Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig

Monument to the Battle of the Nations

Celebrations in 2013

For the preparations of the celebrations ”200 Jahre Völkerschlacht/100 Jahre Völkerschlachtdenkmal 2013“  (“The 200th anniversary of the Battle of the Nations and the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of the Monument to the Battle of the Nations 2013”) the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig has completed the brainstorming phase and has developed outline plans which we will targetedly implement together with our partners over the coming months.     

1. Publications about the Völkerschlacht

Before 2013, the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum will issue a publication on the Battle of the Nations and its historical traditions. The new publication will reflect not only the current research position and thereby make an important contribution to the civic history of Leipzig, but will also make available an opulently produced “coffee table book” to the broad public. 

2. Exhibition

In 2013 the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum will, from 4th September 2013 to 5th January 2014, present a striking exhibition with national significance. Under the title “Helden nach Maß” (“Heroes made to measure”) the exhibition will address the perception of the Wars of Liberation and will look into their contribution as regards the national founding myth of Germany. In parallel with the special exhibition, the scientific work undertaken to this end will be documented in an accompanying catalogue.

3. Youth project

The Stadtgeschichtliches Museum is to start a school & youth project that will seek to achieve through "the new media" an appreciation for historical traditions amongst the younger generation.  The project has the objective of motivating pupils from central Germany to actively look for the traces of history on their own doorsteps. 

4. Jazz performance

The tradition of playing music at the Monument to the Battle of the Nations has existed ever since the Monument’s inauguration in 1913. However, the extraordinary acoustics inside the monument do not only provide an impressive setting for the interpretation of classical choir literature. Especially with a view to attracting a younger audience, we are planning to turn the monument into a stage for high-class jazz performances for a night together with the Leipzig Jazzclub in August 2013.

5. Musical Commemoration 

Traditionally, the Battle of the Nations, and the inauguration of the monument have been commemorated by a concert in the cupola hall of the monument with its outstanding acoustics for one hundred years.  In 2013, we are planning to commission a modern requiem. This work is to be created as a joint project by several young composers from various European countries and is to be performed jointly by the choir of the Völkerschlachtdenkmal and a number of European musicians at the Monument to the Battle of the Nations on 18th October 2013.  This work and its performance are planned to create a bridge between 1813 – 1913 – 2013.  

6. Future conference

In the context of a cooperation with the Potsdam Military History Research Institute we will hold a scientific conference on the subject of “200 Years: The Battle of the Nations 1813 to 2013” at the Old Town Hall in Leipzig from 25th to 27th September 2013. The annual conference of the Military History Research Institute (MGFA), the biggest historical research institution in Germany, will also be held at the same time. Together with colleagues we will, in particular, address questions of European commemorative culture, national interpretations of history and the perception of the so-called Wars of Liberation under different political systems and in various European countries.