Art History Lecture Examines Famous German Church and its Importance to the Nazi SS

Annie Krieg, a 2001 Lawrence University graduate and former Fulbright Fellowship recipient, returns to campus to discuss in recent research on the appropriation of medieval architecture by the Nazi SS.

Krieg presents “‘As the Blood Speaks, So the People Build’: King Heinrich I, Heinrich Himmler and the Construction of the 1,000-Year Reich in Quedlinburg,” Thursday, May 20 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Krieg, who spent 10 months teaching English in Germany on her Fulbright Fellowship, will discuss the 12th-century collegiate church of St. Servatius in Quedlinburg, Germany, a small town 125 miles west of Berlin, and its importance to Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich.

St. Servatius Church houses the tomb of King Heinrich I, the first medieval German king who unified the Saxon, Bavarian and Swabian groups, among others, into the first German Reich in the 10th century. Heinrich Himmler, leader of Hitler’s infamous SS troops, took great personal interest in King Heinrich and fashioned himself the modern reincarnation of the medieval ruler.

The 1000th anniversary of Heinrich I’s death in 1936 became an official Nazi party celebration and extensive renovations were made to the structure of the church to better accommodate Himmler’s notion of medieval history and national heritage.

Krieg will address questions raised by the SS-led renovations of St. Servatius, including concepts of the modern and the reactionary and the looming shadow of the Third Reich over Western civilization.

A German and art history major at Lawrence, Krieg recently completed her master’s degree in art history from the University of Pittsburgh.