official historian of the Louvre in Paris in which he states unequivocally that no German soldier plundered French or indeed any other art museum.
Furthermore, I quote the American Major General Le Roy Lutes in a Stars and Stripes newspaper interview of Oct 1944: “I am told the Germans neither plundered homes, factories nor art museums. In fact, we are told by the French that the Germans treated them fairly and correctly.”
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MICHAEL WALSH is an internationally acclaimed journalist, author, poet and broadcaster shunned by liberal-left corporate media.
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