Research and story by Clarence Simonsen
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Hitler had only been in power for three months, then in April 1933, all German clubs for boys and girls ages 10 to 18 were consolidated by the State. Hitler Youth organizations were created and all German youth were set on a course to prepare them mentally and physically to serve Hitler and the Reich. German parents had no right to prevent their children from being selected for special schools, where academics were taught under military control. One examination even measured the youth’s skull, making sure it was “Aryan” enough in shape. Hundreds of these young men would meet the requirements for the SS, who became the fountainhead of the future German racial elite. The SS were given every encouragement and opportunity to sire children for their “Fuhrer”, and the young women were urged to mate with the SS men to produce children as their sacred duty. They did not have to get married, and the children were considered to be legitimate.
On 12 December 1935, Reichsfuhrer-SS-Heinrich Himmler created a new program known as Lebensborn [Fountain of Youth]. They built a chain of maternity homes throughout Germany where the new Lebensborn children were raised by student nurses called “little blond sister”. The baby was later placed with a suitable German family and the young women produced a child for the super race. Each SS child was given a silver spoon, a silver beaker, and a blue silk shawl.
German Federal Archives – Maternity Nurse [little blonde sister] at Lebensborn facility 1943.
Contrary to some belief, Hilter had no problem with nudity as long it showed the Nordic or Aryan look. The Nazi nude male was used in paintings and sculptors, depicted as responsible, heroic and powerful.
The “Bund Deutscher Madel in der Hitler-Jugend”[League of Girls] were used in publication of nudist magazines and posters showing neat, clean, full breasted, German girls having a flat belly, long-muscled thighs and slim over-all. The new Nazi image of the German “Aryan” girl. On 1 December 1936, a new law concerning Hitler Youth, forced all eligible [10 years of age] ethnic German girls to become a member of the BDM, League of Girls. The girls age 10-14 became Jungmadelbund, and the girls 14 to 18 became Bund Deutscher Madel [BDM]. The senior German girls were indoctrinated in their duty to bear children for the Reich, in or out of wedlock. Special social events were arranged to bring the SS men together with the young women of the League of Girls. In most cases, the pre – or extra marital relationship was more a line of Nazi duty than love and affection for the father.
Historians all seem to agree, it is very hard to understand the attitude of von Braun towards the National Socialist regime he served under, or the reason he obtained his Nazi Party membership. He has stated, “My membership in the party did not involve any political activity.” He also stated in a 1952 memoir, “I fared relatively well under totalitarianism.” Maybe some of his reasons were also driven in connection to his sexual life style which was reflected in some A/4 tail art?
Wernher von Braun enrolled in the Berlin Institute of Technology in the summer of 1929, taking mechanical engineering. This 17 year old student was attractive to girls, had a charismatic personality and soon became known as a ladies man. Weimar Berlin was at the height of its unhinged morally, with 500 sexually experimental nightspots and cabarets. Braun joined in the sexual party life and was often seen in the evenings in the company of two girlfriends.
In 1933, Hitler closed down the Weimar Republic sex life style in Germany and replaced it with the new Nazi controlled birth of a new super “Aryan” race. It is possible von Braun used the Nazi swastika pin on his lapel for political gain as well as sexual gain at Peenemunde. Braun was a very intelligent man who knew what he would face if he disagreed with the Nazi ideology and he simply took advantage of this for his own gain. He joined the S.S. #185,068 on 1 November 1933, and reached the rank of SS-Sturmbannfuhrer [Major] on 28 June 1943. He officially applied for membership in the Nazi Party 12 November 1937, just six months after Peenemunde opened. He had many successful affairs within the secretarial and female office pool at the rocket base. I believe he fathered a number of children for the new super race. He possessed all the perfect qualities of the super Aryan race father, a Nazi party member, a S.S. Officer, combined with the fact he was the Technical Director of the Army Rocket Centre at Peenemunde. He lived in the best of all worlds.
In order to achieve their racial ambitions, the National Socialists introduced many reforms which redefined the German social structure. They sought to control the behaviour of all Germans both in and out of the public eye. Under the Third Reich a person’s body was no longer considered their own, but recognized as public, and used to produce the new Aryan race. These new social concepts on gender and sexuality were reflected in the male and female sculptures of the Nazi era. Aron Breker was the best known German sculptor from 1933 to 1942, and maintained a personal friendship with Hitler. Hitler wanted males depicted as responsible, heroic, powerful with boastful muscles, and most of all Aryan or Nordic in appearance. This is clearly reflected in his work as the German human being is slowly being transformed into a living military weapon on the battlefield and a life-like image in Breker’s sculptures.
Arno Breker was born in the town of Elberfeld, near Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1900. He received his earliest training as an apprentice working under his father, who was a sculptor and stonemason. During World War One he attended arts and crafts school and also took private instruction in drawing. In 1920, Breker began formal sculpture training in the State Art Academy in Dusseldorkf from Hubertue Netzer and Wilhelim Kreis. These studies led him to move to Weimar, Paris, and Rome where he worked among renowned masters from 1922 and 1933. This also introduced the young artist to Mussolini’s new fascist Italy, which left a life long impact on the sculptor and his future works of Nazi art. During his six months of study in Rome, Hitler was appointed the new German chancellor and began building his “Thousand Year Reich.” The new Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels made a visit to Rome to meet Mussolini and also stopped to visit Breker at the Academy of Art in Rome. He was encouraged to leave Italy and lend his new talents to building a new Germany, and become a state sculptor working for Hitler. History books describe many options for his magnetism towards Hitler, but all agree his artistic style went through a complete change when he returned to Germany in 1934. In 1936, he completed two sculptures, Victory and Decathlete, for the new Olympic stadium in Berlin, and received a silver medal from the Olympic Arts commission. In 1937, Breker joined the Nazi Party and was named the regime’s Official State Sculptor and Hitler next lavished him with a huge studio for his production of sculptures designed for monumental Nazi buildings. The new studio came with a small staff of professional sculptors, and the head of the S.S. Heinrich Himmler facilitated the transfer of German [possibly also gays and Jews] concentration camp detainess for the forced hard labor in the studio. In this same year, Breker was appointed professor of Berlins’ School for fine Art, and instructed at the Prussian Academy of Fine Arts. His work was also unveiled to the world in the summer of 1937, at the Paris World’s Fair.
Albert Speer and Breker began to collaborate on Hitlers new Reich Chancellery design in January 1938, and two of his male nude sculptures flanked the entryway from the chancellery’s ceremonial “Court of Honor”, which led to a series of adjoining rooms that culminated at Hitler’s appointed office.
On the left is “Torch Bearer” and right “Sword Bearer” both muscular nude males of Aryan perfection.
These two bronze sculptures were eight times larger than life-size and titled by Breker: Torch Bearer, and Sword Bearer, which Hiter changed to [PARTY] flame and [ARMY] sword for Wehrmacht. The presence of Breker’s Greek and Roman god influence is undeniable and this was just the beginning of many that would disseminate the Nazi ideologies in the German minds.
Professor Albert Speer, Inspector-General of Building Construction for the Third Reich, was commissioned by the Fuhrer on 11 January 1938, and the construction began in March 1939. During the nine months of actual construction hundreds of architects, artists, and workmen came from all over Germany. The new Chancellery officially opened on 11 January 1939, and to the world it represented the new modern Nazi Third Reich.
The long hall in the Reich Chancellary was a gallery of bright marble walls, 480 feet long, which led to the Fuhrer’s study. Between the doors hung large goblins from the 17th century, and bronze multi-light fixtures which gave character to the size of the room. Beautifully shaped tables and chairs lined the complete length of the long hall. The entrance to Hitler’s study was located at the end of the hall on the right, constructed of dark marble frame, it reached thirty feet in height.
The door to Hitler’s study was 20 feet high made of solid mahogany [glass inlay] and trimmed with 30 feet of dark marble. This door connected the study with the long hall, which appears on the right in photo. The top of door was decorated with the initials of the Furher, A.H.
The study of the Fuhrer was 33 feet high, 90 feet long and 50 feet wide, walls of dark-red marble and a coffer-work ceiling of redwood. The floors were light decorated marble covered with two thick rugs. Four doors were made of mahogany and inlayed with glass planels, 20 ft high by 6 ft wide. A door on the left [not shown] led outside to the courtyard of honor where Breker’s two large sculptures of the “Party” and the “Wehrmacht” guarded the entrance.
This bronze sculpture by Arno Breker stood beside the Fuhrer’s desk in his study. The name is not known and it is believed to have been destroyed by the Soviet Army in May 1945.
These first Breker sculptures glorifying the Aryan purity and a strong gigantic German nation allowed him into the closest circle around Hitler, which included being invited to tour events and foreign countries with the Furher himself. In May 1940, Hitler bestowed on sculptor Arno Breker the Golden Badge of the Nazi Party. After the fall of France to German forces, Breker, and Speer, accompanied Hitler on his tour of Paris on 23 June 1940. His intimate knowledge of Paris and France was important to Hitler and he remained in Paris for two more years. He appropriated the luxery former Paris home of very rich Polish-American cosmetic manufaturer, Helena Rubenstein, while he continued to receive awards and favored treatment from Hitler and the Nazi leadership. Born in Poland as Chaja Rubinstein, she formed the first female cosmetic company in 1908, and became one of the richest women in the world. Using the name Helena, she moved to Paris and lived in a large townhouse from 1912-15. It is believed Arno Breker picked this home as he suspected Helena was a Polish Jew, which is possibly true.
German Federal Archives – Hilter visits Paris on 23 June 1940. The man on his left is German Architect Albert Speer and Sculptor Arno Breker stands on the right.
This image has been published many times but the importance of this photo is always lost to historians. Some authors credit the man on the right as a cameraman, who just recorded the events of Hitler in Paris. These two men are in fact key figures in helping Hitler build his new Third Reich and both are friends in the inner-circle of the Furher’s elite. They have completed building the new Reich Chancellery [11 January 1939] and now seventeen months later they have come to Paris with the boss himself. Breker did not stay in Paris to drink red wine, he was appointed by Hitler to secretly orchestrate the Nazi plundering of French art and sculptures back to Berlin. His vast art knowledge and connections in the French art world will allow the Nazis to steal the best, and they in fact did. He is the only German artist to exhibit in occupied France, when his sculptures were unveiled at the Paris Orangerie Museum in 1942. The sculpture art of Breker was slowly taking over the entire nation of Germany, imposing the Nazi ideologies with the power of an Aryan race, which appeared to offer a brighter future for the German society in general.
In 1940-41 Breker continued to live in Paris, [steal art for Hermann Goering] plus live and work in his studio in Germany, creating colossal sculptures for Hitler and the Nazi party. With the fall of France, he was able to locate and employ French prisoners of war as sculptors to work in his forced labor studio, which in turn speeded up his creations. These muscular nude male and female sculptures were like the ancient Greek and Roman gods and this beautiful art was being used as a weapon of propaganda by Josef Goebbels and his Nazi regime. At the same time Germans longed for a stable life and thanks to viewing sculptures, war was becoming a symbol of employment, security, and a brighter future for them personally. It is very easy to see why Breker became the favorite “State” sculptor and friend of the Furher.
It is reported that in 1938, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, was so impressed with the monumental statues created by Breker he attempted to commission works from him, but Hitler refused. I also believe this state sculptor nude Aryan style became part of the early A/4 rocket tail art painted by Gerd de Beek at Peenemunde test site in the fall of 1942 and had connections to V4 and V5 tail art.
This free domain image of a German female shows the Aryan style created by Arno Breker for Hitler.
On 3 October 1942, the very first successful launch of an A/4 took place at Peenemunde. Artist Gerd de Beek had no idea which launch would place the world’s first manmade object to leave the atmosphere. For this rocket tail art V4, he selected the image of Wernher von Braun’s heroine “Frau Im Mond” [Girl in the Moon]. While the girl, moon, and stars are clearly understandable, the full nude wearing black whore boots is not as easy. Was de Beek a smart artist who knew what he would face if he disagreed with the Nazi influence or was he simply another gullible German victim of Berker’s propaganda?
Did this nudity reflect on von Braun’s wild night life, during the Weimar Republic era when he attended University in Berlin 1929-32? Possibly, but I also believe it came from the powerful Arno Breker sculpture era 1937-42. The fact remains artist Gerd de Beek also created a Frau im Mond [Lady in the Moon] who was painted in the same pose but fully clothed and wearing shoes. It is impossible to know the true motives behind the creation of this nude Frau Luna and why von Braun picked it over the lady wearing clothing.
The next A/4 rocket launch V5, 21 October 1942, seems to confirm my feelings. The nude male fits all the heroic and powerful aspects of the perfect Aryan sculpture by Arno Breker. This nude German Aryan male is stepping from earth to a cloud while reaching to outer- space.
German Federal Archives of V-5 launch art at Peenemunde.
This became the last A/4 rocket where de Beek painted directly on the rear above the rocket thrust ring. The rocket flew 147 k/m and this original oil based art could survive today in the Baltic.
Arno Breker was captured after the fall of Berlin by the Soviet Army and completed a denazification process but was never tried for any war crimes. He remained unrepentant for his activities with Hitler and the Third Reich until he died in 1991.
Today over seventy of his famous sculptures can be viewed in Germany, and they still face some public resistance in what they stood for from 1935 to 1945.
From 1940 until 1944, Hermann Goering acquired thousands of looted paintings, or three paintings per week. He kept a personnel art log book which totaled over 600 pages, and today it has been published as an amazing book. Arno Breker played a large part in this Nazi art looting scheme.
The « bronze sculpture by Arno Breker » is actually not by Breker, but by Kurt Schmid-Ehmen, and it is called « Glaube » (Faith) or « Speerträgerin » (Spear bearing female). The location « beside the Führer’s desk » is highly dubious, and the reference for this claim would be useful. The photo was probably taken in the « Haus der Deutschen Kunst ».
I will transfer this comment to Clarence Simonsen. Thank you for your comment.
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Clarence Simonsen’s reply.
The image was published in a 1940 [English edition] of SIGNAL magazine, Hitler’s most widely circulated Wartime Propaganda magazine 1940-45. Published in twenty languages.
The month is not given, however I believe it was July or August 1940. The title was – “The New Reich Chancellery.”
Any further comments are welcomed.
This is all about preserving the past the right way when possible. Feel free to comment anytime.
Clarence Simonsen is also adding this…
Hitler’s Wartime magazine “Signal” was highly dubious.
Thank you for clarifying. Does the caption (mentioning Breker as artist and Hitler’s study as location) also come from Signal? The artist is definitely Schmid-Ehmen, and the location, though in the Neue Reichskanzlei, is not Hitler’s study.
A view of the Führer’s desk from the front. On the wall hangs a gobelin of the 17th century
The coffer-work ceiling of rosewood. Glass doors 20 ft high and 6 ft wide (on the left lead to the colonnade in front, on the garden side. Opposite the desk of the Führer a brood fireplace of marble is let into the wall. Above, the wall is decorated with a portrait of Bismarck by Lanbach
Thank you, but I don’t think this is what « Signal » in 1940 said about the statue described here as « This bronze sculpture by Arno Breker stood beside the Fuhrer’s desk in his study. The name is not known and it is believed to have been destroyed by the Soviet Army in May 1945. » I understood the image comes from « Signal », and I’d like to know what /they/ said about it.
Captions taken from Signal. No more information except what I copied.
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Would it be possible to obtain a scan of the page of “Signal” showing the image and its context?
I will do that.
Before, tell me more about you and your interest Chris.
Well, I wouldn’t be here, on this Internet spot, if I wasn’t interested in the subject. I generally dislike Arno Breker and was favourably surprised by this particular statue. At first I thought the colour photo was post-war. In the course of the last few days I found out the right artist, the (approximate) right location and the original photo (which I bought from Alamy). Now I’m trying to pinpoint the location, and that’s why I want the contemporary information.
I am not home right now. I will send the image tonight.
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