'Völkerschlachtdenkmal near Leipzig.'
Everything looks heavy, the atmosphere is dark and the interior seems to be imported straight from the computer game Doom: the Völkerschlachtdenkmal. It seems as if the granite giants can wake up from their slumber any moment and crush you under their weight. It was built in 1913 as a monument for peace and commemorates the tens of thousands of deceased soldiers that fell one hundred years earlier in an enormous battle against Napoleon.
In reality nothing refers to peace, and everything to megalomanic, brainless Teutonhood. Maybe not so strange, being constructed only one year before the First World War. It shows clearly with which philosophy the country would thrust itself into war. Its Wagnerian, mythical Germanian kitsch makes clear that Germany was in fact ready for Nazism in 1913, ten years before its actual conception. Photo Paul Smit.