The war memorial in Hamberge

The memorial commemorating the five dead of World War I from Hamberge (see map) is perhaps the best example for the re-use of stones from a megalith. The large memorial stone, which is on one side covered with circa 39 cup-marks, was originally the cap-stone of a megalith in the Everstorfer Forst (42).

Once erected as the new war memorial in Hamberge, the following inscriptions were carved into the stone, with obvious prospective memories in mind:

front:

rear:

Im
großen Kriege
1914–18
blieben fürs—
Vaterland

... (5 names) ...

Dankbarkeit
setzte diesen Stein
–/–
Gemeinde
Hamberge-Everstorf

The Ortsakte contains a note by Adolf Hollnagel, dated 24.6.1967, in which the following account is given (see also Schuldt 1970: 29f.):

"Yesterday I managed to establish the exact origin of the cup-marked cap-stone which has been erected in Hamberge as a war memorial for 1914–1918. I visited in Hamberge Mr J. Voss who used to run a business for agricultural machinery and is now 66 years of age. Voss stated that when he was 17–18 years old, he and his father had built a timber frame with which the stone, hanging on chains, was transported. He said that the timber frame had been raised with winches, and the front and rear wheels of a heavy farming cart had been pushed underneath. The erection of the stone in its current location was carried out using a 'Forest Devil', a lifting maching that used to be commonly employed in the forest industry. Voss showed me the place where the stone came from, on his own ordnance survey map (1:25,000). It is the western of the two burial mounds approximately 500m east-north-east from the Stone of Atonement of Ludeke Mozellenburch at the crossroads south of the forester's lodge at Everstorf. ... By that time the stone was apparently already lying at the foot of the hill..." (my translation)

This report is confirmed by Bruno Hollmann's remarks from 1936 (p. 128). He mentioned also that until a few years earlier, the dragging traces of the stone had still been clearly visible near the original burial site. The megalith was excavated in 1967, but no additional evidence about its original cap-stone was brought to light (Schuldt 1967: 29–34).

Since 1988 the war memorial in Hamberge is protected by law as perhaps the best preserved prehistoric cup-marked stone in the country.


Literature

Hollmann, Bruno (1936) Steinmale. Mecklenburg 31, 127–128.

Schuldt, Ewald (1970) Die Dolmengruppe im Nordteil des Everstorfer Forstes bei Barendorf, Kreis Grevesmühlen. Bodendenkmalpflege in Mecklenburg, Jahrbuch 1968, 7–38.

© Cornelius Holtorf, last updated on 11 October 2001