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Old March 5th, 2013, 10:25 PM   #1
M.W.
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Berlin | Kaiser-Wilhelm-Nationaldenkmal

Does anyone know what the plans are for this site?

I suppose it's too much to hope for that the monument (one of my personal favourites) will ever be rebuilt. I love its Neo-Baroque style, and it seems to have been a harmonious complement to the Schloß that it faced.

Original colour:


All from:
http://www.judgmentofparis.com/board...ead.php?t=2561





















I love how the monument showed the Kaiser forever riding toward the main gate of the Schloß:



With the castle being restored, it would be wonderful if the monument could be reconstructed as well, but I have a feeling that there would be political opposition.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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Some very nice pics.


But, as you said, there'd be a lot of opposition against the reconstruction of the Kaiser Wilhelm National Memorial.

Though we had a nice idea at this forum: Let's just reconstruct it all faithfully - except for the Kaiser. Instead, we'll let Helmut Kohl (the Einheitskanzler) take a seat on the horse Would make a fantastic unification memorial.

So they're planning the national unification memorial there. While I'd much rather like to see such at the Reichstag building...

There's no final designs yet.

This has been around for a while as a concept:

"We are the people. We are one people."








Source: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/ei...cke-66865.html


It's basically a seesaw.

I'm not sure about it. It doesn't really feel right there. I could imagine this to be a cool new kind of memorial, but it should be closer to the government quarter / Reichstag building.

Though there's possible dangers of such a huge seesaw, too... Quite a controverse discussion going on about this.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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Ich kann mit einem Einheitsdenkmal an dieser Stelle gut leben, auch wenn ich die Form für verbesserungswürdig halte.

Kaiser Wilhelm solle man aber ebenso wieder aufstellen, dann eben an anderer Stelle. Es wäre schön, wenn in Berlin nicht nur noch an die 12 Jahre Nazizeit erinnert werden würde.

Wurde das Denkmal eigentlich komplett zerstört, oder schimmelt es einfach in irgendeinem Depot vor sich hin?
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Old March 6th, 2013, 02:42 PM   #4
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Davon ist kaum noch was übrig, zwei der Löwen sind im Tiergarten aufgestellt wenn ich mich richtig erinner.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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Yes, as far as I know, only two lions still exist. The communists, in their typical hatred of the past, carved apart the rest. But perhaps molds of the figures might exist somewhere...



They're magnificent -- testaments to the stunning quality of Begas's work. I honestly believe that Reinhold Begas was one of the finest sculptors of the 19th century, although as a monument-maker, my favorite is still Bruno Schmitz.

And speaking of the latter, Koblenz was so fortunate that it was able to reconstruct the stunning Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal at Deutsches Eck. If that monument can be reconstructed, then I don't see why the one in Berlin can't.

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Originally Posted by erbse View Post
This has been around for a while as a concept.
Oh, god, that's so horrible! I can't believe they would reconstruct the beautiful Königliche Schloß, and then stick that horrible modernist monstrosity in its place! It doesn't belong there. It would fit beside a modern building, not the great Baroque royal palace. There's nothing Baroque about it. At least the Begas monument was Neo-Baroque, so it fit.

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Kaiser Wilhelm solle man aber ebenso wieder aufstellen, dann eben an anderer Stelle. Es wäre schön, wenn in Berlin nicht nur noch an die 12 Jahre Nazizeit erinnert werden würde.
My German is a bit shaky, but I don't see how Kaiser Wilhelm I could ever be associated with the NSDAP. The national socialists always resented the nobility and were none too keen on the Hohenzollerns. I would think that, if any ruler could be a unifying figure, it would be Kaiser Wilhelm I.



In fact, in a way, wouldn't restoring Begas's monument be the ideal monument to unity? He was, after all, the Kaiser who unified Germany in the first place (in 1871), thanks to Bismarck. :-)

I realize that there might be some aging Marxists who might still be opposed to any vestiges of history, but unlike his grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II (who might still be a bit of a controversial figure, owing to how some people associate him with WWI), I would think that Kaiser Wilhelm I's legacy would generally be seen as quite positive.

That's my opinion, anyway -- but I live in Canada, so I might not be aware of current public opinion in Germany.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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Very interesting, how do you educate about German history? Just online? Do you have German roots or what's the reason?


And btw, Germanicus just stated that Germans shouldn't only remember the rather short Nazi time span. There's many glorious achievements and times we can be proud of, too.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erbse View Post
Very interesting, how do you educate about German history? Just online? Do you have German roots or what's the reason?


And btw, Germanicus just stated that Germans shouldn't only remember the rather short Nazi time span. There's many glorious achievements and times we can be proud of, too.
Oh, thank you for pointing that out. Sorry, Germanicus! I should have read the post more carefully. As it was, I simply ran it through Google Translate, which led me into error.

As for me, yes, I'm of Prussian descent, though I was never taught the language and have only begun learning it lately.

I minored in Art History in university, and found 19th-century Historicism to be my favourite period in art.

I've visited Berlin a number of times (first in 1993, when the wallpaper mock-up of the Schloß was erected), and ever since then, I've been closely following the progress of the Stadtschloß reconstruction. I find it very exciting that the building will finally be rebuilt--or at least some of it.

I also visited Dresden in 2009 and was inspired by how boldly the city is reconstructing the entire Neumarkt, not only the Frauenkirche, but all of the buildings around it. I wish Berlin would adopt a similar plan, as far as possible. Too much was lost in the war, but now we see that it can be brought back.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 08:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Davon ist kaum noch was übrig, zwei der Löwen sind im Tiergarten aufgestellt wenn ich mich richtig erinner.
Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, nicht Tiergarten
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Old March 6th, 2013, 08:16 PM   #9
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Danke für die Info!
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Old March 8th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.W. View Post
but unlike his grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II (who might still be a bit of a controversial figure, owing to how some people associate him with WWI), I would think that Kaiser Wilhelm I's legacy would generally be seen as quite positive.
In Germany everything concerned with history is neurotic. Our monarchs and predemocratic emperors are as bad as the emperors from other countries. But this feeling of collective guilt makes it impossible to have a more positive look on history. It's the moral income of many do gooders here in Germany.

But even I think that Kaiser Wilhelm can wait. The reconstruction of the colonades is good enough for now.

Your modernist monstrosity the "Wippe" would fit well in front of the Paul-Löbe-Haus of the "Band des Bundes" - but all in all we can dispense with it.

Not only the Jews are traumatized, the Germans are too. It takes a certain time to get over it.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 09:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
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In Germany everything concerned with history is neurotic. Our monarchs and predemocratic emperors are as bad as the emperors from other countries. But this feeling of collective guilt makes it impossible to have a more positive look on history. It's the moral income of many do gooders here in Germany.

But even I think that Kaiser Wilhelm can wait. The reconstruction of the colonades is good enough for now.

Your modernist monstrosity the "Wippe" would fit well in front of the Paul-Löbe-Haus of the "Band des Bundes" - but all in all we can dispense with it.

Not only the Jews are traumatized, the Germans are too. It takes a certain time to get over it.
That's not true. First of all, Wilhelm I was not very spectacular. The best thing he did, was installing Bismarck as Reichskanzler. We have already erected his memorial at Deutsches Eck in Koblenz, which was also destroit in WW II.

Under the regency of Wilhelm I Bismarck united Germany for the first time. To restore his memorial in front of the Stadtschloss, wouldn't be enough. Because it was a memorial for Germany's unification, it would be incomplete without the reunification, which happened in 1989/90. So we need the old monument with an addition of the Revolution in 1989.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 10:43 PM   #12
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A very good idea. We should connect the two unifications in one monument. I figure a giant statue with Kohl, Bismarck and Wilhelm hand in hand overlooking the Schlossplatz.

And, by the way, German wasn't unified for the first time in 1871. The Reichsgründung was in fact a reunification, too.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 11:17 PM   #13
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The most realistic option is to reconstruct the colonnades after the castle has been built. Then we must wait 30 years for a Wilhelm or we build an abstract, modern, symbolic Memorial in the center.

Everything else are dreams.

A Wilhelm is simply impossible for the next 30 years.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 12:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
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The most realistic option is to reconstruct the colonnades after the castle has been built.
I agree with this proposal. The colonnades of the monument would comprise a lovely structure in their own right. They had the appropriate Neo-Baroque form, so they would harmonize with the Schloß, and would be ideologically neutral. One could see the Schloß directly through the colonnades from the other side of the Spree. Plus, if they were there, it would keep some ghastly modernist eyesore from being erected on the site.

At best, one might hope that the two quadrigas might be restored atop the two wings, since the quadriga atop the Brandenburger Tor was retained even by the communists.

And the, perhaps someday, the equestrian monument could be restored as well.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 06:51 AM   #15
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It is weird! The Palace is being rebuilt almost like original but the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Nationaldenkmal is not
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Old January 10th, 2015, 10:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.W. View Post
Yes, as far as I know, only two lions still exist. The communists, in their typical hatred of the past, carved apart the rest. But perhaps molds of the figures might exist somewhere...



Some good news: the other two lions from the monument are preserved in Tierpark Friedrichsfelde as well. An eagle is still flying in the courtyard of the Berlin Märkisches Museum.

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Old January 19th, 2015, 09:25 PM   #17
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Kann mit dem Kaiser-Wilhelm Denkmal momentan noch nichts anfangen. Obwohl mich das neue Einheitsdenkmal auch nicht restlos überzeugt.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 12:12 AM   #18
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Warum kannst du damit nichts anfangen?

p.s.: Ein wirklicher "Projekt-Thread" ist dies hier ja auch nicht..., eigentlich wäre eine Verschmelzung mit dem EInheitsdenkmal-Thread sinnvoll, bzw. in den Talk-Bereich verschieben, oder?
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Old January 20th, 2015, 12:50 PM   #19
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Weil es mir optisch einfach nicht so gut gefällt. Es ist schon eindrucksvoll, und es ist ein Teil der deutschen Geschichte. Aber ich finde es auch sehr dominant.
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Old January 20th, 2015, 01:17 PM   #20
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Damit beziehst du dich aber nur auf die Kaiser-Skulptur und seinen Sockel?
Der Kolonnadengang ist ja eigentlich fast schon zierlich, vergleicht man das etwa mit dem pompösen Monumento Nazionale in Rom, das ja im Grunde den selben Zweck erfüllt.

@Ludi: Machs doch ruhig in den Talk-Bereich, ist ja (noch) kein konkretes Projekt. Aber bitte nicht mit Einheitsdenkmal verschmelzen, hier sollten schon kompakt und übersichtlich Informationen und Bilder zum historischen Denkmal zu finden sein.
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