"Faustkämpfer" by Josef Thorak. Original bronze of the Olympic Games 1936 in Berlin. Photographed in 2002
Berlin (bpb) A unique historical work of art was discovered by the European Art Foundation in Berlin: The larger-than-life size bronze "Faustkämpfer" (Fistfighter) by Josef Thorak. The sculptor had made this work for the Olympic Games in 1936 in Berlin.
The work was saved with the help of the British Army. The British Government occupied one building at the Olympic Grounds in Berlin after World War II for its administration in the former German capital. The Headquarters of the British army stayed there for over 40 years. Thus it was possible to preserve all the sculptures as they were originally set up on the grounds in 1936. Among these works of art are the bronzes "Der Zehnkämpfer" ("The Decathlete") by Arno Breker and the sculpture "Die Siegerin-Pax" ("Victory-Peace"). For his "Zehnkämpfer" Breker won the silver-medal at the Olympic Games 1936. In those days, art and culture were also disciplines of the Olympic Games, as it used to be in the ancient times. Two sculptures by Georg Kolbe, Wackerle and other famous artists belonged to the art-decorations. Adolf Hitler and his Architect Albert Speer both supported this international meeting of sportsmen.
Copyright 2002 Prometheus, 84/2002