Thursday, March 30, 2006

76er-Denkmal am Dammtor

Turns out I took this picture March 12, 2006 -- just three days before the 70th anniversary of the 76er-Denkmal am Dammtor.

This is a very large, very militaristic sculpture near the Dammtor train station. It was unveiled on the 15th of March, 1936 with much nationalistic fanfare. Remember, about this time, the Nazis were building up their military in a big way -- and this was the perfect symbol to rally around.

I believe the artist, Richard Kuöhl, had some real issues -- here is a collage showing some of his other works in and around Hamburg.

Since the war, there has been much controversy about what to do with the sculpture. Destroy it? Remove the nationalistic poem chiseled in relief on its surface? One step that was agreed upon was to erect a "counter-sculpture" just a few feet away. It shows, in very modern abstract style, the horrors of war. This sculpture is by Alfred Hrdlicka.

One hardly notices Mr. Hrdlicka's piece, as it is very much overshadowed by this impressive, disturbing relic from the 1930s....


["Hello, Herr Schlender? This is the Office of Tourism. Is that snow in your picture of the monument...?"]


DaveO said...

Wow! thanks for the history lesson. I always thought that statue looked cool but never knew what it was about.

Todd said...

Sure thing, DaveO! I'd taken a pic of it months ago -- and had looked into the strange relic back then. But, loved the snow on the soldiers' helmets and had to post the newer pic.