Questionable Memories

I’ve always been skeptical about war memorials. They usually reek of pathos if not bathos and I question the motives behind them.

I came across this rather odd war memorial in Bad Dürkheim. It’s in memory of the participants of the Franco-Prussian war. The participants – not the fallen as is more common – are listed with their military regiment, and a curt “gefallen” if they didn’t return. Even worse, in my mind, is the use of the ditto mark ” – not just for the same regiment but also for the word “gefallen” as if in such a monumental glorification set in stone they had to economise with letters.

On one side the non-combatants are listed, I suppose these are the financiers of this war. But what is even more disconcerting to me is the fact that this memorial was erected 40 years after the war, which resulted in the formation of the German empire, only three years before the next one, the so-called “Great War”. Almost as if a new generation was being prepared for the ultimate sacrifice. Of course, I say this with hindsight but it gives the impression of a fractured relationship with history.

The Cosmic Photo Challenge: In Memory

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3 thoughts on “Questionable Memories

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