Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Quiet Unassuming Statue

Opfern translates from German to English.....meaning sacrifice, or to give of themselves for some greater good.

In Frankfurt, in the midst of city park about fifteen minutes walking from the the statue dedicated to sacrifice.

It was a statue coming out of the WW I era (1919) and centered on everyone who gave up something for the war (families gave up sons, wives gave up husbands, cities gave up future generations, etc).

Usually, it's Greek myths, historical icons, Roman warriors, noted statesmen, muscular horses, dead heroes, and soldiers who never returned from war who get made into park statues (sadly).

Few ever make a statue to honor sacrifice of society itself.  Sacrifice doesn't pass legislation, sign laws, or fit easily into a history icon.  Sacrifice can mean more than written words, or sweat.

This particular park is under some renovation, and there's a bit of landscaping efforts underway.

The statue?  It's fifty feet from the trail and few Frankfurt residents would see or observe it.  If I mentioned it to ten thousand Frankfurt residents (those who've been in the city for forty years).....I doubt if more than a hundred would stand and note where the statue is within the city.

The artist?  Benno Elkan.....a Jewish artist, who left Germany in 1935.

The odd history to the monument is that it came into negative view of the Nazis.....who felt statues ought to honor warriors.  So, at some point in the was pulled down but not destroyed.  I'm guessing the city crew probably just picked it up and put it at some storage yard....waiting for further instructions which never came. In April of 1946.....another ceremony was held, and the statue was put back into the park.  It's quietly sat there ever since.

So, if you are in Frankfurt, near the European Central Bank and Taunus Strasse....there's a city park there, and along the trail....rests this statue.  Just minutes walking away from the Willy Brandt U-Bahn station.

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