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German History in Documents and Images
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Sculpture by Joseph Thorak on the Berlin Reich Sports Field (1937)
The monumental sculptures created by Joseph Thorak and Arno Breker for the "Reich Sports Field" (Olympic Stadium) in Berlin are now synonymous with the bombastic, sterile aesthetics of the Third Reich. The Olympic Stadium contracts were commercial breakthroughs for both artists, turning Thorak and Breker into representatives of the Nazi regime's official state art. As can be seen in the photo, the sculptures served, among other things, as instruments of propaganda at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, but they had far less impact than the artistically innovative propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl. A few of these sculptures can still be seen as part of a memorial on the grounds.