• Germany edition
 
Exhibition explores Vandal legacy
Photo: DPA

Exhibition explores Vandal legacy

Published: 23 Oct 2009 17:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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
Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find
Berlin's Tegel Airport. Photo: DPA

Berlin flights disrupted by WWII bomb find

UPDATE: The discovery of a US World War II bomb is causing disruption at Berlin’s Tegel Airport this afternoon, with no flights taking off or landing for at least one hour. Attempts to defuse the bomb have not started well. READ  

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'
A photo allegedly showing guards abusing one refugee. Photo: DPA/Police

Refugee abuse guards 'nicknamed the SS'

A group of guards who allegedly abused refugees in an asylum centre in western Germany were nicknamed “the SS” after Hitler's stormtroopers, according to one of their colleagues. Photos of guards abusing refugees have sparked a backlash in Germany against security firms. READ  

Nestle wins unenviable food prize
First prize went to Nestle for its sugary baby food. Photo: Foodwatch

Nestle wins unenviable food prize

A food watchdog presented Nestle with a prize to avoid on Wednesday for the cheekiest false advertising of the year. The runner-up was a chicken soup with no chicken in a vote of almost 160,000 Germans. READ  

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home
One of the two A340 planes which are reserved for the Chancellor and government leaders. Photo: DPA

Merkel's VIP jet set to fly soldiers home

One of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s VIP jets is set to be used to ferry soldiers home who are stuck in Afghanistan, due to ongoing problems with the German military’s transport planes. READ  

German firms top EU lobbying list
Siemens was the highest ranked German company when it came to spending on EU lobbying, according to the register. Photo: DPA

German firms top EU lobbying list

Germany companies are among the biggest spenders when it comes to EU lobbying to influence decision makers in Brussels. There are more German lobbying organizations registered than from any other country in Europe but Belgium. READ  

City starts beer for alcoholics project
Photo: DPA

City starts beer for alcoholics project

A city in western Germany will start a controversial project on Wednesday to employ alcohol and drug addicts to clean the streets in return for beer, tobacco, food and small amounts of cash. READ  

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters
A German Eurofighter. Photo: DPA

Fault forces Germany to cut Eurofighters

A manufacturing fault has been discovered in the troubled Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes, Germany's defence ministry said on Tuesday, announcing it was suspending deliveries of the sophisticated jets. READ  

Oettinger blames celebs for nude photo hack
Oettinger (l) appeared to misunderstand how the internet works in his comments about the photo hack which has reportedly affected celebrities including Amber Heard (r). Photo: DPA/EPA

Oettinger blames celebs for nude photo hack

German newspapers on Tuesday ridiculed incoming EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger after he blamed "stupid" celebrities for having their private nude pictures hacked and spread online. READ  

Shots fired as ‘seniors’ rob Berlin security van
Police outside the Apple Store in Berlin where a security van was robbed. Photo: DPA

Shots fired as ‘seniors’ rob Berlin security van

A gang disguised as pensioners opened fire on a Berlin security van on Monday night, escaping with cash before setting their getaway car on fire. It is the second such attack in ten days. READ  

Pickpocket fools minister at anti-crime event
Ralf Jäger in front of a sign reading "eyes open and pockets closed" at the pickpocketing awareness event. Photo: DPA

Pickpocket fools minister at anti-crime event

North Rhine-Westphalia's interior minister Ralf Jäger was pickpocketed by a magician at a press conference he called on Monday to launch a campaign against pickpocketing. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Immigrants have created how many German jobs?
Photo: DPA
Munich
Brit raped at Oktoberfest while going to toilet
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,169
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd