Fallen Heroes – Generals von Scharnhorst and Bülow von Dennewitz

Provisions Depot

Thursday 4.4.2024 6.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.


Generals von Scharnhorst and Bülow von Dennewitz
Christian Daniel Rauch, 1822

Object: Generals von Scharnhorst and Bülow von Dennewitz, Christian Daniel Rauch, 1822, Original Location: Unter den Linden, Berlin-Mitte

Meeting point: Citadel, Museum “Unveiled. Berlin and its monuments”

Who: Prof. Dr. Gabriele Dolff-Bonekämper (art historian, monument conservator and university lecturer in Berlin), Prof. Dr. Martin Sabrow (historian Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung (Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam)

Controversial questions: The marble statues may have been removed in 2020 for restoration reasons – but they have an eventful political history behind them, involving Walther Ulbricht, Helmut Kohl and the heirs of Käthe Kollwitz were involved. And they are part of a controversy between reconstruction (like Berlin Palace) and the desire for new perspectives in public space. Is it better for the Berlin’s urban space better to reconstruct the memory of the Napoleonic wars or to let it disappear (in a museum)?


This event is part of the discussion series Fallen Heroes – Democratic Debates at the War Memorial.

“Germany is getting a Veterans’ Day” was the headline in the media in November 2023. This was followed by a discussion about the sense and nonsense of what is understood as “hero worship” commemoration.

When it comes to the culture of remembrance, the Spandau Citadel is naturally involved: the exhibition “Unveiled. Berlin and its monuments” has become a center for the discussion of controversial monuments. We are happy to provide space for an interesting controversy – always on the basis of scientific information, with current references and in a friendly atmosphere.

In this series of talks, we offer the opportunity to learn more about Berlin monuments that were dedicated to generals and soldiers from 1822 to 1989 were dedicated to generals and soldiers and which reveal much about the specifically German development of the public veneration of military personalities. We visit the original objects in the museum, in the new display depot at the Citadel and in public spaces. After a short keynote speech, we invite you to a joint discussion, moderated by museum director Dr. Urte Evert.



Fig.: Fallen heroes © Zitadelle Spandau | Graphic: studio lindhorst-emme+hinrichs