Bielefeld Thingstätte – notes

Bielefeld/ NRW

This Thingstätte was not part of the official Reichs construction program from 1934. It did not have an open-air stage. It was intended to serve as a pilgrimage site for Horst Wessel, who was stylized as a martyr by the National Socialists, and thus became a prestige object for his native city of Bielefeld. In 1933, several entrepreneurs donated the memorial stone in the Teutoburg Forest near what was then the “Eiserner Anton” restaurant. In 1945, the memorial stone weighing over 20 tons was stolen by unknown persons. Today a stone staircase leads to the hill at the place where the memorial stone once stood. A ridge trail crosses the site[1]

Date of inauguration: Oct 8th 1933
Horst- Wessel- Stone
Nutzung historisch

Oct 8th 1933Inauguration of the commemorative stone
1934 – 1938 yearly on Feb 23rdCeremony with wreath-laying on the anniversary of Wessel’s death
Oct 9th 1937„Horst- Wessel-Day“ on the 30th birthday of the „Martyr“


Further Info:

For the inauguration and the “Horst Wessel Day” in 1937, the entire city including the surrounding area was involved. Everything that could be mustered in the way of people and material was brought in to give the event the character of a mass event and the necessary solemnity.

In addition to the memorial stone, a commemorative plaque was placed at Horst Wessel’s birthplace in Bielefeld. In 1939, a bronze statue in his likeness was erected opposite the Bielefeld NSDAP headquarters. The commemorative plaque disappeared in 1945 just as suddenly as the memorial stone on the hill, the statue was already removed during the war and the material was presumably used for the manufacture of war equipment.[4]

Hitler himself never visited Bielefeld, which was a great disappointment for contemporaries. Despite the renaming of several places and buildings in Bielefeld to “Hitler” and the Horst Wessel marches: the then Reich Chancellor only came close to Bielefeld. On July 8, 1933, about three months before the inauguration of the prestige project, he landed at an airfield near the city, but only to continue his journey directly to Dortmund.


[1] Kühne, Hans-Jörg, „Böse Orte“. Unbeachtete Mahnmale des Nationalsozialismus in Bielefeld, in: Ravensberger Blätter: Organ des Historischen Vereins für die Grafschaft Ravensberg e.V. Band 2, Bielefeld 2017, S. 22 f.

[2] Kühne, 2017, S. 22

[3] Ebd.

[4] Kühne, 2017, S. 23

[5] Kühne, 2017, S. 24

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