Ernst August King of Hanover

The subject of this bronze cast monument is a historic event which took place in 1837 and was to pave the way for the assembly of the first all-German parliament in Frankfurt am Main in 1848 – the ‘protest’ by the ‘Göttingen Seven’

King Ernst August of Hanover succeeded to the throne in 1837, and one of the first acts he performed under royal authority was to revoke Hanover’s liberal constitutional law. which had been adopted by Wilhelm IV, his predecessor, in 1833. He then dissolved parliament and released all civil servants from their oath of allegiance to the constitution.

Seven professors of the Göttingen University regarded the abrogation of the constitution as an infringement of the law, for it was the king himself who had guaranteed ‘absolute adherence to the constitution’ on his accession to the throne. They felt they were still bound by their sworn oath of allegiance and in November 1837 resolved to lodge a ‘most humble complaint by appertaining to the Royal Charter of 1st November’.

However , Ernst August saw an act of manifest opposition in this courageous deed and dismissed the seven professors from office. Three of them were banished from the kingdom, since they had also admitted to distributing the protestation in public.

This monument not only commemorates a significant event in Germany’s constitutional history, but also declares the avowal of civic virtues which are the fundamentals of our community. This monument is thus a ‘monument to courage’.

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