In the context of the general „euphoria“ of a „picture storm“ of any kind, in which many statues in England and especially in the USA were toppled, most of it was not in the reporting in Germany and, if so, with a certain glee.
But, and this is a very important point, when monuments are overturned, information is transported on a meta level. This is done because you want to express something with it. We will analyze this using the example of the fall of a statue of General Lee in the USA.
First of all, the pure fact:
So-called protesters have demanded that General Lee’s monument be removed immediately from Richmond in Virginia, the governor hurried to assure that it would be dismantled as soon as possible, unfortunately a law prevents this from happening even faster (1). Such a memorial was removed in Charlottesville, also Virginia, in 2017, which triggered violent protests (2). In contrast to the current article in the german newspaper „Die Zeit“, the old article of the german newspaper „Welt“ at least a little bit on the actual explosiveness, if incomplete.
So now for analysis:
What you need to know when it comes to the person of the general is that he was a very well-known and popular general of the American Civil War. Actually stood on the side of the north (he was against slavery), but he did not fight for the north because he came from the south (and slavery was the economic basis for them) and then he would have practically betrayed his home . For this reason, he became general for the Confederate Army, has achieved great victories and even worse defeats. In the end, General Lee was a man of peace, he signed the capitulation, but it was a reconciliation. They forgave each other.
You have to understand that the south of the United States saw the United States as a confederation of states that you can enter and exit from, and the north as a state that you can enter but never exit. The civil war must be understood in this sense. The north announces the end of slavery, the south understands „they deprive us of our economic basis“. The south then announced its secession – because it is deprived of its livelihood – and the north understands „they betray the Union and thus us“.
To reconcile this starting point, after the bloodiest war on the North American continent in general, was the great lifetime achievement of General Robert E. Lee and also that of President Abraham Lincoln. It was a reconciliation on equal footing.
So this man is a very central figure in the inner peace of the United States.
If you now intend to do serious damage to the internal peace of the United States, its monuments are the ideal symbols! Those who desecrate such a monument do so with the intention of destroying reconciliation in the United States after the civil war. And that means you do it to destabilize the United States.
Whoever desecrates this monument that the United States will fall back before the reconciliation and that the civil war will break out again.