War memorial 1870/71 (Spremberg) - Kriegerdenkmal 1870/71 (Spremberg)

War memorial 1870/71 on the western tip of the Georgenberg

The war memorial in 1870/71 was a monument which the reminder to the campaign against France , fallen sons of the city Spremberg and the fallen stationed here Fusilier Battalion 6th Brandenb. Inf. Regts. No.52 was erected. The former location of the war memorial 1870/71 is today within the scope of the area monumentEnsemble of city park with festival meadow (meadow ground), open-air stage, swan pond, Slam cemetery, Bismarck tower, Loebenstein, Tietzstein ”.


After the victory over France there was a desire everywhere in the country to thank and commemorate those who died in the Franco-German War. For the first time, both officers and team ranks were commemorated in public. On April 27, 1871, a “Comitès for the erection of a memorial for the remnants of our battalion and the city” was founded from seven prominent citizens of the city, which made the following resolution :

" To those who with their blood fought such a glorious victory with their blood in the tried and tested German bravery and loyalty, who have become victims of their heroism in front of the enemy and who rest in foreign soil, in enemy territory, to erect a monument here by making voluntary contributions "

On June 27, 1871, the unit stationed here, the 3rd Battalion of the 6th Brandenburg Infantry Regiment number 52, returned to its location. More than half of the battalion's officers had died in France. The troops were enthusiastically welcomed by representatives of the magistrate, a festival committee, the rifle guild and several associations and the population.

Thanks to the enormous willingness of the citizens and associations to donate , it was possible as early as the beginning of 1872 to get offers from various artists to erect a monument. On February 2nd, 1872, the sculptor Thomas from Görlitz was commissioned to plan and erect a war memorial. The Kugelplatz on the western tip of the Georgenberg was selected as a suitable location for the installation . At this point the war memorial was clearly visible even from the town's market square, which was about 200 meters away .


The plans of the sculptor Thomas envisaged the erection of a war memorial in the form of an obelisk made of gray Silesian marble , which was mined in a marble quarry in Gnadenfrei in the Owl Mountains . The work required for this was carried out by three assistants of the sculptor Thomas in the workshop of the sculptor Kühn in Görlitz. The obelisk consisted of five individual elements that rested on a four-tier pedestal with a total height of 68 centimeters. A lower plinth, a name cube, an overlying cornice, an intermediate plinth and the pyramid standing on it. The monument was crowned with an eagle.

The memorial had the following dimensions:

  • Lower base: height 630 mm, widest side at the bottom 1350 mm, width at the top 1035 mm
  • Name block: height 1425 mm, width 1000 mm
  • Chest cornice: height 380 mm, width below 1035 mm, widest side above 1350 mm
  • Intermediate base: height 200 mm, width:?
  • Height of the pyramid: height 3200 mm, width below 925 mm, width above 430 mm
  • The eagle, which was made of cast iron , had a wingspan of 5½ feet and a height of 2 inches
  • The foundation of the monument weighed about 693 quintals, the monument 230 quintals and the eagle 3 quintals.
  • The monument had a total height of approx. 7 meters (including steps)

In the name of the block 172 names of the fallen were in on all four sides of gold deposited letters engraved. There were several decorative elements on the pyramid, also made of gray cast iron. In the middle of the back a 500 mm iron cross with the year 1870 at the lower end of the bar. In the middle there was a capital "W" for Wilhelm I at the upper end of the bar an imperial crown. To the right and left of the pyramid, also in the middle, there were two wreaths of oak leaves .

The pyramid was crowned with an eagle made of gray cast iron and painted over in bronze. With its wings outstretched , it had a wingspan of 1500 mm. The cost of the entire project was originally estimated at 1000 thaler , but increased to 1500 thaler during the production.

Inscriptions on the obelisk


of the
war against France in
1870 a. In 1871 the
famous fallen of
this city
and the
Fusilier Battalion 6th Brandenb.
Inf. Regts. No. 52
by the inhabitants of Spremberg
in 1872

Front of the cube

From the Fusilier Battalion 6th Brandenburg. Inf. R. No. 52
Maj: H. v. Bittenfeld, R. Blum. Captains: v. Borcke,
T. v. Munchausen. Prem.L: W. v. Schepke, F. v. Towers.
Sec. L: J. Held, B. Voss, F. Paech, E. Streichhan
A. Petsch, B. Petsch, H. Kirchner.
Members of the town of Spremberg
Unteroff: O. Malade, W. Schiemenz. Gefr: E. Boesig,
O. Cario, W. Nakonz, F. Schmell. Fusiliers: C. Conrad,
A. Dietrich, J. Eichberg, J. Grollmitz, J. Müller,
F. Lindenheim, F. Nowothnick, O. Walter.
Musketeers: G. Gabriel, H. Goetz, E. Lehmann,
W. Schultze. Defense people: G. Göschick, A. Goetze,
C. Jassing. Gunner: W. Unger, A. Weitzer.
Jäger: A. Blobel, C. Grünmeyer, L. Jauer.

North side
(at the new installation site)

From the Fusilier Battalion, 6th Brandenburg
Infantry Regiment No. 52
Sergeant: A. Geissler. Sergeants: C. Gerbert,
A. Woithe. NCOs: H. Gierig, C. Pohle,
F. Fleischmann, E. Lehmann, A. Richter,
J. Schmidt, A. Stolzenburg, A. Wagner,
A. Stahr, C. Wichert. Private: A. Bennin,
W. Boehme, W. Foerster, A. Huse, W. Karstan,
A. Kaufmann, L. Koseler, E. Kubisch, F. Kuhl,
O. Lüdicke, A. Schmidt, W. Schultka, A. Schulz,
J. Schulz, G. Stein, F. Wiesener, A. Zimm.
Fusiliers: C. Adam, F. Albrecht, J. Bahlzk,
G. Balke, J. Baum, F. Herrmann, G. Krüger

West side

A. Baust, F. Bellin, C. Boehme, J. Boehme,
W. Buder, J. Bunkatz, A. Denecke, G. Dietrich,
H. Düringshofen, J. Fiedler, A. Foerster,
C. Frede, W. Freiberg, A. Fierlach, A. Goetze,
W. Graf, R. Heine, R. Handscheck, H. Hanisch,
J. Halbin, A. Hensel, H. Hermann, C. Herzog,
A. Henschel, W. Henschel, G. Hoffmann,
A. Hussack, C. Huth, F. Jabien, B. Jawer,
G. Jenner, B. Jentsch, G. Jurisch, M. Kerk,
J. Kiehlow, G. Kietz, F. Koall, E. Kordowsky,
R. Kohl, W. Kossack, C. Krautz, M. Kreisel,
J. Kreuziger, A. Krüger, G. Kubsch, E. Kulka,
J. Lange, F. Langsam, O. Laux, H. Lehmann,
R. Lehmann, E. Lengefeld, E. Leukefeld

South side

O. Lorenz, W. Lückert, C. Majunke, E. Malitz,
C. Michael, J. Mudra, G. Mulka, A. Müller,
F. Müller, H. Müller, A. Noack, C. Noack,
E. Niepraschk, C. Petras, F. Petsch, F. Piesk,
F. Piesk, G. Raak, W. Rathsack, G. Rauschmaut,
F. Regulin, A. Richter, G. Schild, G. Schmaler,
C. Schmidt, G. Schmidt, O. Schmidt, E. Schoene,
W. Schomburg, H. Schuster, H. Schwemmer,
H. Schulz, W. Schulz, A. Seidel, J. Seeling,
W. Sellesk, G. Siegert, A. Standtke, R. Toepfer,
C. Walter, J. Wastrack, W. Wehlau, L. Wittig,
J. Wiedner, J. Winkelmann, W. Zimmermann.

Inauguration in 1872

On October 25, 1872, representatives of the city of Spremberg, members of the fallen and representatives of the Fusilier Battalion 6th Brandenb consecrated. Inf. Regts. No.52 with great sympathy of the population, the obelisk. For this purpose, all participants met at 11:30 am on the town's market square and then went "in a moving funeral procession to the ringing of bells and funeral music up to the Georgenberg". Excerpts from the speech of the chairman of the district court director Seemann:

We deeply mourn these victims of the war, especially and with the most painful sadness those of them who belonged to our city and our battalion. This monument has been dedicated to their memory by the inhabitants of Spremberg. "

So you should stand here until the end of days. From this beautiful hill, on which a thousand beloved dead want to go to the graves of their loved ones, from this beautiful hill you should look down meaningfully on our city from generation to generation, as a sign of honor and glory for the fallen, as a sign of Thanks to the world around us and as a reminder for the following generations of loyalty and devotion for king and fatherland, for emperor and empire, if necessary, until death. "

Superintendent Tietze gave the blessing for the monument . The memorial was then handed over by the chairman of the Seaman's Committee to Mayor Nakszynski and thus to the city of Spremberg.

Demolished in 1946

The obelisk survived the turmoil of World War II with almost no damage. According to reports from witnesses, the eagle after was merely taking Spremberg damaged by shelling.

In 1946 the obelisk was razed on the instructions of the Neugebauer district administrator . To this end, the latter either subconsciously misinterpreted Directive No. 30 of the Allied Control Council , published in May 1946 , which required the removal of all military and Nazi monuments, or acted with anticipatory obedience . Because this directive explicitly referred to monuments that were erected after August 1st, 1914 .

Find the obelisk

In the 1970s, the entire complex was built over with a viewing terrace (bastion), which is about 40 cm higher than the location of the obelisk. After the political change in the GDR, there were repeated attempts to find the obelisk. However, the statements of contemporary witnesses were imprecise and sometimes contradicting, so that they were repeatedly searched for in the wrong places. There were also statements that parts of the obelisk were removed.

From 2005 onwards, the local "Association for the Redesign of the Georgenberg Cemetery in Spremberg NL eV" (Georgenberg Association) increased efforts to find the obelisk, which, however, met with little official support.

In documents from archives in Potsdam , which were only discovered by chance in 2017 , the following emerges in a letter from the building authority Spremberg dated December 4, 1946:

"During the elimination of Nazi and militaristic monuments was by Messrs. Philipp Holzmann eliminated: War Memorial 1870/71. Demolition with simultaneous crushing of the marble stone. The rubble was buried on the spot, since removal would only be possible with great difficulty. "


Documents found in archives in 2016 proved beyond doubt that the obelisk had not been removed but is still in its original location. On May 21, 2016, on the initiative of the Brandenburg State Office for Monument Preservation , soil monument preservation department, a georadar investigation was carried out on the area of ​​the bastion. [1] It was possible to locate several parts that were clearly not of natural origin. [2] The problem with lifting these parts was that the viewing terrace (bastion) located there is classified by the Upper Monument Authority as a building worthy of preservation in the GDR .

Decision in 2017

The main committee of the city of Spremberg decided in January 2017 (G / IV / 17/0010) that the obelisk should be set up again at the original location after successful recovery. [3]

1. Search excavation in 2018

Find location of the pyramid (front) and the name block (back)

In 2017, the Lower Monument Authority granted permission to carry out search excavations at the locations located using georadar. However, the permit restricted the lifting of only two of the five localized parts.

On March 17, 2018, two intact parts of the war memorial were uncovered and lifted by members of the "Georgenberg Verein" and many volunteers. It was the name die with the engraved names of the fallen and the pyramid of the monument with the inscription “In memory of those who died in the war against France in 1870 a. In 1871 the famous fallen of this city and the Fusilier Battalion 6th Brandenb. Inf. Regts. No.52 dedicated by the inhabitants of Spremberg in 1872. “ [4] All metal applications on the pyramid had been removed, the eagle was missing. Some names on the name cube still had gold letters on them. Both recovered parts were stored at a local stonemason. The parts found were only about 20 centimeters However, due to their size, they were buried up to about 1.50 meters below the original ground level.

Due to the observation platform built in the 1970s, which exactly covered all parts, it can be assumed that the local political forces at the time wanted to prevent the obelisk from being accidentally found again.

Overall monument preservation concept 2018/2019

Viewing terrace from the 1970s on the western tip of the Georgenberg

Through the discovery of parts of the obelisk and the application of the Georgenberg Association to the monument authority to be allowed to set it up again at the original location, as well as a separate application by the Laga Association, which is also active on the Georgenberg, for the establishment of an imagination of the Georgenberg Chapel , the town of Spremberg was defeated by the Upper The monument authority requested to create an overall concept for the preservation of historical monuments in which all planned and necessary activities can be bundled and assessed for the area monument "Ensemble Stadtpark with Festwiese (Wiesengrund), open-air stage, swan pond, Slamer cemetery, Bismarck tower, Loebenstein, Tietzstein".

The overall concept for the preservation of monuments was drawn up by the landscape architects office Hamann from Berlin and accepted by the city council on May 8, 2019. Both the Hamann office, the Laga and Georgenberg Association and representatives of the city of Spremberg worked on this concept. [5] [6]

In the overall monument preservation concept, the following is stated in relation to the obelisk under the item “Monument preservation objectives”: “The area of ​​today's viewing platform was the location of the obelisk from 1870/71. Since the obelisk as a landmark of Spremberg was an important element on the Georgenberg, it should be put back in its original location. "

The Upper Monument Authority restricted this requirement to the effect that the obelisk may be re-erected, but not in its original location, "since this means partial destruction of the monumental substance and design as well as historical falsification." However, this does not mean that it is free There is a choice of location in the area monument. The main reason for this requirement is that the viewing platform built over the original site in the 1970s, which consists of simple exposed aggregate concrete paving slabs and a flat sandstone wall , must be protected and preserved. An objectionof the Georgenberg Verein at the Upper Monument Authority was rejected on the grounds that in the course of the transformation of the Georgenberg cemetery into a Volkspark in the 1970s, the obelisk was deliberately removed and a viewing platform was built at this point. Later, the monument authority changed the wrong facts in a renewed justification with the same conclusion.

The exposed foundation in the center of the picture. Right in front of the exposed lower plinth of the obelisk

2. Search excavation in 2019

In July 2019 there was another permit from the Lower Monument Authority, through which it was now possible to lift the last localized parts. On July 20, 2019, two parts of the obelisk were exposed. These are the lower plinth and the cornice. Both parts were right next to each other and show some larger breaks compared to the first finds. In addition, fragments of the intermediate plinth as well as parts of the eagle and the oak leaf applications of the pyramid were found. Almost undamaged, however, the original Iron Cross, which leaned directly on the lower plinth, was recovered. The found fragments of the eagle and the oak leaves allow the conclusion that they were completely destroyed. The cornice was salvaged on July 20, the lower plinth on July 22, 2019.

On the fragments of the eagle that were found, clear traces could be established through bombardment with small-caliber ammunition . This claim, handed down by contemporary witnesses, has now been confirmed by the findings of July 20, 2019.

In August 2019, the still existing foundation of the obelisk was examined and assessed by an expert. The result was clear, it is no longer possible to build the obelisk on this foundation. To re-erect the obelisk at this point, the foundation has to be removed by hand due to the exposed location and the risk of further landslides and replaced with a new one.


Although the marble of the obelisk had been in the ground for over seventy years, it was heavily soiled and presented in a completely different color, a marble part (intermediate piece) was destroyed and in fact no longer there and all metal applications were missing except for the Iron Cross, the Georgenberg Association decided to restore and re-erect the obelisk. Because contrary to what the documents found suggested, most of the parts were there and not destroyed.

The originally planned restoration by the local stonemason, where all the found parts were stored, failed due to different views on the restoration measures and how they were carried out. In December 2019, the contract for the restoration of the obelisk was awarded to the Israel stonemason in Groß Särchen , Saxony . The obelisk was to be completely cleaned, broken off flaws supplemented according to feasibility and all inscriptions reworked and laid out in real gold .

The art foundry Lauchhammer was won over to produce the metal applications . It turned out to be particularly difficult that neither of the destroyed wreaths nor of the eagle, models of comparable size and type were available. Only the re-casting of the Iron Cross could begin without any problems after the repair of the fractures that had arisen during removal. Since it did not succeed, a comparable eagle model, neither in the documents nor in the museumthe foundry and a remodeling based on postcard motifs would be completely hopeless and, above all, unaffordable, the compromise was made to use the largest possible and available eagle model as a template. The production of the honorary wreaths was only possible with the latest technology. The models of the existing wreaths were too small both in diameter and in width of the wreath and could not be used for the obelisk. Only by scanning an available wreath of honor, which came very close to the original, using 3D technology and then enlarging it on the computer to the original dimensions and then 3D printinga usable model could be created. In June 2020 the eagle, the iron cross and both honor wreaths were completed.

Also in June 2020, the pyramid of the obelisk was completely restored. All defects and bullet holes were removed, all letters reworked and laid out in real gold. In July 2020, the missing marble block for the destroyed intermediate piece could also be procured. A particular stroke of luck turned out to be that this marble could be quarried in the same quarry as it was in 1872. It is a quarry in Sławniowice in the Owl Mountains .

Installation site

Due to the refusal of the Upper Monument Authority to be allowed to re-erect the obelisk at its original location, the Georgenberg Association had to deal with the problem of finding a location. All attempts to return to the original location had failed. Placing a piece of city ​​history that is so important and valuable for the city of Spremberg somewhere else on the Georgenberg, as the Upper Monument Authority considered it conceivable, was not considered. In the overall monument preservation concept, which also included the city park, the dismantling of the “Overcoming hurdles” monument, which was only inaugurated in 2009, was recommended, as it did not fit into the surroundings. Same conclusion could also be deduced from the obelisk 1870/71.

In letters to the editor of the local press , voices were occasionally heard not to put the obelisk back up. The local group of the Left also rejects the obelisk, which is exclusively dedicated to the fallen Sprembergers and the fallen from the 6th Brandenb stationed here. Inf. Regts. No.52 is dedicated as a war-glorifying cenotaph . Since the restoration, like the production of the obelisk at that time in 1872, was again financed only by donations from the citizens of Spremberg, companies and supporters, the willingness of those who donated to rebuild the obelisk and argued was much greater.

In the run-up to this discussion, the citizens of Spremberg had already proposed to the association to set up the obelisk in a central square in the center of Spremberg. The site was to use the remains of the former Friedrich Engels Platz , which had lost around 50% of its area due to the construction of a roundabout . [7] On September 23, 2020, the Committee on Building, Culture, Sport and Social Affairs (BKSS), in which all political groups are represented, voted without a dissenting vote for the erection of the obelisk at the new location at the roundabout. On October 5, 2020, the city's main committee also voted with a narrow majorityfor the new location. On October 28, 2020, the city council of Spremberg (submission G / VII / 20/0295) voted with a large majority for the erection of the obelisk 1870/71 on the roundabout in the city center. [8th]


  • Spremberger sheet No. 129, Thursday, October 31, 1872 - The war memorial on the Georgenberg
  • Home calendar CITY OF SPREMBERG AND SURROUNDING AREA 2019 "The memorial on the Georgenberg for the fallen in the war of 1870/71" by Eckbert Kwast


  1. Looking for old memorial plaques . In: Lausitzer Rundschau May 23, 2016.
  2. The lost obelisk is here . In: Märkischer Bote November 25, 2016.
  3. Stadtpark is to get the obelisk back . In: Lausitzer Rundschau January 25, 2017.
  4. A miracle on the Georgenberg . In: Lausitzer Rundschau March 19, 2018.
  5. War memorial on the Georgenberg in Spremberg Landamt expresses concerns . In: Lausitzer Rundschau February 19, 2019.
  6. ↑ The city ​​council decides on the overall conservation concept . In: Official Gazette of the City of Spremberg Edition 6/2019.
  7. Obelisk should be at the Spremberg roundabout . In: Lausitzer Rundschau September 26, 2020.
  8. ↑ The location for the Spremberger obelisk has been determined . In: Lausitzer Rundschau November 1, 2020.

Coordinates: 51 ° 34 ′ 28.5 " N , 14 ° 22 ′ 42.7" E