George C. Marshall Statue Leaves the Teenage Years Behind

George C. Marshall Statue Leaves the Teenage Years Behind

George C. Marshall Statue Leaves the Teenage Years Behind

By Christine June and Gabriella Karacsony
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (April 23, 2018) – The bronze statue of Gen. George C. Marshall, an American statesman and soldier, in front of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies turns 20 years old Monday, April 30.

The Marshall Center is named after Gen. George C. Marshall.

The statue, created by Bavarian Artist Christiane Horn of Wartenberg, was unveiled during a dedication ceremony April 30, 1998 at the Marshall Center.

“Although currently outside our walls, the George C. Marshall statue is a true embodiment of the 25 years of cooperation between Germany and the United States that is the Marshall Center,” said retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton, Marshall Center director. “Marshall is striding forward, crossing the bridge of division and distrust, toward a future of genuine cooperation among nations for the common peace for all.”

This work of art is the first known public statue of Marshall erected in Europe. The World War II general masterminded the European Recovery Program or Marshall Plan that helped Europe recover economically after the war.

The figure that is slightly larger-than-life was sponsored by the Marshall Center, the Friends of the Marshall Center and the City of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

The Honorable Vernon Walter, former U.S. ambassador to Germany, was among the keynote speakers during the original dedication ceremony. In his speech, he remembered his days as an aide to Gen. Marshall before a crowd of 500.

Other speakers including Wilhelm Rehm, the vice mayor of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and Maj. Gen. Winfried Dunkel, chief of the German Armed Services Office.

The sculpture shows General Marshall striding forward to greet new friends and allies. It was originally placed in front of the main entrance of the Marshall Center, where it symbolically faced east. In 2009, a wall was built where the gate once stood, and the statue of Marshall was moved slightly. The area was rededicated in Oct. 2009.

George Catlett Marshall

George Catlett Marshall was born Dec. 31, 1880 in Uniontown, Pa., and died Oct. 16, 1959 in Washington, D.C. He was General of the Army and U.S. Army chief of staff during World War II (1939–45) and later U.S. Secretary of State (1947–49) and of defense (1950–51). The European Recovery Program he proposed in 1947 became known as the Marshall Plan. He received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1953.

George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

The Marshall Center will also have a significant birthday this year. It will turn 25 years old on June 5. The Marshall Center is a German-American security partnership that has produced generations of global security professionals schooled in American and German security policies. The Marshall Center was established as an official German-American partnership and government educational institution, following the end of the cold war.

The Marshall Center became a German-American partnership when a memorandum of agreement was signed on Dec. 2, 1994, between headquarters U.S. European Command and the German Federal Ministry of Defense. An updated Memorandum of Agreement with Germany that increased German contribution to the Marshall Center was in October 2016.

At its conception, the Marshall Center’s mission was to educate government members of former communist countries about democratic state building, good governance, and the importance of rule of law and democratic institutions. While primarily focused on Europe at the beginning, it now conducts transnational programs with participants from across the globe.

Participants who attend Marshall Center courses represent partner-nation governments from across the spectrum of government ministries. They occupy positions such as parliamentarians, senior ministers, and senior to mid-grade government officials and military officers.

With more than 12,500 alumni from 153 nations, the Marshall Center enjoys a global reputation as an institution that addresses national security challenges and advances the professional development of its participants. Many Marshall Center alumni have risen to the very highest levels within their respective governments.


Note: The Marshall Center Research Library assisted with gathering the historical information and photographs for this story.