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From Monuments to TracesArtifacts of German Memory, 1870-1990$
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Rudy Koshar

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520217683

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520217683.001.0001

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(p.15) Chapter One Monuments
From Monuments to Traces

Rudy Koshar

University of California Press

Monuments include ancient edifices such as earth mounds and pyramids, and also contemporary statues, plaques, obelisks, and other objects designed to commemorate dynasties and their rulers. In modern urban civilization, the monument is defined as a building that represents a symbolic idea or social heritage, or which symbolizes national unification. This chapter describes German national monuments, which include the Victory Column, erected in 1872 to celebrate German triumph over the French; the monument of Hermann the Cheruscan; the Neiderwald Monument; and the centenary monument for the Battle of Nations in Leipzig. The Germans also erected more than three hundred Bismarck monuments in commemoration of the Iron Chancellor, and more than three hundred statues and monuments for Wilhelm I. The appearance of national monuments in the German landscape serves as a key feature of national symbolism.

Keywords:   monuments, national unification, Victory Column, Hermann the Cheruscan, Neiderwald Monument, Bismarck monuments, Iron Chancellor, Wilhelm I, symbolism

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