Otto I, Margrave of Brandenburg
Otto I was the second Margrave of Brandenburg, from 1170 until his death. Otto I was born into the House of Ascania as the eldest son of Albert I, who founded the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1157, his wife Sophie of Winzenburg, he had three sisters and six brothers, the best known of whom were Prince-Archbishop Siegfried of Bremen, Count Bernhard of Anhalt Duke of Saxony. Otto's year of birth is traditionally recorded as 1128, but recent historians have cast some doubts on the date. Pribislav of the Havolanes is known to have served as Otto's godfather and given the lands of Zauche bordering the Ascanian possessions as a gift upon the occasion. In 1148, Otto married Judith of the Piast dynasty, sister of the Dukes of Poland Boleslaw IV and Mieszko III. Arrangements for the marriage were agreed upon during the Wendic Crusade in a meeting of January 6, 1148, in which Archbishop Friedrich of Wettin participated besides Otto and the two Polish dukes. According to Partenheimer, the marriage was contracted in connection with the Ascanian efforts to support the Piast dynasty in opposition to King Conrad, who supported Wladyslaw II as legal ruler of Poland.
After Judith's death in 1175, Otto married Ada of Holland in 1176, daughter of Floris III, Count of Holland. Otto and Judith had: Otto II became his successor as Margrave of Brandenburg at Otto I's death in 1184 Heinrich became Count of GardelegenOtto and Ada had: Albert II became Margrave of Brandenburg after the death of his brother Otto II in 1205Otto was buried in the Lehnin Abbey, which he had helped build. Otto governed from 1144 alongside his father Albert, he did not take the title Margrave of Brandenburg until his father's death in 1170, but as early as 1144 he is mentioned by that title along with Albert in a royal document, although Albert himself did not claim it until 1157. The father and son together shaped the House of Ascania's policy over several decades, together participating in meetings and decisions, are both mentioned in documents of the period; the pair were accompanied and supported in many cases by Otto's brothers, in particular the second-eldest, Hermann. Otto outlived his father, who lived to the very old age of 70, by only 14 years.
The Margraviate of Brandenburg, which Otto took over from his father in 1170, did not at the time correspond to the territory of Brandenburg. The old Margraviate was only the eastern portion of Havelland and the Zauche. In the following 150 years under the Ascanians, it would expand to include many more regions, but during Otto's years as Margrave, his main goal was to stabilize and secure the Margraviate by intensifying settlement in the regions he controlled. In 1180, Otto founded the Lehnin Abbey in Zauche as the Margraviate's first monastery, in which he would be buried four years later; this Cistercian monastery became the house monastery and burial ground for the House of Ascania, also for the House of Hohenzollern. The first monks took up residence in 1183; the monastery developed into a wealthy abbey and strengthened the position of the Ascanians both by its great economic means and by the missionary work of its monks to the Slavs. By the time the monastery was secularized in 1542, it owned among other things 39 villages and the city of Werder.
The abbey's founding legend is. Otto fell asleep after an arduous hunt under an oak tree. In his dream, deer appeared which threatened to gore him with their antlers, which he could not repel with his spear. In desperation Otto called Christ's name, whereupon the dream dissolved; when Otto related the strange dream to his companions, they interpreted the deer as a symbol for the pagan Slavs, advised him to establish a monastery in honor of the Christian God to defend against paganism. Oak and deer as a result are on the Abbey's coat of arms. A monument to Otto was built by the sculptor Max Unger in 1898 on the former Siegesallee in Tiergarten in Berlin, as part of the construction of a "boulevard of splendor" with monuments from the history of Brandenburg and Berlin. Under the direction of Reinhold Begas between 1895 and 1901, 27 sculptors created 32 sculptures of the rulers of Brandenburg and Prussia, each 2.75 m high. Each sculpture was flanked by two smaller busts of people who played an important role in the life of that ruler.
In the case Otto I, the flanking busts were of his godfather Pribislav and the first Abbot of the Lehnin Abbey, who according to legend was murdered. Antwerpe, Heinrici de. "Can. Brandenburg. Tractatus de urbe Brandenburg". Online edition by Tilo Köhn. Archived from the original on 2013-02-21. George, Richard. Hie gut Brandenburg alleweg! Geschichts- und Kulturbilder aus der Vergangenheit der Mark und aus Alt-Berlin bis zum Tode des Großen Kurfürsten. Berlin: Verlag von W. Pauli's Nachf. Otto von Heinemann, "Otto I.", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 24, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 658–659 Lyon, Jonathan R.. Princely Brothers and Sisters: The Sibling Bond in German Politics, 1100–1250. Cornell University Press. Partenheimer, Lutz. Albrecht der Bär. Cologne: Böhlau Verlag. ISBN 3-412-16302-3
Max Unger (sculptor)
Max Unger was a German sculptor. He studied sculpture at the Prussian Academy of Art under Fritz Schaper and worked in the studios of Albert Wolff from 1874 to 1875. After two more years of study in Italy, he established his own studios in Berlin-Kreuzberg. 1888: Statue of Generalfeldmarschall Prince Friedrich Karl Nikolaus von Preußen, in Frankfurt. 1898: Siegesallee project, Group 2: with Otto I, Margrave of Brandenburg as the central figure. The statues were vandalized shortly after being dedicated and were damaged in World War II, they are now on display at the Spandau Citadel. 1900: Kaiser Wilhelm I, Equestrian statue on the Wilhelmsplatz in Frankfurt. 1900 Kaiser Wilhelm I statue in Ulm. 1903: Leipzig, Villersbrunnen. It was melted down in 1942 and reconstructed in 2003. 1913, statue of Fridtjof the Brave in Vangsnes on the Sognefjord, Norway. It was commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II, transported to Norway in fifteen pieces and assembled by 100 Imperial German Navy sailors. There was talk of dismantling the statue, during both world wars.
Today, it has become a local landmark. Richard George: Hie gut Brandenburg alleweg! Geschichts- und Kulturbilder aus der Vergangenheit der Mark und aus Alt-Berlin bis zum Tode des Großen Kurfürsten, Verlag von W. Pauli's Nachf. Berlin 1900. Uta Lehnert: Der Kaiser und die Siegesallee. Réclame Royale, Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-496-01189-0. W. Hartwig: Photo of Unger's self-created grave monument
A prince is a male ruler ranked below a king and above a duke or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. Prince is a title of nobility hereditary, in some European states; the feminine equivalent is a princess. The English word derives, via the French word prince, from the Latin noun princeps, from primus and capio, meaning "the chief, most distinguished, prince"; the Latin word prīnceps, became the usual title of the informal leader of the Roman senate some centuries before the transition to empire, the princeps senatus. Emperor Augustus established the formal position of monarch on the basis of principate, not dominion, he tasked his grandsons as summer rulers of the city when most of the government were on holiday in the country or attending religious rituals, for that task, granted them the title of princeps. The title has generic and substantive meanings: generically, prince refers to a member of a family that ruled by hereditary right, the title referring either to sovereigns or to cadets of a sovereign's family.
The term may be broadly used of persons in various continents or eras. In Europe, it is the title borne by dynastic cadets in monarchies, borne by courtesy by members of reigning dynasties. as a substantive title, a prince was a monarch of the lowest rank in post-Napoleonic Europe, e.g. Princes of Andorra, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Monaco and Pyrmont, etc. substantively, the title was granted by popes and secular monarchs to specific individuals and to the heads of some high-ranking European families who, never exercised dynastic sovereignty and whose cadets are not entitled to share the princely title, viz the Princes de Beauvau-Craon, von Bismarck, von Dohna-Schlobitten, von Eulenburg, de Faucigny-Lucinge, von Lichnowsky, von Pless, Ruffo di Calabria, von Sagan, van Ursel, etc. generically, cadets of some non-sovereign families whose head bears the non-dynastic title of prince were sometimes authorized to use the princely title, e.g. von Carolath-Beuthen, de Broglie, Demidoff di San Donato, Lieven, de Merode, Radziwill, von Wrede, etc. substantively, the heirs apparent in some monarchies use a specific princely title associated with a territory within the monarch's realm, e.g. the Princes of Asturias, Grão Pará, Viana, etc. substantively, it became the fashion from the 17th century for the heirs apparent of the leading ducal families to assume a princely title, associated with a seigneurie in the family's possession.
These titles were borne by courtesy and preserved by tradition, not law, e.g. the princes de Bidache, Tonnay-Charente, Poix, Léon, The original, but now less common use of the word, originated in the application of the Latin word princeps, from late Roman law, the classical system of government that gave way to the European feudal society. In this sense, a prince is a ruler of a territory, sovereign, or quasi-sovereign, i.e. exercising substantial prerogatives associated with monarchs of independent nations, such as the immediate states within the historical boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. In medieval and Early Modern Europe, there were as many as two hundred such territories in Italy and Gaelic Ireland. In this sense, "prince" is used of all rulers, regardless of actual title or precise rank; this is the Renaissance use of the term found in Il Principe. As a title, by the end of the medieval era, prince was borne by rulers of territories that were either smaller than or exercised fewer of the rights of sovereignty than did emperors and kings.
A lord of a quite small territory might come to be referred to as a prince before the 13th century, either from translations of a native title into the Latin princeps, or when the lord's territory was allodial. The lord of an allodium owned his lands and exercised prerogatives over the subjects in his territory owing no feudal homage or duty as a vassal to a liege lord, nor being subject to any higher jurisdiction. Most small territories designated as principalities during feudal eras were allodial, e.g. the Princedom of Dombes. Lords who exercised lawful authority over territories and people within a feudal hierarchy were sometimes regarded as princes in the general sense if they held the rank of count or higher; this is attested in some surviving styles for e.g. British earls and dukes are still addressed by the Crown on ceremonial occasions as high and noble princes. In parts of the Holy Roman Empire in which primogeniture did not prevail, all legitimate agnates had an equal right to the family's hereditary titles.
While this meant that offices, such as emperor and elector could only be occupied by one dynast at a time, holders of such other titles as duke, landgrave, count palatine, prince could only differentiate themselves by adding the name of their appanage to the family's original title. Not only did this tend to proliferate unwieldy titles, but as agnatic primogeniture became the norm in the Holy Roman Empire by the end of the 18th century, another me
History of Germany
The concept of Germany as a distinct region in central Europe can be traced to Roman commander Julius Caesar, who referred to the unconquered area east of the Rhine as Germania, thus distinguishing it from Gaul, which he had conquered. The victory of the Germanic tribes in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest prevented annexation by the Roman Empire, although the Roman provinces of Germania Superior and Germania Inferior were established along the Rhine. Following the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Franks conquered the other West Germanic tribes; when the Frankish Empire was divided among Charles the Great's heirs in 843, the eastern part became East Francia. In 962, Otto I became the first Holy Roman Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, the medieval German state. In the Late Middle Ages, the regional dukes and bishops gained power at the expense of the emperors. Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic Church after 1517, as the northern states became Protestant, while the southern states remained Catholic.
The two parts of the Holy Roman Empire clashed in the Thirty Years' War, ruinous to the twenty million civilians living in both parts. The Thirty Years' War brought tremendous destruction to Germany. 1648 marked the effective end of the Holy Roman Empire and the beginning of the modern nation-state system, with Germany divided into numerous independent states, such as Prussia, Saxony and other states, which controlled land outside of the area considered as "Germany". After the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars from 1803–1815, feudalism fell away and liberalism and nationalism clashed with reaction; the German revolutions of 1848–49 failed. The Industrial Revolution modernized the German economy, led to the rapid growth of cities and to the emergence of the socialist movement in Germany. Prussia, with its capital Berlin, grew in power. German universities became world-class centers for science and humanities, while music and art flourished; the unification of Germany was achieved under the leadership of the Chancellor Otto von Bismarck with the formation of the German Empire in 1871 which solved the Kleindeutsche Lösung, the small Germany solution, or Großdeutsche Lösung, the greater Germany solution, the former prevailing.
The new Reichstag, an elected parliament, had only a limited role in the imperial government. Germany joined the other powers in colonial expansion in the Pacific. By 1900, Germany was the dominant power on the European continent and its expanding industry had surpassed Britain's, while provoking it in a naval arms race. Germany led the Central Powers in World War I against France, Great Britain and the United States. Defeated and occupied, Germany was forced to pay war reparations by the Treaty of Versailles and was stripped of its colonies as well as of home territory to be ceded to Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Poland; the German Revolution of 1918–19 put an end to the federal constitutional monarchy, which resulted in the establishment of the Weimar Republic, an unstable parliamentary democracy. In the early 1930s, the worldwide Great Depression hit Germany hard, as unemployment soared and people lost confidence in the government. In January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany.
The Nazi Party began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hitler established a totalitarian regime. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if they were not met. First came the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936, the annexing of Austria in the Anschluss and parts of Czechoslovakia with the Munich Agreement in 1938. On 1 September 1939, Germany initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland. After forming a pact with the Soviet Union in 1939, Hitler and Stalin divided Eastern Europe. After a "Phoney War" in spring 1940, the Germans swept Denmark and Norway, the Low Countries and France, giving Germany control of nearly all of Western Europe. Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Racism antisemitism, was a central feature of the Nazi regime. In Germany, but predominantly in the German-occupied areas, the systematic genocide program known as The Holocaust killed 11 million including Jews, German dissidents, disabled people, Romanies and others.
In 1942, the German invasion of the Soviet Union faltered, after the United States had entered the war, Britain became the base for massive Anglo-American bombings of German cities. Germany fought the war on multiple fronts through 1942–1944, however following the Allied invasion of Normandy, the German Army was pushed back on all fronts until the final collapse in May 1945. Under occupation by the Allies, German territories were split up, Austria was again made a separate country, denazification took place, the Cold War resulted in the division of the country into democratic West Germany and communist East Germany. Millions of ethnic Germans were deported or fled from Communist areas into West Germany, which experienced rapid economic expansion, became the dominant economy in Western Europe. West Germany was rearmed in the 1950s under the auspices of NATO, but without access to nuclear weapons; the Franco-German friendship became the basis for the political integration of Western Europe in the European Union.
In 1989, the Berlin Wall was destroye
Brandenburg is a state of Germany. Brandenburg is located in the northeast of Germany covering an area of 29,478 square kilometres and has a population of 2.5 million residents, the fifth-largest German state by area and tenth-most populous. Potsdam is the state capital and largest city, while other major cities include Brandenburg an der Havel and Frankfurt. Brandenburg surrounds the national capital and city-state of Berlin, which together form the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, the third-largest metropolitan area in Germany. Brandenburg borders the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, the country of Poland. Brandenburg originated in the Northern March in the 900s AD from areas conquered from the Wends, became the Margraviate of Brandenburg, a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire, with Albert the Bear as prince-elector. In the 17th century Brandenburg came under the rule of the House of Hohenzollern, the rulers of Prussia, who established Brandenburg-Prussia to become the core of the Kingdom of Prussia.
Brandenburg became the Province of Brandenburg in 1815, a province within the kingdom and within the Free State of Prussia. Brandenburg was established as a state in 1945 after World War II by the Soviet army administration in Allied-occupied Germany, became part of the German Democratic Republic in 1947. Brandenburg was dissolved in 1952 during administrative reforms and its territory divided into the districts of Potsdam, Frankfurt and Schwerin, but was re-established in 1990 following German reunification, became one of the Federal Republic of Germany's new states. In late medieval and early modern times, Brandenburg was one of seven electoral states of the Holy Roman Empire, along with Prussia, formed the original core of the German Empire, the first unified German state. Governed by the Hohenzollern dynasty from 1415, it contained the future German capital Berlin. After 1618 the Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were combined to form Brandenburg-Prussia, ruled by the same branch of the House of Hohenzollern.
In 1701 the state was elevated as the Kingdom of Prussia. Franconian Nuremberg and Ansbach, Swabian Hohenzollern, the eastern European connections of Berlin, the status of Brandenburg's ruler as prince-elector together were instrumental in the rise of that state. Brandenburg is situated in territory known in antiquity as Magna Germania, which reached to the Vistula river. By the 7th century, Slavic peoples are believed to have settled in the Brandenburg area; the Slavs expanded from the east driven from their homelands in present-day Ukraine and Belarus by the invasions of the Huns and Avars. They relied on river transport; the two principal Slavic groups in the present-day area of Brandenburg were the Hevelli in the west and the Sprevane in the east. Beginning in the early 10th century, Henry the Fowler and his successors conquered territory up to the Oder River. Slavic settlements such as Brenna and Chośebuz came under imperial control through the installation of margraves, their main function was to protect the eastern marches.
In 948 Emperor Otto I established margraves to exert imperial control over the pagan Slavs west of the Oder River. Otto founded the Bishoprics of Havelberg; the Northern March was founded as a northeastern border territory of the Holy Roman Empire. However, a great uprising of Wends drove imperial forces from the territory of present-day Brandenburg in 983; the region returned to the control of Slavic leaders. During the 12th century, the German kings and emperors re-established control over the mixed Slav-inhabited lands of present-day Brandenburg, although some Slavs like the Sorbs in Lusatia adapted to Germanization while retaining their distinctiveness; the Roman Catholic Church brought bishoprics which, with their walled towns, afforded protection from attacks for the townspeople. With the monks and bishops, the history of the town of Brandenburg an der Havel, the first center of the state of Brandenburg, began. In 1134, in the wake of a German crusade against the Wends, the German magnate, Albert the Bear, was granted the Northern March by the Emperor Lothar III.
He formally inherited the town of Brandenburg and the lands of the Hevelli from their last Wendish ruler, Pribislav, in 1150. After crushing a force of Sprevane who occupied the town of Brandenburg in the 1150s, Albert proclaimed himself ruler of the new Margraviate of Brandenburg. Albert, his descendants the Ascanians made considerable progress in conquering, colonizing and cultivating lands as far east as the Oder. Within this region and German residents intermarried. During the 13th century, the Ascanians began acquiring territory east of the Oder known as the Neumark. In 1320, the Brandenburg Ascanian line came to an end, from 1323 up until 1415 Brandenburg was under the control of the Wittelsbachs of Bavaria, followed by the Luxembourg Dynasties. Under the Luxembourgs, the Margrave of Brandenburg gained the status of a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. In the period 1373-1415, Brandenburg was a part of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. In 1415, the Electorate of Brandenburg was granted by Emperor Sigismund to the House of Hohenzollern, which would rule until the end of World War I.
The Hohenzollerns established their capital in Berlin, by the economic center of Brandenburg. Brandenburg converted to Protestantism in 1539 in the wake of the Protestant Reformation, did quite we
House of Ascania
The House of Ascania is a dynasty of German rulers. It is known as the House of Anhalt, which refers to its longest-held possession, Anhalt; the Ascanians are named after Ascania Castle, known as Schloss Askanien in German, located near and named after Aschersleben. The castle was the seat of the County of Ascania, a title, subsumed into the titles of the princes of Anhalt; the earliest known member of the house, Count of Ballenstedt, first appears in a document of 1036. He is assumed to have been a grandson of Margrave of the Saxon Ostmark. From Odo, the Ascanians inherited large properties in the Saxon Eastern March. Esiko's grandson was Otto, Count of Ballenstedt, who died in 1123. By Otto's marriage to Eilika, daughter of Magnus, Duke of Saxony, the Ascanians became heirs to half of the property of the House of Billung, former dukes of Saxony. Otto's son, Albert the Bear, with the help of his mother's inheritance, the first Ascanian duke of Saxony in 1139. However, he soon lost control of Saxony to the rival House of Guelph.
Albert inherited the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1157 from its last Wendish ruler, he became the first Ascanian margrave. Albert, his descendants of the House of Ascania made considerable progress in Christianizing and Germanizing the lands; as a borderland between German and Slavic cultures, the country was known as a march. In 1237 and 1244, two towns, Cölln and Berlin, were founded during the rule of Otto and Johann, grandsons of Margrave Albert the Bear, they were united into one city, Berlin. The emblem of the House of Ascania, a red eagle and bear, became the heraldic emblems of Berlin. In 1320, the Brandenburg Ascanian line came to an end. After the Emperor had deposed the Guelph rulers of Saxony in 1180, Ascanians returned to rule the Duchy of Saxony, reduced to its eastern half by the Emperor; however in eastern Saxony, the Ascanians could establish control only in limited areas near the River Elbe. In the 13th century, the Principality of Anhalt was split off from the Duchy of Saxony.
The remaining state was split into Saxe-Lauenburg and Saxe-Wittenberg. The Ascanian dynasties in the two Saxon states became extinct in 1689 and in 1422 but Ascanians continued to rule in the smaller state of Anhalt and its various subdivisions until the monarchy was abolished in 1918. Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia from 1762–1796, was a member of the House of Ascania, herself the daughter of Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst. County and Duchy of Anhalt: c. 1100–1918 Duchy and Electorate of Saxony: 1112, 1139–1142, 1180–1422 County of Weimar-Orlamünde: 1112–1486 Margravate of Brandenburg: 1157–1320 Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg: 1269–1689 Principality of Lüneburg: 1369–1388 Principality and Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg: 1252–1468 and 1603–1863 Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst: 1252–1396 and 1544–1796 Principality of Anhalt-Aschersleben: 1252–1315 Principality and Duchy of Anhalt-Köthen: 1396–1561 and 1603–1847 Principality and Duchy of Anhalt-Dessau 1396–1561 and 1603–1863 Principality of Anhalt-Plötzkau 1544–1553 and 1603–1665 Principality of Anhalt-Harzgerode 1635–1709 Principality of Anhalt-Mühlingen: 1667–1714 Principality of Anhalt-Dornburg: 1667–1742 Principality of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym: 1718–1812 Russian Empire: 1762–1796 Askanien, Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888 Trillmich, Kaiser Konrad II.
Und seine Zeit, Bonn, 1991 Ducal Family of Anhalt ] - official website European Heraldry page Marek, Miroslav. "GENEALOGY. EU: House of Ascania". Genealogy. EU. Stirnet: Brandenburg1 Stirnet: Ascania1
The Siegesallee was a broad boulevard in Berlin, Germany. In 1895, Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered and financed the construction and expansion of an existing alley with a variety of marble statues, finalized in 1901. About 750 m in length, it ran northwards through the Tiergarten park from Kemperplatz, to the former site of the Victory Column at the Königsplatz, close to the Reichstag. Along its length the Siegesallee cut across the Charlottenburger Chausee; the marble monuments and the neobaroque ensemble were ridiculed by its contemporaries. Berlin folkore dubbed the Kaiser Denkmalwilly for his excessive historicism. Moves to have the statues demolished were thwarted after the end of the monarchy in 1919; the Siegessäule and the figures were moved by the Nazi government to the Großer Stern in 1939 to allow for larger military parades and conventions. Some of the monuments were lost in the aftermath of the Second World War; the allied forces had the alley erased and the area replanted. The Soviet War Memorial was erected there, deliberately crossing the former Victor Avenue of its foes in a symbolic act after the end of the war.
The remaining figures are being repaired and exhibited in Spandau. They will be part of the exhibition Enthüllt – Berlin und seine Denkmäler; the track itself has been reconstructed as a footpath. It was on 27 January 1895, the 36th birthday of William II, German Emperor, that the Siegesallee took on a whole new meaning with the commissioning by the Emperor of 100 white marble statues. Intended as a personal gift to the city to make it the envy of the world, the statues were created by 27 sculptors under the direction of Reinhold Begas over a period of five years, starting in 1896. Dedicated on 18 December 1901, they consisted firstly of 32 "main" statues, each about 2.75 m tall, of former Prussian royal figures of varying historical importance, in two rows of 16, evenly spaced along either side of the boulevard, while behind each one were two busts of associates or advisors mounted on a low semi-circular wall, making 96 sculptures in all. The whole construction was derided by art critics, regarded by many Berliners as grossly over-indulgent and a vulgar show of strength.
It was dubbed the ″Puppenallee″, as well as the Avenue of the Puppets, Plaster Avenue, other unsavoury titles. The Emperor’s own wife Augusta Viktoria, had been unhappy about it and had tried to persuade him not to go ahead with it, but all to no avail. Just one woman has been depicted, Elisabeth of Bavaria praying on her knees before her husband; the lack of women was noted by the contemporaries. Some of the protests turned on the fact that Italian artisans in Berlin did the actual sculpting while artists of the Berliner Bildhauerschule just provided models in plaster or clay. Wilhelm's opening speech, the infamous Rinnsteinrede, portrayed Modernism and Impressionism as a descent of art into the gutter. Karl Scheffler wrote a devastating criticism in 1907, comparing the Siegesallee to an overly patriotic out of tune amateur brassband concerto; the Siegesallee was still a popular place to relax, however. The figures were used to teach the history of Brandenburg to pupils. A series of essays in a prestigious school, the Joachimsthalsche Gymnasium, reached the Kaiser.
On behalf of Professor Otto Schroeder, the pupils had to interpret the contrapposto. The Kaiser provided some ironic notes; the whole affair was made public in 1960 by an Eastern German writer, Rudolf Herrnstadt under a pseudonym. In 1918 and 1919, among others, Hans Paasche asked to have the statues being destroyed; the soldiers and workers council of Berlin decided to keep them. Kurt Tucholsky had written a poem, asking to keep the figures silent, as monuments of a great era; the statues remained in place until 1938, when they got in the way of the grand plan by Adolf Hitler to transform Berlin into the Welthauptstadt Germania, to be realised by Albert Speer. The avenue was set to disappear under the new North-South Axis, the linchpin of the plan, so on Speer's direction the entire construction was dismantled and rebuilt in another part of the Tiergarten, along a south-east to north-west running avenue called ″Großer Sternallee″ that led to the Großer Stern itself, the main intersection of roads in the centre of the Tiergarten, one of the other roads being the Charlottenburger Chausee.
In its new location it was given a new name — ″Neue Siegesallee″. The Victory Column was moved to the middle of the Großer Stern, where it remains to this day. Many of the statues were damaged in World War II. Though, the avenue survived, more or less, while all around was a scene of devastation. Most of the Tiergarten's 200,000 trees were shattered by bombs and artillery shells and cut down for fuel by desperate Berliners. In the 1948 movie The Berliner, Otto Normalverbraucher, played by Gert Fröbe, as a former German soldier returning to civilian life, gives an ironic salute to the figures. However, the statues were seen by the Allied powers as a symbol of Imperial Germany, in 1947 the British Occu