War Memorial in Wuerzburg

Pictures by Amanad Puckett, text by Mark R. Hatlie

These pictures were taken by one of my students in October and November, 2005, in a park in Wuerzburg. This memorial is a good example of a "layered" memorial with later constituencies added on over time instead of new markers being built.

Six soldiers carry a fallen comrade.
Here the other side, closer. The fallen soldier is still siding his rifle. As usual, he bears no sign of battle - no missing limbs or torn skin or clothes.
The back of the statue bears the name Fried(rich) Heuler and the date 1931. That is probably the artist and the year of the first unveiling. It was clearly first meant as a World War One monument.
Behind the statue, an endless list of the names of the fallen. They are listed with initial, last name, and date of death. Some visitor has taken the time to color all the R and some of the S in red.
Later, seven crosses with the year numbers of the Second World War (1939-1945) were added and placed equally spaced around the plaza where the statue stands, facing inward. The flowers are from the city of Wuerzburg and were probably placed on 13 November (Volkstrauertag, or "National Day of Mourning") or the following day. In the background on the right, behind the 1939 cross, behind the little German flag, a taller, lighter-colored cross is visible...
That cross is the centerpiece of this other ensemble, added in 1981. The cross reads, "In memory of the victims of both world wars and the expulsions from the city and county of Trautenau". The first bronze plaque reads, "1981 / In memory of the gymnasts and athletes who fell in the world wars 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 and the victims of the expulsions and those people from the Riesengebirge region who died [here] in their new home since 1946". The city of Wuerzburg probably took in refugees from the places and areas mentioned in the memorial in 1945.
The other plaques list the ranks and names of the fallen.
The World War Two crosses, all with flowers, some with candles.


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