At the end of World War II, in what seems like a heartbreaking expression of cynicism and abandoned faith, Polish troops advancing through Berlin pointedly desecrated the religious elements of the frieze cladding this monument, which celebrated an 1867 German victory.
God, as it turned out, had not been on anybody's side in "the Good War." He had answered no conflicting prayers. Worse, he had stood by, unmoved, to witness the wanton obliteration of countless women and children and things that no longer had faces. Looking at so much heartless slaughter, it would be hard to conjecture otherwise.
The disfigured monument - riddled with carefully aimed bullet holes - seems now to celebrate something else entirely: nihilist despair.
“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”
- Alan Watts
TITLE - "Last Respects"
WHERE - Siegessauele Monument, Berlin, German (2015)