Memorial analysis regarding the representation of the past

MemorialPractices should stimulate and Promote Civic Management Question – Why should war memorials be maintained .Investigating into the past and future of war memorials . The study of warmemorials – how does it impact on the society and stimulate engagement of thecivic society and a critical analysis regarding the representation of the past.

Do the memorials exclude violence in future as theyare memories of a violent past . References Red – Wikipedia Green  -Wikipedia Purple  –  Wikipedia   1. Introduction HolocaustMemorial –  The building to build amemorial began on April 1st 2003 and was finished on December 15th 2004.  It is located to the south of Brandenburggate (Mitte Neighbourhood).  It is easilyaccessible to visitors by Public transportation and motorable roads. The Berlin wall which is known as DeathStrip once divided the city and this monument is located here. This memorial isthe connection to various Holocaust monuments spread not only across the entirecity but also the country.

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  It is centrally located in order to allowforeign embassies, political diplomats and leaders across the world to view themonuments opening a window which visualises to the outside world how germanyfeels for the past and how Germany has moved forward . The monument was designed by architect PeterEisenman and engineer Burohappold .THe monument consists of 2711 concrete slabs(stelae) arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field in an area of 4.7 acresite. The slabs are organised in rows 54 going north-south and 87 heading east-west at right angles and an attached underground place of information containsapproximately 3 million jews holocaust victim names. .This monument was inaugurated on 10th May2005.

  People and critics have applaudedthe location and the manner of building as the installation has a kuleshoveffect namely the juxtaposition and image and text.  2.History  and LocationDuring 1980s, debates raged between a groupof private citizens lead by a television journalist Learosh and a historianEberhard Jackal surprisingly neither of them being Jewish first began pressingfor Germany to Honor the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust and Roshemerged as the motivating force behind the memorial and in 1989 she initiated agroup to support its construction and as well as to collect donations. Due to the growing support on 25th June1999, after the Bundestag passed a resolution in favour of the project, theGerman Federal Parliament decided to build the memorial and the above nameconsequently founded to run it.  A gem of an idea germinated when in April 94in all Germany’s major newspaper a competition to design the memorial wasannounced where in a Jury consisting of representatives of all the fields of Art,architecture, urban design etc, . Meticulous planning before the deadline withrespect to documentation proposals etc, was put in place and out of severalsubmissions by way of elimination process, a decision was taken after reviewand ultimately two works found recommendation including whether the projectcould be completed within the price range. Ultimately two works found favour after thiselimination process out of which one was designed by a group of architect SimonUngers from Hamberg and another design by Christine Jackob Marks .

The ideasinvolved a memorial not only to the jews but also to the victims of Nazism aswell as the names of several extermination camps etc,  Chancellor Helmut Kohl who took personalinterest in the project however expressed dissatisfaction of the work of JacobMarks stein and a new more limited competition was launched in 1996 inviting 25architects and sculptors to submit proposals Due to this the inaugural date wasindefinitely postponed and public discussions was held on the proposed monumentand in the second competition in November 1997, four finalists were shortlistedand and Artist Richard Serra’s plan emerged as the winner  whose design included a huge labyrinth of4000 stone pillars of varying heights scattered over 18,000 sq ft. HoweverSerra citing personal and professional reasons quit the team and the otherfinalist Kohl still insisted on numerous changes . In this backdrop, Eisemann ,one of the other finalist soon indicated that he could accomodate them and theproject was scaled down to some 2000 pillars .  There was a timely breakthrough out ofmediation and negotiation between Eisemann and Michael  Naumann during January 1999 wherein the nittygritty of number of pillars was reduced to 2100 only and a building consistingan atrium and 3 blocks was to be added to house or locate an archiveinformation centre and an exhibition space to be flanked by a thick 100 yardlong wall of books that would have housed a million books . Thus the shape ofthis building to be called the house of remembrance and the space for locatingthe million books called as ” The wall of Books”  proclaiming the concern of the SchroderGovernment that the memorial espouses the cause of not nearly backward lookingbut would serve as a educational and useful tool resulted in an agreement to bereached and that the memorial would be administered by Jewish Museum.  The message to the whole world was to makeamends for the past deeds and the mindless killings of 6 million Jews was athing of past and that the Germans were taken a leap forward to erase suchtraumatic memories of the days passed and as a reminder and as a resting placeof the memories passed to erect an imposing and impressive memory and to lookforward for a new present forgetting the past.  With a majority the Bundestag decided infavour of Eisemann plan with certain modifications by attaching a museum to bea place of information designed by Dagmar Von Wilcken, a berlin basedexhibition designer .

 Despite provocative slogans donations pouredin and a symbolic beginning of construction on the memorial site was usheredin  celebrity style on 27th January 2000and the first provisional stelae  waserected in 2001 which was followed by an international symposium comprising ofhistorians museum experts persons connected to art history and experts arearchitectural theory and finally on 15th December 2004 by having a publicfunction, the last of the 2711 stelae was placed and the official opening ofthe memorial was held on may 10th 2004 and the memorial and the informationcentre was dedicated to the public on May 12th 2005 Coincidentally the 60thAnniversary of the V-E- day fell on may 10th 2005 .  The inauguration was attended by all personsof the social strata including chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and all all seniormembers of Germany’s Government and by way of a unique example to theworld  Sabina Wolanski, a holocaustsurvivor was chosen to speak on behalf of the dead 6 million jews in heropening address, she proclaimed to the world that hatred discrimination aredoomed to fail and this was the lesson that was taught to her out of theholocaust which she valued much for the present and further she emphasized theperpetrators children of the holocaust are not responsible for the actions ofthe parents which was followed by speeches, songs and performances by orchestra.         Memorials to the Sinti and Roma victims ofNational Socialism –  Brief Introduction -They are nomadic people found throughoutUnited States. Often both groups are known as Roma collectively. They are alsopopularly referred as gypsies . These people were persecuted in Germany as theywere throughout Europe as they were not part of well-ordered society and didnot have regular work. Therefor in early 1935, the Nazis rounded them up andheld them in camps . These camps were known as concentration camps and Nazissaw Roma as a racial enemy to be identified and killed and tens and thousandswere killed in death camps.

This is known as the Nazi genocide of the EuropeanSinti and Roma Peoples . To erase these memories and to establish a permanentmemorial was felt as a long standing demand of the central council of GermanSinti and Roma and the German Sinti alliance.  It was only in 1992, the federal governmentagreed to build such a memorial  andsubsequently faced years of delay, and differences over its design and location. It was only in 2001 the site in tiergartenon samsonweg south of reichstag near the Brandenburg gate close to otherholocaust memorials was finalised . However the work officially commenced onthe commemoration day for the victims of porajmos 19th december 2008 and wascompleted at a cost of 2.8 million euros and was inaugurated by Angela Merkelon October 2012.  The memorial consists of a dark circularpool of water at the centre of which there is a triangular stone . The stoneand the shape mimics the badges that were worn by the concentration campprisoners .

A fresh flower is places on it daily and the stone is retractableat the end of the day it goes underground and comes with a fresh flower.  In bronze letters around the pool, SantonioSpinelli, a Roma poet(Auschwitz ) poem is written which commemorates all Romaand Sinti murdered during the Porajmos . The location and placement of thememorial is striking to the eye and impresses all the visitors with thesimplicity of the design and the fragility of life surrounding the poolinformation boards provide necessary chronological information of the genocidecommitted on the Sinti and Roma people .

 This monument is dedicated to the memory of22000-50,000 people murdered and was designed by Danny Karvon . PresidentJoachim Gauck was also present at the time of inauguration . The poem Auschwitzis poignant reminder of the fate of the murdered people and tells its ownuntold story about the sufferings of these people in the German concentrationcamp and out of several such monuments this monument is a stand alonearchitectural monument and tells several stories about the persecution and itsaftermath to the beholder of the eye.   3.

National Socialist EuthanasiaKillings  Introduction  From 1940-1941 over 70,000 people weremurdered under the action T4 plan and even after the 3rd reach ended theprogram, the killings continued in Nazi occupied institutions and carefacilities until the end of world war 2 in 1945. The death toll isapproximately 30,000 . Such killings was to ensure a new generation of Aryanrace without disabilities or illness and the targets of this genocide werethose who suffered or deemed to suffer from mental or physical illnesses whichis inclusive of forced sterilizations.  This memorial publicly brings outawareness of this mammoth genocide committed during this relevant period .

During Nazi occupation, the headquarters for this genocide was located  near Tiergartenstrasse -4 , 10785 Berlin .Therefore the German Bundestag voted for creation of a monument in November2011 with a theme ” Every human life is worth living” . A contest was held by state of Berlinabout the concept of what the memorial should be and architect Ursula Williamsand landscape architects Nikilaus Koliousis and Heinz . W. Hallmann was craftedby them .  The simplicity of the monumentwas amazing and a sight for sore eyes.  The monument was set in a 24 meter wallmade of blue glass set in concrete and the glass allows visitors to see throughit as they sit on a concrete bench and look through while gazing up from theinformation point which provides history of killings , its relevance today andportraits of ten victims.

This memorial was installed with an intention toeducate and allow visitors to reflect on the past it represents .  After everything from the team which wasentrusted with the work and arrangement of funds was finalised and the monumenttook pace , the monument became a reality and open to public on 2nd september2014 which is open 24 hours a day. The inaugural ceremony was a path breakingevent .

It was attended by the vice president of the German parliament WolfGang Thrise , Hubert Huppe Government representative for the disabled and DilekKolat the Senator for integration along with host of other dignitaries . Theother unique feature where two family members of victims featured as thespeakers . This memorial is  supported byselect groups and departments  .  The memorial stands as a symbol ofrecognition for victims of Nazi Euthanasia, the goals of the memorial iseducating people about the nazi crimes and honouring their victims remained anobligation for the country and this serves as a worthy place to keep alive thememory of some 30,000 disabled and ill people who were murdered.

It furtherservers as a means never to forget Nazi crimes committed against disabledpersons. The dark past of Nazi Euthanasia programis Highlighted        3questions  The impact of war memorials . What methodology do we need to use What are the ethical implications of this research especially dealing with traumatic memory . Some answers are found in the source ”  United Nations Holocaust Memorial Museum link which i have sent now” Holocaust is a word of greek origin meaningSacrifice by Fire.  The Nazis believed Germans were raciallysuperior, therefore targeted groups according to them were seen as raciallyinferior(Roma, Gypsies,) disabled and some slavic people( Poles, Russians andsome other groups were persecuted on political, ideological and behaviouralgrounds such as communists, socialists , jehovah’s witness and homosexuals .  During 1933, Jewish population of Europewere at 9 million and nearly 2 out of every 3 european jews were killed as partof final solution . This persecution tyranny and murders revolted the wholeword and Germany as a nation was repelled .

 It was only in the final months of the war,this Holocaust ended . The crimes committed during the holocaust devastatedmost europeans jews communities and a psychological effect was prevailing inthe environment  .  It is under these circumstances the 20thcentury saw the development of commemorative traditions: customs and narrativesby which individuals, groups and nations remember, commemorate and attempt toresolve memories of the traumatic experience that is war . These conventionsoften also govern museum interpretation of war and use different style ofcommemoration not with an intention of glamoursing war but with an intention ofthe effect of sanitising the war.  After the second world war and upto 1990,Germany was divided into FRG( West Germany) and the Soviet allied GDR(EastGermany) and both the states struggled to come to terms with the horrors of itspast at a national level. Therefor the term ” Coping with the past” became akey concept in post- 1945 German culture and an attempt to discuss and confrontwith history was made. The German word is “Vergangenheitsbewältigung”.

 It is only since reunification in 1990 themajority of the memorials have emerged over the last 25 years and 27th Januaryis dedicated as the holocaust memorial day which happened to be the 50thAnniversary of the liberation of ” Auschwitz” concentration camp (27th January1955  many in Germany to dedicate the dayto remembering the holocaust and became official national day of remembrance). A decade later united nations alsoofficially designated 27th January as International Holocaust Memorial Day.Thus, through this process the newly United Germany took its tentative stepsforward towards a progressive approach remembering its past. This daythroughout is commemorated in the german capital by laying of wreaths atmemorials throughout the city. Thus came into existence the memorial to themurdered jews of europe, the memorials to the other minorities such santini andRoma and the memorial to the Genocide against the homosexuals .  IN 1919, the league of Nations which wasthe forerunner of the united nations was conceived and established during the1st world war under the treaty of versailles ” to promote international peaceand security” thereafter on 24th October 1945 after the second world war theunited nations was established to promote international cooperation and withthe aim of preventing another such conflict .  To take a step forward and to commemoratethe sacrifices made by the millions who have died memorials are appropriatemonuments and travels beyond time to consider how we choose to remember thepast and what influence memories can have on the way a society moves forwardfrom trauma and loss. Therefore memorials become part of our surroundinglandscapes and anniversaries are included in annual routines .

Though memorials are unchanging they linkto post conflict reconciliation and resentment the deadliness of war and horrorin the shape of unnamed buried bodies unrecovered bodies of soldiers are seenby war veterans as the only possible memorial to the suffering .  Yet when landscapes are planned andflowering plants come to life and men and animals start visiting the memorialsite, it appears as if the desolate terrain has come to life. This is one waythe society moves forward by expressing national grief over the destruction ofthe war and mourning over the thousands of lives lost and germany has thus madean attempt to reach out to the bosses that common men had suffered at the handsof the politicians and officers that waged the war. Therefore historicallandscape s are symbols of heroisms , martyrdom and sacrifice . War memorialsare symbolic of the past horrors and the amends that are made by the society toremember such victims every year and to come out of this with an intention ofsending a message to the world that enough is enough and that all men in theworld are equal and are to be respected and to live a life of dignity andrespect.  That is why memorials communicatereconciliation messages and they matter but it is how we use them anfd makethem that matter for better or worse .

 Source – CRIC Research paper – licensedunder ” Creative commons License”     Theimpact of memorials they are created for peace, forgiveness and reconciliationwhich conveys the right message in the current time. Though the dead are gone, memorials are ameans for the families friends and society to come and pay respects . Theyounger people go with memories of a better understanding of the sacrificesthat were made and regret the terrible war and crimes that have caused theirdeath thus the effect is a psychological healing effect . The ethical effect ofthese war memorials are manifold as these memorials express national grief andsymbolism reconciliation . These memorials are constructed near the sceneswhere persecution occurred where the millions were sent to their death whereemotions are buried and dead are gone . Therefore there is a methodology pf erectingor constructing memorials at these scenes of strife as the souls of the deadunite with the presence of the living visitors which gives emotions andaffection thereby the effect is communicating reconcelitary messages .

Thelandscapes which had become desolate and which were part of shocking revoltingrepelling incidents of acts against humanity afte the memorials are erectedcomes to life . Rarely visited landscapes associated with death now comes alivewith a stream of regular visitors 24 hours a day without restrictions . Furtherthe awe inspiring architectural designs convey a unique calmness to the eyes ofthe beholder and the strategically and meticulously planned monuments conveythe pain and labour spent in erecting these monuments with a sincerity ofpurpose which gives a message to mankind that the efforts and sacrifices of thedead has not gone waste .