Arts 2021, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10010017 - 01 Mar 2021
Polish Góra św. Anny (Saint Anne Mountain), previously German Annaberg, is one of the few places in the world where art was utilized to promote two regimes—fascist and communist. With the use of art, the refuge of pagan gods and then, Christian Saint [...] Read more.
Polish Góra św. Anny (Saint Anne Mountain), previously German Annaberg, is one of the few places in the world where art was utilized to promote two regimes—fascist and communist. With the use of art, the refuge of pagan gods and then, Christian Saint John’s Mountain with Saint Ann’s church and a calvary site were transformed into a mausoleum of the victims of uprisings and wars—those placed by politics on opposite sides of the barricade. The “sacred” character of the mountain was appropriated in the 1930s by the fascist Thingstätte under the form of an open-air theatre with a mausoleum, erected to commemorate fallen German soldiers in the Third Silesian Uprising. After the Second World War, the same place was “sacralized” by the Monument of the Insurgents’ Deed, which replaced the German object. The aim of both of them was to commemorate those who had perished in the same armed conflicts—uprisings from the years 1919–1921, when the Poles opposed German administration of Upper Silesia. According to the assumptions of both national socialism as well as communism, the commemorative significance of both monuments was subjected to ideological messages. Both monuments were supposed to constitute not only the most important element of the place where patriotic manifestations were intended to be held, but also a kind of counterbalance for the local pilgrims’ center dedicated to the cult of Saint Anne. The aim of the paper is to present the process of transforming a Nazi monument into its communist counterpart, at the same time explaining the significance of both monuments in the context of changing political reality. This paper has not been based on one exclusive research method—historical and field studies have been conducted, together with iconographical and iconological analyses of the monuments viewed from their comparative perspective. The text relies on archive materials—documents, press releases, and projects, including architectural drawings of the monument staffage—discovered by the authors and never published before. They would connect the structure not only to the surrounding landscape but, paradoxically, to the fascist Thingstätte. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture and Politics)►▼ Show Figures