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Widukind or Karl der Große? Perspectives on Historical Culture and Memory in the Third Reich and Post-War West Germany

  • Peter Lambert
Part of the Mass Dictatorship in the 20th Century book series (MASSD)

Abstract

In Verden an der Aller, a small town in Lower Saxony, there is a stone henge. Publicly accessible, but half-concealed among trees, it comprises nearly 4500 standing stones. They are variously arranged: in stone circles, in an ensemble typical of neolithic long barrows and above all in long, winding tree-lined avenues. These help form a roughly oblong enclosure, so large that one might drop several football pitches into it. A number of the smaller groupings of stones look ancient. Many of the individual stones themselves do, too. In more than a few cases, the latter appearances are not deceptive. Though several now have Christian crosses chiselled into them, there are dolmens and megaliths among them, taken from genuine prehistoric sties in a region once strikingly rich in such monuments. Some allegedly bear traces of prehistoric decoration (though — try as I might — I could find no such evidence myself). Some may even have originated on the site itself — vestiges of a ritual site predating the present one by millennia, and largely destroyed by it.

Keywords

Ninth Century Nazi Regime German People German History Nazi Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    For rumours of pagan celebrations and neo-Nazi marriage ceremonies conducted there, see Patrick Agde, Der Sachsenhain bei Verden. Naturdenkmal für 4500 durch Karl den Großen getötete Sachsen (Pluwig: Mumin Verlag, 2001), p. 111.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wolfgang Krogel, ‘Widukind—ein historischer Mythos und Chance für die Stadtentwicklung’, in Stefan Brakensieck (ed.), Widukind: Forschungen zu einem Mythos (Bielefeld: Verla für Regionalgeschichte, 1997), pp. 21–31.Google Scholar
  3. 13.
    Bernhard Gelderblom, Die Reichserntedankfeste auf dem Bückeberg 1933–1937 (Hameln: Niemeyer, 1998), pp. 15Google Scholar
  4. 20.
    Bernhard Vollmer (ed.), Volksopposition im Polizeistaat. Gestapo und Regierungsberichte 1934–1936 (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1957), pp. 167–69Google Scholar
  5. 22.
    Adolf Hitler, Die Reden Hitlers am Parteitag der Freiheit 1935 (Munich: Eher, 1935)Google Scholar
  6. 23.
    Max Domarus (ed.), Hitler. Speeches and Proclamations 1932–1945 vol. 2 (London: Tauris, 1992), p. 691.Google Scholar
  7. 34.
    For examples, see Christian Goeshcel, Suicide in Nazi Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 154–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 45.
    Rudoph Wahl, Karl der Große. Eine Historie (Berlin: S. Fischer, 1934), p. 17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter Lambert 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Lambert

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