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Josef Thorak (7 February 1889 in Salzburg, Austria – 26 February 1952 in Hartmannsberg, Bavaria) was an Austrian-German sculptor.
In 1922, Thorak's reputation increased when he created Der sterbende Krieger, a statue in memory to the dead of World War I of Stolpmünde.
In 1933 and in following years, Thorak joined Arno Breker as one of the two "official sculptors" of the Third Reich. In his government-issued studio outside Munich, Thorak worked on statues intended to represent the folk-life of Germany under Nazi coordination; these works tended to be heroic in scale, up to 65 feet (20 meters) in height. His official works from this period included a number of sculptures at the Berlin Olympic Stadium of 1936.
He was well known for his "grandiose monuments".
Albert Speer referred to Thorak as "more or less "my" sculptor, who frequently designed statues and reliefs for my buildings" and "who created the group of figures for the German pavilion at the Paris World's Fair. His Comradeship stood outside the pavilion, depicting two enormous nude males, clasping hands and standing defiantly side by side, in a pose of defense and racial camaraderie.
Because of his preference for muscular neo-classical nude sculpture, Thorak was known among some as "Professor Thorax". Some expressionist influences can be noticed in his neoclassical style.
See also 
- ^ "Art: Bigger Than Life"
- ^ Rhodes, Anthony, ‘’Propaganda: The Art of Persuasion: World War II’’ Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1976 , p. 28
- ^ Speer, Albert, Spandau: the Secret Diaries’’, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. New York, 1976, p. 261
- ^ Richard Overy, The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, p260 ISBN 0-393-02030-4
External links 
Media related to Josef Thorak at Wikimedia Commons