No Monument for Executed Revolutionaries (1874)


Collective or national memory construction in the German Empire [Kaiserreich] focused on how the Revolution of 1848 could be integrated into German history. During the revolution, Baden had been especially resolute in asserting democratic ideas. After 1871, republicans asked the government of Baden to erect a monument for the democrats who had been executed in the final defeat of the revolutionaries and during the slighting of the fortress of Rastatt in 1849. The government refused.


Gov. Sect. III. No. 3 5 23.
Rastatt, November 24, 1874.

Concerning the erection of a monument at the local cemetery for those executed in the year 1849.

This is respectfully to remit notice to the regional office of the Grand Duchy that the determinations of district law will not be respected in the present case. The bodies of individuals sentenced to death belong to the court, and the court alone may decree how and where the burial shall take place and whether a monument shall be erected. Since the local governmental court is the successor to the former court martial of Baden, which, in its time, sentenced the individuals in question to death by shooting, authorization for the erection of the monument is denied.

The Governor
(signed) von Gayl, general lieutenant

Source: Albrecht Förderer, Erinnerungen aus Rastatt 1849. 2nd edition. Lahr in Baden: C. Schomperlen, 1899, p. 106. Available online at:

Translation: Elizabeth Tucker

Christian Jansen and Thomas Mergel, eds., Die Revolutionen von 1848/49. Erfahrung, Verarbeitung, Deutung. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1998.

No Monument for Executed Revolutionaries (1874), published in: German History Intersections, <> [December 03, 2023].