No century in modern European history has built monuments with more enthusiasm than the 19th. Of the hundreds of monuments erected, those which sprang from a nation-wide initiative and addressed themselves to a nation, rather than part of a nation, we may call national monuments. Nelson's Column in London or the Arc de Triomphe in Paris are obvious examples. In Germany the 19th century witnessed a veritable flood of monuments, many of which rank as national monuments. These reflected and contributed to a developing sense of national identity and the search for national unity; they also document an unsuccessful effort to create a "genuinely German" style. They constitute a historical record, quite apart from aesthetic appeal or ideological message. As this historical record is examined, German national monuments of the 19th century are described and interpreted against the background of the nationalism which gave birth to them.
The Author: Hans A. Pohlsander is a native of Germany, but a long-time resident of the United States. He holds degrees from the University of Utah, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. He is professor emeritus of Classics and Religious Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York. His principal publications are Helena: Empress and Saint (Chicago 1995) and The Emperor Constantine (London 1996 and 2004). He has also edited Volumes VII and XII of Sources for the History of Cyprus (New York 1999 and 2006).
Contents: What is a National Monument? - German Nationalism in the 19th Century from the Beginnings to Ernst Moritz Arndt - German Nationalism in the 19th Century from Heinrich von Kleist to "Die Wacht am Rhein" - The Repression of German Nationalism - Monuments to German Culture - Ludwig I of Bavaria, the Walhalla, the Befreiungshalle, and Related Monuments - Monuments to German Arms - From Prussia to Germany - "Heil Dir im Siegerkranz" - The Iron Chancellor - Historicizing Painting of the 19th Century.