UCSB > History Dept. > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Hist 133a > Lecture 16: National Monuments

UCSB Hist 133A, Fall 2006 (133a homepage)
19th Century Germany, Nov. 6, 2006

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)

Lecture 16:
National Monuments
(previous lecture, next lecture)


  • Q5 back on Wednesday, papers due Wednesday
  • office hours Tuesday 10-11am, not noon-1pm
  • Don't forget to vote tomorrow!

Guiding Question

  • What forms and symbols did "Germans" (who?) use to represent "the" (which?) German nation?

Bismarck recap: The "White" Revolutionary (1815-1898) [why "white"?]

  • university studies, civil service, Junker (know what this term means!)
  • 1851: Prussian delegate to Bundestag in Frankfurt
  • 1859: ambassador to St. Petersburg (Russia just lost Crimean war: backwater)
  • 1862: persuades Wilhelm I not to throw the towel to his liberal son Frederick III

Monument Theory

  • Monuments say more about who erects them, than about the people or events they commemorate
  • Symbols draw on preexisting knowledge, reinforce and/or reinterpret it; new meanings need new symbols

Monument Timeline

  • New Guardhouse in Berlin ( Neue Wache)
    1815: commissioned by FW III (by Friedrich Schinkel) for palace guard
    1848: additional fortifications
    1870s-1914: ceremonial use (visits by foreign monarchs, WWI mobilization order)
    1931-33: "Memorial Site for the Fallen of the World War" (SPD dedication)
    1933: "Valhalla" for fallen generals
    1962: East German memorial "to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism"
    1993, Nov. 14 (Day of Mourning): United German national memorial "to the Victims of War and Violence"
  • Berlin Column of Victory ( Siegessäule), 67m tall, with Goldelse (see Kitchen p. 120!)
    1864-1873, Sept. 2nd
    1938-39 moved
    1945: French wanted to tear it down (plaques restored 1987)
    1896-99: Munich Angel of Peace
  • Walhalla (Temple of the Dead) on Danube near Regensburg
    Ludwig I of Bavaria (1786-1868): idea in 1807; at L's coronation in 1825--60 busts finished
    1842 dedication: 96 busts + 64 plaques covering 1800 years (today: 191 people, incl. 12 females)
    1853: Bavarian Hall of Fame in Munich ( Ruhmeshalle above Oktoberfest park)
  • Hall of Liberation (Befreiungshalle) near Kelheim on the Altmühl river
    Ludwig I of Bavaria, begun 1843 to commemorate 1813-1815 wars against Napoleon
    1863, October 18 (anniversary of Battle of Nations, and Wartburg festival): dedication
    "May the Germans never forget what made necessary the struggle for freedom and how they won."
  • Bismarck monuments (since 1868 in Silesia; 1879 in Cologne; 1906: 306 monuments)
    1899-1911: "German Studenthood" competition, 47 towers in design by Wilhelm Kreis
    240 total, 167 with fire beacons (overall 172 still standing)
  • 1903-06 competition in Hamburg (port city: working class--Bebel & commercial interests): 219 designs
    1880-88: not duty-free zone; Bismarck retired to Sachsenwald, wrote in Hamburg News
    1903: Kaiser Wilhelm I monument at City Hall
    1914, July 20 (27th…): dedicated by granddaughter Hannah and Wilhelm II.

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prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Nov. 6, 2006, updated: 11/17/06
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