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German History in Documents and Images
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Bruno Schmitz, Monument to the Battle of Nations (1897-1913)
The Monument to the Battle of Nations (Völkerschlachtdenkmal) was designed by architect Bruno Schmitz and built on the outskirts of Leipzig (1897-1913) with funds collected by the German Patriots’ League [Deutscher Patriotenbund]. The largest memorial in Germany, it commemorates the October 1813 battle between Napoleon’s forces and an opposing coalition of mostly Prussian, Austrian, Russian, and Swedish forces. The battle ended in a French defeat. Little about the monument commemorates the battle itself; rather, it is a tribute to German national power. It reflects the belief that the year 1813 initiated Germany’s resurgence as a national community.