Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie
These pictures were taken on the early afternoon of 20 November, 2005, a dreary and cold day. I went back a few days later, on the 24th, and got a few better shots. The location of this monument, with a spectacular view of the Neckar valley and the Swabian Alb is not really captured in these hastily taken pictures in this gray weather. I will return on a sunny day and take my time.
It was built after the First World War by the university to honor those members of the university who fell in the war. It was later modified to include the fallen of the Second World War. The latter, however, are not listed by name.
Recently, this memorial started to be "used" again for memorial ceremonies by some of the local student fraternities on the National Day of Mourning (Volkstrauertag). Photos and descriptions a report of the 2007 event are below. See http://sitesofmemory.twoday.net/stories/4707223 for commentary.
|The monument is located in a clearing in the woods only a few feet from a quiet residential street. (photo 24 November)|
|(photo 24 November)|
|Here is the left side again, closer. The panels on the side are covered with the names of the fallen. They are in alphabetical order, indicating that the monument was built after the war was over.|
|The right side is the same. The large number of names makes it seem likely that those listed include all those who studied at Tuebingen at any time before or during the war who were killed. If that is the case, it would be interesting to know if a foreign graduate, who fought and died for an enemy country, would also be included.|
|The alphabetical listing of names begins on the left and right panels on the front of the memorial.|
|The middle panel has following words at the top: "From our death / your life blooms / Like us, learn to sacrifice yourselves for others / and our death will be blessed". The dates 1914-1919 below the brass marker indicate that the Freikorps conflicts and revolution period are included. Below that, the names of professors who fell are listed by university rank (full professors, professors, etc.). (phot0 24 November)|
|The emblem in the middle appears to be an angel with a sword and shield, kneeling, perhaps in prayer, with eyes closed.(photo 24 November)|
|The metal plate on the steps, obviously added later, reads, "1933-1945 / To the victims of war and violence". The choice of dates explicitely includes all those members of the university who suffered persecution by the Nazi regime, presumably Jewish professors, students and others. But there are no names listed from World War Two, so the specifics of the question of inclusion are elegantly avoided. There is no need to make difficult decisions about perpetrators and victims. Doing so would have required more space than the monument provides, however, so some kind of costly expansion was also avoided. The wreaths were layed by the city (left) and the university (right), either on All Saints' Day or perhaps on 14 November, the same day the city layed a wreath at the memorial for the 10th Wuerttemburg Infantry Regiment.|
|This is the back of the monument, the side visible from the nearby residential street. Only one of the spaces has any writing, not a list of names, but the simple words, "For its fallen / the University".|
|Here is a view from the memorial looking out across the clearing and through the trees. It does not give an accurate impression of the view from this high spot, overlooking Tübingen with a view of the Swabian Alp.(photo 20 November)|
For decades, this memorial was used for ceremonial purposes by the various student fraternities on the National Day of Mourning (Volkstrauertag), the second sunday in November. These ceremonies began to be disrupted by "leftist" students in the 1960s. Only since 2006 have these ceremonies been revived.
While the ceremony last year reportedly drew more of a crowd, the ceremony this year was rather small. The first photograph shows the entire audience, including two people who just happened by and joined in. See http://sitesofmemory.twoday.net/stories/4719863 for commentary and some information on the speech held at the ceremony.
|The audience was hardly larger than the number of participants.|
|Each of the two fraternities, Strassburger Germania and Burschenschaft Arminia Strassburg, posted a banner carrier and two or three other members of an honor guard.|
|A member of the Germania corps made a short speech.|
|There was then a minute of silence...|
|...and a wreath-laying.|
|Sabers back in their sheaths...|
|...the honor guard marches off.|
|Afterwards, the handful of non-fraternity attendees approached the memorial to pay their respects.|