Monday, October 28, 2013

Germany versus Russia at the 1937 Paris Expo

Postcard of the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris

Lisa from There's Gladness In Remembrance showed an interesting postcard from the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris. This exhibition opened on 25 May 1937 and ran until November of that year. Interesting in this postcard is the German pavilion on the left directly facing the Russian pavilion on the right.

The German pavilion on the left and the Soviet pavilion on the right

The organization of the exhibition had placed the German and the Soviet pavilions, the two great ideological rivals, directly across each other. Hitler had desired to withdraw from participation, but his architect Albert Speer convinced him to participate after all, showing Hitler his plans for the German pavilion. Speer later revealed in his autobiography that he had had a clandestine look at the plans for the Soviet pavilion, and had designed the German pavilion to represent a bulwark against Communism.


Short video of the two buildings

Speer's pavilion was completed by a tall tower crowned with the symbols of the Nazi state: an eagle and the swastika. Vera Mukhina designed the large figurative sculpture on the Soviet pavilion. The grand building was topped with a large statue, of a male worker and a female peasant, their hands thrusting a hammer and a sickle together, in a symbol of worker union.

Speer and Hitler

Note: the soccer stations for the 2022 World Championship in Qatar are designed by Albert Speer’s son Albert Speer Junior.

Future Doha Port Stadium in Doha, Qatar (photos of all the planned stadiums)

next episode: ?

6 comments:

  1. Good to see the colour version of the pc. One imagines there must have been a tension in the air.

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  2. 800 days after, they met again in Moscow, to sign the 'Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact'.

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  3. Riveting stuff, and I didn't know Speer's son was around and still working (or that he had a son for that matter). I saw a pretty good documentary recently on Speer at the Nuremberg trials. He did a convincing job at playing innocent.

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  4. I read Gitta Sereny, Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth and as the title suggests he had problems with his part in the war. An interesting book.

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    1. This 700+ page book (!) has got very good reviews at Amazon, maybe one day (when I've got more free time) I'll read it. I still don't understand why he got away so easily.

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