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Photo of Hermann the German Monument in New Ulm, Minnesota

Weekly Gem #89 Hermann the German

Published 10/2/2016

Location:   This 'hidden gem' is located in Hermann Heights Park at the corner of Monument Street and Center Street in New Ulm, MN (see  Clue Me! Map ).

This statue of Hermann the German represents New Ulm’s strong German heritage and their own tenacity. New Ulm was founded in 1859, and just three years later was a focal point of the Dakota War.  In 1862, the Dakota tribe launched a determined attack against New Ulm.  The townspeople set up defensive positions in the town center, holding out until support arrived and the attack was repulsed.

The cornerstone for this monument was laid in 1888, just 26 years after the Dakota War, when memories of the events were still quite strong.  So while 'officially' it represents the determination and eventual success of German tribes in resisting Roman incursion, it also represents the much smaller but equally determined defense of their own town.

Hermann faces due east, looking directly toward Rome, in a not-so-subtle jab.

On a more peaceful note, visitors can climb a spiral staircase to a deck at the base of the statue. It has a lovely view (unless you are acrophobic. Ack!) of New Ulm and the Minnesota River Valley.

Clue

Say, "Bis zur Unendlichkeit und noch viel weiter!" while doing the Buzz Lightyear pose.

Description

Hermann the German Monument (There is a fee to climb the monument)

Why It's Interesting

("Bis zur Unendlichkeit und noch viel weiter!" is German for, "To infinity and beyond!") Arminius, chief of the German Cherusci tribe, (aka Hermann) led an attack against the Roman army in the Teutoburg Forest. The defeat of the Romans was a turning point in history, halting the expansion of the Roman empire. For the disconnected German tribes, it began a national consciousness. Hermann was a hero and became known as "Germania's liberator"

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