In March, upper-level Marian University German students took part in a guided tour of the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis.
Students learned about the reasons behind the building the memorial, which is the largest war memorial in the nation outside of Washington D.C. In addition to touring the museum, students visited the beautiful Pershing Auditorium and the breath-taking Shrine Room, a room designed following World War I to inspire the feeling of peace and citizenship.
The students are enrolled in GER 380: Germany’s Collective Memory in Literature, Film and Memorials, which investigates how Germany collectively remembers the World Wars, the Holocaust, and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The tour of the museum and the memorial provided the students with a point of comparison as they look at depictions of the wars from both sides. The museum collection includes many German artifacts, ranging from weapons, to uniforms, to flags, to posters, to Hitler’s silver plate setting. One of the most unexpected and unique artifacts is a large bronze bust of Adolf Hitler that was spirited out the Reichstag in Berlin by soldiers from Indiana in 1945.
“I am continually surprised by the unexpected treasures Indiana has," said Wendy Westphal, Ph.D., assistant professor of German and organizer of the trip. "The Indiana War Memorial is just one of many!”