Event Title

Herman the German: From Ancient Warrior to Monument in the United States

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

18-4-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

18-4-2016 3:30 PM

Student's Major

World Languages and Cultures

Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Mentor's Name

Nadja Krämer

Mentor's Department

World Languages and Cultures

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Description

“Hermann the German” is a monument in New Ulm, Minnesota and considered a symbol of freedom and belonging by the German community. Yet, why would a monument dedicated to an ancient Germanic warrior and hero play such a dominant role in the self-definition of German immigrants to the U.S., a solid 2000 years after Hermann's successful battle against invading Roman armies? Hermann was not only the first recorded hero and unifier of his Germanic peoples, he also symbolizes freedom, strength, hope, heritage, and contributions within the USA. He represents a tangible identity that recalls adversities and the price of freedom regardless of historical point time. The focus of this research is to trace the adversarial discussion around the construction of the monument, the vision of its creators and the impact it had on German-American community in New Ulm and the U.S. The project compares and identifies the symbolic importance of the monument for the German-American community from the 19th century to contemporary times. It traces the conception of the idea, to the building of the monument, to its present day significance. The paper shows how the Hermann monument in New Ulm provides the foundation and maintenance of a German identity that reverberates with the contemporary descendants of the early German settlers not only in Brown County, Minnesota, but also all over the United States.

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Apr 18th, 2:00 PM Apr 18th, 3:30 PM

Herman the German: From Ancient Warrior to Monument in the United States

CSU Ballroom

“Hermann the German” is a monument in New Ulm, Minnesota and considered a symbol of freedom and belonging by the German community. Yet, why would a monument dedicated to an ancient Germanic warrior and hero play such a dominant role in the self-definition of German immigrants to the U.S., a solid 2000 years after Hermann's successful battle against invading Roman armies? Hermann was not only the first recorded hero and unifier of his Germanic peoples, he also symbolizes freedom, strength, hope, heritage, and contributions within the USA. He represents a tangible identity that recalls adversities and the price of freedom regardless of historical point time. The focus of this research is to trace the adversarial discussion around the construction of the monument, the vision of its creators and the impact it had on German-American community in New Ulm and the U.S. The project compares and identifies the symbolic importance of the monument for the German-American community from the 19th century to contemporary times. It traces the conception of the idea, to the building of the monument, to its present day significance. The paper shows how the Hermann monument in New Ulm provides the foundation and maintenance of a German identity that reverberates with the contemporary descendants of the early German settlers not only in Brown County, Minnesota, but also all over the United States.

Recommended Citation

Malecha, Katelynn and Jonathan Smith. "Herman the German: From Ancient Warrior to Monument in the United States." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 18, 2016.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2016/poster-session-B/13