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The Nazi and Soviet political movements were undoubtedly among the vilest developments of the 20th century More than three million works of art were plundered by the Nazi regime during its reign Their ambitions as art collectors were motivated by show of power as they confiscated all of the art in the Reich that conflicted with the Partys ideology and concept of art They inspired works of art which have the ability to expose some of the best and worst that art can achieve Because they involved such stark contrasts of good and evil they offer excellent opportunities to discuss what aspects of art are good and bad what art can achieve at its best and what it can destroy at its worst My goal in this paper is not so much to present all of the best or worst of the art from these movements but to provide concrete material for discussions regarding the nature and purpose of art Arno Breker Nazi was in a certain sense both the best and the worst of the Nazi artists His technique was excellent and his choice of subjects poses and theme were outstanding On the other hand he was much more directly and effectively a supporter of the Nazi cause Had his sculpture been ugly ambiguous in meaning poorly executed or less directly associated with Nazi militarism the negative effects on the world of his sculpture would have been considerably lessened In a certain sense Breker uses his numerous naked men with swords to unite the notions of health strength competition collective action and willingness to sacrifice the self for the common good seen in many other Nazi works with explicit glorification of militarism The pair of statures The Party and The Army stood outside the entrance of Hitlers Reich Chancellery Like Brekers other sculptures they are both strongly and clearly expressive and are also an idealization of some of the most aggressive and totalitarian themes
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