The Hiddensee | Battleship Cove
Fall River, Massachusetts
Beginning in the Spring of 2012, I worked with staff curator Matthew Perry of Battleship Cove to establish a translation and interpretation program for the Hiddensee. Engaging graduate students in Public Humanities and undergraduate students in Slavic Studies, the Hiddensee has become an unique and valuable educational environment that promises to become a leading attraction at the Cove.
An overlooked yet remarkable piece of Cold War history, the Hiddensee at Battleship Cove is a repository of military secrets, industrial technology and global politics. Originally commissioned by the East German People's Navy as the Rudolf Eglehofer, the Hiddensee is a Tarantul I class corvette built at the Petrovsky Shipyard, near St. Petersburg. The world's only exhibited example of a Soviet-built missile corvette, Hiddensee was designed to oppose any naval threat to the East German Coast, and to fulfill this mission carried an array of defensive and technical innovations that were at their time thought to be impossible. Following the reunification of Germany, the Hiddensee was transferred to the U.S. Navy, studied and reverse-engineered to understand the unrivaled achievements of Soviet technology. As the ship was a commercial model and dominated global military sales for ships of its class to nations such as China and India, the control, study and replication of the Hiddensee's technologies is a fine example of the military-economic conflicts that characterized the Cold War. In 1997, the Hiddensee joined Battleship Cove, the largest public display of historic warships in the world.