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I have often shown students photographs of the USSR and the Third Reich facing off in architectural defiance at the 1937 Paris exposition. There is something so terrible and frightening about those two future belligerents challenging each other at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. I don't believe I have ever seen anything quite like that image anywhere else. The granite-like permanence, the soaring towers, the massive propagandized sculptures--all must have provided a dire warning to those who chose to be aware in 1937.

Having said this, I have never seen such a clear view of those hideous Nazi bronze sculptures prior to this. It would be too easy to make jokes or propose silly captions for the two images above, but for any Parisian or for any European fair visitor, for that matter, those towering Aryan statues must have been terrifying. Still jittery from the 1936 events in the Rhineland and with an ancient fear of the Prussians to the east (and two wars with them in a span of just fifty years), those statues were the stuff of French nightmares.

After two additional years of Nazi military aggression and anti-Jewish pogroms, it is no wonder Mayor La Guardia did not want a repeat performance in NYC in 1939. The 1937 images are remarkable because they capture two ferocious ideologies squaring off like heavyweights in a ring. Both had the ability to annihilate anyone in the way and, in the end, only one could remain standing.

I am so glad that neither the Soviet or the Nazi pavilions or sculptures still exist anywhere or in any form. Both belong in a junk pile.

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Jim, the Soviet Pavilion complete with statue stands at the same Moscow exhibition center where the Expo 67 USSR Pavilion was re-erected.

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Yeah, I forgot it was there. I was thinking of their 1939 pavilion. Too bad. I still believe, because of what it represented, that it should be in a junk pile.

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In the midst of the theme of technology, there's always music. This souvenir collection of the current "successes" recently came into my possession. As some of you may know, I collect sheet music and manuscripts from mainly France and italy. So this rather flimsy, tissue-like folio folds out into 8 pages (all on one sheet of paper). I'm sure it was sold within, if not, near the vicinity of the Exposition. These were rather cheap little 'street' editions that anyone could buy for very little and the souvenir cover page states clearly that all the songs were in vogue in 1937. A few were popular well before the Fair opened. What is a bit bizarre: the cover's cameo portraits do not include Edith Piaf. Mistinguett is there, and even Maurice Chevalier and Tino Rossi. Perhaps copyright issues emerged? or she was so popular that she needen't be included. I'd love to know why...

well, my PDF will not upload. I'm sorry. I'll try to just upload the cover and see if that will workpost-6377-0-53705100-1429564113_thumb.jp.

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