Culture and society

Monuments and commemorative plaques

Deutschkurse | Nicos Weg | A2_E13_L2_LK
Image: iStockphoto

In a lot of German cities, there are monuments and commemorative plaques that recall historical events or pay tribute to famous people. Many of them commemorate heroes or heroines, or are memorials to remind us of the horrors of war. Famous monuments include the Hermannsdenkmal near Detmold – Germany's highest statue – which commemorates the victory of Germanic tribes against the Romans more than 2,000 years ago, the Goethe-Schiller monument in Weimar, and the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.

Perhaps you have noticed small brass squares on the sidewalk in front of some buildings: these are called Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) and were created by the German artist Gunter Demnig. The squares are intended to commemorate individuals who lived or worked at these places before becoming victims of the Nazis. They include Jewish, Sinti and Roma people, as well as people persecuted for political reasons and because of homosexuality or disability.

The Stolpersteine have been controversial and are not found in all cities and states.

Culture and society