A shocking new exhibition reveals the thriving postwar careers of artists the Führer endorsed as ‘divinely gifted’. Many made public works that remain on show today
A photograph from 1940 shows three conquering Nazis in Paris against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. Within a few years one of these men, Adolf Hitler, was dead by his own hand; another, Albert Speer, was writing his memoirs in Spandau prison, having eluded a death sentence at the Nuremberg trials. But the third, Arno Breker, was alive and free, making sculptures in the new West Germany that in their bombast and iconography echoed those he had made during the Third Reich.