Transcript video Bergen – Interview about the history and contemporary use of the Nazi built open air theater

Interview with Uwe Hinz, Bergen auf Rügen, 2014 about the history of the “Freilichtbühne” on the Rugard as a “Thingstätte” built by the Nazis in 1935.

Welcome Bergen on Rügen, here on the Rugard, which is about 93 meters above sea level at this point. My name is Uwe Hinz. I have been occupied for years with the history not only of Bergen but also with the European history and I like to introduce this history to people. I would like to take you with me on a journey that is certainly not very easy.

We are sitting here in the place that is a monument. In the past, it was called a hero’s monument and today incorrigibles call it a war memorial. This monument is built in the form of a Thingstätte. Now many will ask “what is a Thingstätte?”. A Thingstätte is in the old Germanic sense a meeting place, at which right was spoken.

Here we have the layout of the Thingstätte: A Bergen company had to drive earth here to create the terraces, you see here the squares, and here is the roundel. Behind it, there was later the Mallon monument. You can see here the wide, rugged incisions of the Rügen land with the “Botten” landscapes and the open sea. Here you can see the parades, for example from the first of May 1933. The procession led across the street to the Thingstätte, as a place of assembly and celebration of the National Socialists, photographed on May 1, 1933.

In 1918, after the end of the First World War, the people who died, the citizens of Bergen, were to be remembered. 206 Bergen citizens fell here in Europe for an unfortunate idea and somewhere their graves are scattered where they can no longer be found. They wanted to create a grove here as a place of remembrance.

 In 1933, the National Socialists came to power. They had a strong need to promote the Germanic cult. We have here the old, historic castle wall. In the spirit of National Socialism, the folklorist Alfred Haas described the Thingstätte as a Germanic site in a treatise.  This was of course something very positive for the National Socialists and so they extended the axis from the castle wall,  which was in their interpretation Germanic, over to this monument, and towards the Thingstätte.

The Thingstätte was inaugurated on May 25, 1935, by presenting the play  “to the holy fatherland”. But it seems that this place was never really appreciated because already in 1936 the city complained that the site was weedy.

It is also interesting that in 1938 a Hitler march took place here, from this Mallon monument in Bergen to Nuremberg to Adolf Hitler’s party congress. 43 flags, which were consecrated in this monument, were carried. 900 kilometers, in 43 days, to Nuremberg. When the era of the National Socialists ended with the end of the Second World War, this monument was destroyed by the National Socialists themselves. There are contradictory recounts. Some say that this monument was blown up, others say that it was only set on fire. One thing is for sure, they found charred remains of flags, honorary daggers, etc. and they may have found the bones of Hans Mallon, who was held up as a myth until then.

error: Alert: Content is Copyright protected. Please contact to request permission for eduction or research use.