Kult Pamięci
history - remembrance - oblivion

 the Battle of Tannenberg
 the cult of Marshal Hindenburg
 Hindenburg's funeral
 the history of the appearance of the  monument
 the Tannenberg-Denkmal monument
 a new national symbol
 the ideological nature of the  monument
 the history of the monument
 Stalag IB Hohenstein
 places of remembrance
 traces of memory - trip one
 the cult of memory
 the project
 broken links between memory and  history
 Pierre Nora, Between Memory and  History Les lieux de Memoire  (a fragment)
 a mock-up of the monument
 the location
 the monument dispersed
 the erasure of history
 the present condition - debris

 the archive
private photographs

The route of the Memorial sight-seeing

Eight massive, twenty-metre high towers constitutes corner poles of the Memorial. The cross-section of its octagon measures 100 metres, the length of each side is 40 metres. The towers are linked by 38 niches, devoted to memory of the regiments which took part in the battle. 27 entrance steps lead downwards to the honorary courtyard, placed four metres down.

Each of the eight towers fulfils a different task of evoking the memory of history and paying it due honour in commemorating the Great Battle. It is advised to walk around the memorial along its inner circle (right from the entrance) to cognise the entire building best.

Tower 1    The Entrance Tower. Simultaneously it accommodates the honorary guard of Wehrmacht at Hindenburg's sarcophagus, housing the administration of the Memorial, too. Next to the entrance gate, there is a plaque with words recorded from the address which Hindenburg delivered during the Memorial opening ceremony on 18 September 1927, tackling the lie about Germany's guild for the starting the War with which he called the nation to unity: "We are rejecting the accusation that it is the Germans who are guilty of the biggest of all of the wars; all of the strata of the German nation reject it!... We rose the fight in defence of our homeland with pure hearts and German soldiers pulled their swords with clean hands... Therefore, may all inner controversies be shattered against this monument to memory; may this become the place where everyone shakes hand to anyone who is spirited up by the love of their homeland and for whom the German honour stands above everything!"

Tower 2     Hindenburg's sarcophagus stood here from 7 August 1934 to 2 October 1935.

Tower 3     The Tower of East Prussia. It serves to present the military history of East Prussia from prehistoric times, through the time of The Order and Prussian-German history, to the formation of The Third Reich. Currently, it has not been completed.

Tower 4     The Tower of the Banners. The flags and banners of all German regiments which fought in the Battle of Tannenberg are a German symbol of the vast scale of this Battle. In the ceiling, over the banners, there is a skylight in the form of The Iron Cross.

Tower 5     Hindenburg's Tower. The first gaze of a visitor falls on this tower and the Hindenburg's crypt built in its base. The tower raises exactly opposite the entrance.

A huge East-Prussian erratic rests over the entrance to the crypt, partially covering it - in this way the last will of the Leader was fulfilled, who wanted to be buried under such a boulder. Two monumental effigies of soldiers, carved in granite and four metres high, keep guard to its access like sentries. Several steps lead down into the twilight of the crypt where the Leader and His Spouse rest together with twenty of his soldiers, who are buried in lateral, vaulted rooms on the left and right sides. In this space, Hindenburg's life motto reverberates reminding inaudibly: "Be faithful till your death!"

Hindenburg's Hall spans high over the crypt, supported by powerful pillars. The Leader's stature, three and a half-metre high, solemnly gazes at the visitors.

Tower 6     Soldiers' Tower. The Soldiers' Tower serves to honour especially a German soldier in a battle. The outer wall of the ramp with not steps – an architectural curiosity – is decked with a mosaic-relief, depicting the fate of an army.

This tower, additionally decorated with another relief, featuring a battlefield on the first storey level, is also a vantage point.

Tower 7     The Tower of the Victims of the War. Dedicated to the victims of the Great War. A large piece of stained glass, whose expressive impact is enhanced by light, determines the character of this space. Upper storeys accommodate the archive of the memorial.

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