[/IMGRIGHT]Another lengthy walk through Forest Park this lunchtime.
This took me around the Art Museum grounds, and it was at the base of Art Hill that I found this statue.
A grand memorial to Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, a German nationalist and physical education advocate. Not what I might have expected to find in a large middle-American park, but why not, I suppose. Clearly some locals thought sufficiently highly to have this expensive edifice constructed, and St. Louis has strong German roots.
Nonetheless, I found this celebration of this very 19th century figure a little creepy. Not least because the same ideals of physical fitness and Nationalist fervor where appropriated by the wholly evil movement of Nazism, even though Jahn was himself liberal (in the 19th century sense) and was not lauded by the Nazis. Perhaps it was the very Aryan shotputter on the left side of the memorial that gave me 'Triumph of the Will' twinges.
Regardless, it speaks to the utter devastation that Hitler left on what was a more noble sense of German culture that it is almost impossible to view such a statue without these overtones.
A lonely looking man sat on the steps of the memorial. A story here, I am sure. (Check out Allan's entry here too.)