'German Kultur' Panel

128, Pitt Street Leith

Photo

1.

German Kultur Panel

On the pediment of No 128 at the west end of Pitt Street, on the north side of the street

'German Kultur' panel on the pediment of No.108 Pitt Street, Leith

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to John Gray, Stenhouse, Edinburgh:                                           Photo taken:  January 2012

Photo

2.

German Kultur Panel  -  zoom-in

'The inscription along the top of the panel reads:  "THE VALOUR OF GERMAN CULTURE 1914'"

'German Kultur' panel on the pediment of No.108 Pitt Street, Leith

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to John Gray, Stenhouse, Edinburgh:                                           Photo taken:  January 2012

 

Enlarge these photos

           

 

'German Kultur' Panel

128, Pitt Street Leith

Photos

Thank you to John Gray for sending me the two photos.  I had been curious, myself, about this panel on the building at 128 Pitt Street, but had not yet added my photos to the web site, so now I'll use John's photos instead.

 

'German Kultur' Panel

128, Pitt Street Leith

Inscription

The inscription along the top of this panel reads:

THE VALOUR OF GERMAN CULTURE  1914

Jamie, on the Leith History forum, explained:

The Kultur Panel

"This is known as the Kultur Panel.  The building was erected in 1915 and the sculpture was the work of William Baxter who produced copies of the sculpture in England and Wales around the same time.

It contains 18 figures, formed in terra cotta from a clay model and is meant to portray the cruelty of the German soldiers towards the Belgian people during WWI.

The plight of the helpless mothers and their children can be clearly seem as can the German soldier bearing his Iron Cross.

The panel was intended to raise antagonism against the Germans during the war and assist in the recruitment of men into the forces."

Jamie's message to the Leith History Forum (above) is reproduced
 on this page of
The Scottish War Memorials Project web site.

 

'German Kultur' Panel

128, Pitt Street Leith

Press Report

This page of The Scottish War Memorials Project web site also includes a press report about the 'German Kultur' Panel that was published in the Leith Observer on 3 July 1915.

Bearing in mind that Britain and Germany were at war, the tone of the report is perhaps not surprising.

The article (to which I have added some paragraph headings below) reads:

The Kultur Panel

New Building

"In Pitt Street there is presently in course of erection a building which for generations to come is bound to be regarded with peculiar interest, because of the large panel depicting the 'German Kultur' which has been placed on the pediment.

Eighteen Figures

The panel contains no fewer than eighteen figures executed in terra cotta from the clay model, and the designer, Mr William Baxter, has been wonderfully successful in portraying with grim reality the savagery and fiendish cruelty of the German soldiery towards the harmless peasants of Belgium.

The hapless women and babes are seen being butchered by the merciless Huns, one of whom has his breast adorned with Iron Crosses, no doubt in recognition of past butcheries in which he has taken part.

The postures and facial expressions are striking, and altogether there is a vivid realism about the panel that says much for the artistic skill of Mr Baxter.

Recruiting

As a recruiting agency it ought to exert some influence in the burgh for it ought surely to impress upon the beholder the fact that if this county is to be preserved from such harrowing scenes as that depicted, every man possible should enlist at the present time.

More Panels

It is understood that Mr Baxter has executed copies of the panel for England and Ireland, and he is currently engaged on five war panels, representing land and sea fights.

 This article and an accompanying photo appear on The Scottish War Memorials Project web site.

 

'German Kultur' Panel

128, Pitt Street Leith

1915 Photo

This photo that accompanied the press article above was taken by John Campbell Harper.

The photo shows the panel at about the time it was installed.  Even then, a large crack can be seen running down close to the centre of the panel.

However, the figures are complete.

Comparison with 2012 Photo

The main differences that |I see between the photos taken in 1915 and this photo from 2012 are ...

.... in the 1915 photo:

-  the tall soldier on the right has a head, helmet and two arms.

-  woman below this soldier has a head.

-  the tall soldier just left of centre is wearing a helmet.

 The 1915photo is reproduced on this page of The Scottish War Memorials Project web site.

 

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