Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Hermann the German's footprint? ... well, um, OK, not really

Author:

A New Ulm tourism official acknowledges a story he told news outlets about discovering a cast of Hermann the German's footprint in a basement crate was actually just a publicity stunt.

Terry Sveine now tells the Associated Press the New Ulm Convention and Visitor's Bureau actually hired an artist to make the four-foot-long mold, and then spread the story that it was found with a dusty note suggesting the ancient warrior's footprint had been shipped over from Germany.

New Ulm's most famous landmark is the 102-foot statue of Hermann, who led Germanic tribes to a battlefield victory over invading Romans in 9 A.D. The monument went up in 1897 to help the city celebrate its German heritage.

Sveine told the Mankato Free Press how the 425-pound cast of the footprint was found during a basement cleanup, saying "...in the way back corner in the back room was this box. It was all boarded up and dusty.” Sveine went on to describe a handwritten note found with the crate: "The note indicates it is Hermann's footprint and may have been made in Germany, but we won't know the whole story."

Sveine, of course, was unable to produce the note for the newspaper, which noted his account was rich in good-natured legend building but lacking in detail and verifiability.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good story? At its website the visitor's bureau is encouraging visitors to supply their own tales of where the giant footprint came from. The teller of the tallest tale even wins a prize: a trip to New Ulm.

Next Up

chad davis arradondo flickr

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo to retire next month

He's overseen the MPD since mid-2017, following the killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, December 6

The latest from the state health department.

2560px-Foo_Fighters_-_Southside_Festival_2019_4184_-_1

'Minneapolis, we're coming!!!': Foo Fighters announce rescheduled concert

The previously announced Huntington Bank Stadium was cancelled.

brave new workshop

Brave New Workshop gets new owners in Hennepin Theatre Trust

It is the longest-running satirical comedy theater in the nation.

Screen Shot 2021-12-06 at 8.05.11 AM

Minnesota firefighters mourn sudden death of colleague

Aaron Bidle of the Loretto Fire Department passed away suddenly Wednesday.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

Snowmobiler goes through the ice on lake near Duluth

Ice thickness varies greatly throughout Minnesota right now.

snow, measuring snow, snow totals

Here's how much snow fell during the weekend winter winter storm

The Highway 2 corridor in north-central Minnesota was the bullseye.

Minneapolis Fire Department

Roof collapses on 3 firefighters in south Minneapolis

The fire happened at a residence east of Lake Nokomis on Sunday.

Joleigha Johnson

42-year-old Minnesota woman missing since December 1

She drives a white 2009 Chevrolet Impala.

icy roads, bad roads

20-year-old killed in crash on icy highway during Sunday snowstorm

More than a foot of snow had fallen in the area where the crash occurred.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings fans clamor for change after latest bad loss under Mike Zimmer

The "fire Mike Zimmer" tweets are raging on Twitter again.

Related