• Germany's news in English
 

Exhibition explores Vandal legacy

Published: 23 Oct 2009 17:35 GMT+02:00

The word “vandal” these days is associated with acts of senseless violence and destruction. However, this new exhibition explores the history behind the actual Vandals, a Germanic civilisation that stretched across Eastern Europe to North Africa in the 5th century. "The Vandal Kingdom" hopes to offer visitors a new perspective on this unfamiliar culture and infamous word.

Curator Astrid Wenzel said the show in Karlsruhe is the first of its kind. “Throughout the world, there has never been such an exhibition about the Vandals,” said Wenzel, who is an archaeologist. The museum employed a ten-strong team to prepare the unique items sent from Tunisia, Algeria, Italy, Spain and the United States.

Click here for a photo gallery of the exhibition.

Despite the Vandals' terrible reputation, Wenzel said the violence they administered across much of Europe was "no worse than other migrating tribes.”

In the 4th and 5th centuries AD, raiding and plundering was the most common way to acquire material assets for various Germanic groups and the rich but weakened Roman Empire seemed particularly appealing to the Vandals. Wenzel said the Vandals performed a "logistical masterpiece" in 429 when 80,000 tribesmen crossed from Spain to North Africa in commandeered ships.

The exhibition shows how the Vandals also adopted the Christian faith on their journey from the area that is today’s Poland, across Germany, France, Italy, Spain and finally to Africa. It features early Christian relics from Tunisia, in addition to some 300 other items, such as stone sarcophagi, precious jewellery, mosaics and ceramics.

The exhibition will runs until February 21.

Related links:

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

00:15 October 24, 2009 by DavidtheNorseman
Gaiseric was a genius, politically and militarily. The Vandals were also much more tolerant of other kinds of Christians than were their enemies (they allowed freedom of worship but exiled priests, whereas their enemies in Rome and Constantinople were always trying to kill everyone not exactly like themselves).
10:05 October 24, 2009 by Nemesis
This expedition is a wonderful idea.

It will educate a lot of people on a time in Germany and European history, of which very little is known.

Bringing Gaiseric into the conscionousness of this generation will help to educate a lot of people and dispell myths regarding history.
11:45 October 25, 2009 by richard_vijay
Guten Gott, at alst an exhibition to show that (at least) one of the ancient Germanic tribes was not the mindlessly violent people characterised by the Church as well folks who hate the Germans.The ancient Germans like their noble and often wronged desendants (the people of Germany) were valours and courageous.
07:06 October 26, 2009 by wood artist
Although we might well find the practices of various "barbarian tribes" abhorrent by today's standards, the fact remains that life was much different then, and the ideas of looting and pillage, not to mention slavery and rape, were viewed much differently.

Without passing moral judgment upon anyone, it's always valuable to learn more about the history that defined us all. The early "Germans" were little different than the early people in most every locale, and it's unreasonable to blame more recent history on the folks who passed through the area centuries before.

I only wish I could be in the country to see this.
07:20 October 26, 2009 by Nemesis
@ richard_vijay,

Agreed.

There was so many Germanic tribes. The rewriting of history so as to placate christians that everything came from Rome, when in fact all that came from there was genocide, destruction and death for entertainment, needs to be challenged.

Arminius or Herman the German, needs to be highlighted to all. His achievement at Teutoburg can not be downplayed.

The history of the Goths, Vandals, Macromani, Lombards, Visigoths, Saxons, Angles, Jutes, Cherusci and all the various other Germanic groupings needs to be shown to all and taught more frequently in schools.

We should learn about our common European heritage in schools and museums and our Celtic, Germanic, Hellenistic and slavic histories in Europe. We should learn the fact that there was once more than a roman empire.

When learning about the roman empire, we should learn about what they did to Dacia, the Hellenes, Gauls, jews and other groups whose entire countries/peoples were laid waste and sold into slavery.

The destruction of technology which still continues today from rome should be highlighted. A good example of this is the antikythera mechanism. See www.antikythera-mechanism.gr and http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/node/35 for more information on that. The same mindset that destroyed that technology at the time, still prevails in Rome.
02:46 October 27, 2009 by MAT-CT-USA
This history proves at least one thing. The result of all the invading and subsequent intermarrying and what not leads me to believe that all of us from the United Kingdom over to Greece are related by blood relations.
Today's headlines
'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol
Image: Fremantle Media/YouTube

'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol

A 22-year-old from Hanover has become the latest winner of Vietnam Idol – bagging $27,000 along with his new title. READ  

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public
If you want to rest in place while you're still alive, a car park isn't the place place to choose. Photo: DPA

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public

When a man walking his dog alerted police to the fact that a black coffin was lying in the middle of a public parking place, the cops were surprised to find someone inside. READ  

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing
Photo: Pixabay

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing

A mechanic from western Germany is set to receive €350 in back payments – after claiming he should be paid for the time he spent showering and getting dressed for work. READ  

In Pictures
Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world
A reveler at Wacken Open Air 2015. Photo: DPA

Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world

Armies of black-clad fans gathered for the world's biggest heavy metal festival between Thursday and Saturday, marking 25 years of headbanging fun in the small town of Wacken in northern Germany. READ  

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt
Photo: DPA

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt

A plucky sunbather brought train services in North Rhine-Westphalia to an abrupt halt at the weekend - after deciding to catch some rays on the tracks. READ  

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power

According to Germany's most influential political magazine, Spiegel, Angela Merkel has decided to run for a fourth term in power and has already started talks on who will run her campaign. READ  

State leaders call for faster asylum processes
Refugees at a temporary reception centre in Baden Württemberg. Photo: DPA

State leaders call for faster asylum processes

Several state leaders called for more investment in processing asylum applications over the weekend as the backlog continues to put severe strain on current infrastructure. READ  

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record
Roger Klueh. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / DPA

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record

A German businessman and power boating fanatic on Saturday broke a 57-year-old record for the fastest boat crossing between the United States and Cuba. READ  

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'
Migrants on a train on their way to the EU. Photo: Djordje Savic / DPA

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'

Germany has hosted more than 300,000 asylum seekers since the start of the year, said the daily Die Welt on Saturday, nearly 50,000 more than first thought, as Berlin prepares for a record influx of refugees in 2015. READ  

Migrant wounded in German police shooting
Photo: DPA

Migrant wounded in German police shooting

A Guinean migrant who caused a brawl in a home for asylum seekers in Germany was shot and seriously wounded by police, local media reported. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,099
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd