Marine-Ehrenmal - Laboe - Germany

Address: Strandstrasse 92, Laboe (See map)
Telephone: +49 (0)4343-8755

Shop: no shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: not available
Size of the museum/site: medium
Year of visit: 2002

Overall rating:

Description: The building of the memorial started in 1927 and continued till 1936, after which a grand inauguration ceremony was held. It was erected to commemorate the fallen troops of the Imperial Marine in the First World War, later to be expanded to fallen seamen of all periods and nations. This becomes clear when you visit the memorial and gaze upon the vast collection of ceremonial banners and ribbons from navies and organisations from all over the world.

By climbing 341 steps (or by taking the elevator!) you will reach the top of the memorial, which provides a magnificent view of the German inland, the sea, the beaches and last-but-not-least, the U-boat (U 995 which can also be visited) lying some 85 metres below you.

Apart from the massive tower with observation platform and the actual memorial hall, the complex includes various exhibition rooms and a 'history hall', containing lots of scale models, maps and information on the evolution of the German Navy. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the huge scale-model of the German battleship "Bismarck".

Another positive point is the well presented extensive background information (in German and English) accompanying the items on display.

The imposing tower of the Ehrenmahl, with the observation-platform on top.

Perfect view from the platform over the beaches of the Kiel metropolitan area...

...and the busy shipping routes connecting Kiel with all of Northern Europe.

Silhouette of all German ships and boats sunk during both World Wars inside the Ehrenmal Tower.

Display of the marine flags used by (from left to right) the DDR, the Kriegsmarine of the Nazi era, the two flags used during the interbellum, and the Imperial Navy of World War I. The first two flags are undeniable symbols of misuse of power and almost unimaginable oppression of people. They are included in the display because they form part of the history of the german navy, certainly not to glorify the regimes they represent.

Screw of the Prinz Eugen.

Historic inscriptions at the site of the memorial saying "They died for us" and "Let this be a warning for the living". Although memorials like this claim to stress the horrific side of war, and how we 'never should forget', you can't deny they also express the strong sense of glory and bravery connected with warfare.

Plaquette of the founders of the museum with an impressing painting of a naval engagement above it.