How are monuments important

The monument erected in memory

Prince von Bismarck is even in Papua New Guinea

Among the prominent Germans to whom the most memorials were placed, Prince Otto von Bismarck came first. There are around 240 Bismarck Towers and Bismarck Columns worldwide, 146 of them in Germany. A curiosity is the still-preserved Bismarck monument in Medang, in today's Papua New Guinea.

The Bismarck Towers were built between 1868 and 1934. In total, the number of all monuments that commemorate Bismarck is estimated at 700 in Germany.

The Bismarck monuments were an expression of the worship of Bismarck or the Bismarck cult in the empire. After the founding of the empire, Bismarck was often shown in connection with other people involved in the formation of the empire, such as Wilhelm I, Crown Prince Friedrich and Moltke.

Monuments commemorating the founding of the German Empire were erected in many places after 1871. Especially after Bismarck's death in 1898, his already high popularity increased and with it the number of monument projects. In terms of design, rather massive architectural monuments were built in memory of Bismarck after his death.

Warrior monuments became peace monuments

Many war memorials, which arose after the founding of the empire and after the Franco-German War, gave the honored soldiers inscriptions that refer to them as "victorious heroes". According to the national self-image of the time, such monuments often adorn Victoria, Germania or an eagle with outspread wings.

Many of the monuments that arose from 1900 to the First World War in memory of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 are signs of the militarization that society experienced under Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Today the preservation or even the reconstruction of monuments that arose between the founding of the empire and the First World War is often viewed critically. From a monument preservation point of view, it makes sense to examine the values ​​handed down through the monument. The ideal case is when a historical discussion leads to a new, contemporary interpretation.

In some cases, former war memorials idealizing war were redesigned: War memorials became monuments for peace and international understanding.

In Osnabrück, for example, high school students worked on a redesign for a war memorial on Straßburger Platz. For the Germania, which originally stood on the pedestal of the war memorial and was no longer there, the students designed alternatives that should serve as symbols of friendship.

against forgetting

A memorial to the murdered Jews in Europe, called the Holocaust memorial for short, was opened in Berlin in 2005 based on a design by the architect Peter Eisenman. A field of stelae and a "place of information" are intended to commemorate the six million murdered people.

The mortal remains of the Jewish victims have no burial sites; they were buried or burned by the National Socialists. That means that today there is little evidence of the existence of the murdered.

This is one of the reasons why the Association for the Promotion of the Holocaust Memorial fought for ten years for this memorial in the middle of Berlin. From the Association for the Promotion of the Holocaust Memorial also comes the statement: "Only forgetting completes the annihilation" of the Jews. Against the forgetting of the greatest crime in German history, this memorial was erected for the murdered Jews in Europe.