The Ehrenmal in Oberursel – almost finished

Today, 17th November, 2013 is “Volkstrauertag” in Germany.  Remembrance day.  And this time last year I wrote about the progress being made on the war memorial in Oberursel for those who served and died in the First World War.  I had hoped to post a photo of the restored monument, the “Ehrenmal”.

But although work has progressed since last year, the project is still to be completed.

The Ehrenmal in November 2013

[Read more…]

Saving the Ehrenmal and Remembering Oberursel’s War Dead

When I went on a walk visiting the war memorials in Oberursel last year, the one that we started at happened to be the one that I did not publish a photograph of. This was partly due to the weather but also because it was undergoing restoration work at the time.

A year has now passed, and it is still being restored. However, being „Volkstrauertag“ in Germany today, the equivalent of Remembrance Sunday, I decided to take a look at the progress that has been made in the past year.

The „Ehrenmal“ is located next to the „Christuskirche“ church, at the junction of the Oberhöchstädter Straße leading out of the town centre and the Füllerstraße, which used to be part of the main B455 road from Königstein.

Unveiled on 12th October 1930, it was designed by an artist from called Lina von Schauroth, who had already designed the monument for a location in her home city of Frankfurt. But in the end, as we know, it ended up in Oberursel.

The „Ehrenmal“ is a concrete column, placed on a block inscribed with the names of the town’s war dead in the First World War. On the top there is a copper sphere. But what makes the monument particularly special is the mosaic on the outside of the column.

The mosaic depicts the image of Jesus Christ, with a smaller image beneath of soldiers in uniform. There is a colour photo taken before restoration began on Wikipedia.

But the years took their toll on the momument. Cracks began to appear and pieces of the mosaic began to fall off. [Read more…]

Oberursel’s War Memorials

The 11th November is a strange day to be in Germany.  My instinct tells me it is Remembrance Day in many parts of the World, and when I first arrived here there was even a shop in Frankfurt taking part in the Poppy Appeal.

And yet in Germany the day means something else to most people as ironically it is the official start of the carnival season!

This does not mean that people in Germany do not remember their war dead, they just do it at a different time.  Volkstrauertag, the equivalent of Remembrance Sunday,  is the second Sunday before advent, which usually places it a week after everyone else.  This year (2011) it happens to fall on the same day.

But another difference can be found in the attitude towards war memorials.  I would image that most people of my generation who grew up in the UK would know where their local war memorial was as they can be found in most towns there.

In Germany, however, I admit that this is not something I had taken much notice of until recently.  I certainly could not have said where one was to be found in Oberursel, let alone in most other towns, and I do not know how many of the local population could either.

And yet they are there, as I recently found out on a guided tour of some of Oberursel’s memorials. [Read more…]

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