Holocaust Memorial Berlin

Holocaust Memorial Berlin

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

proposal for the creation of a memorial

In August 1988 Journalist Lea Rosh proposes the idea of the memorial for the murdered jews of Europe and that it should be built on the former grounds of the Gestapo in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. And in January 1989, together with Historian Eberhard Jäckel it was published to the citizens. They were also supported by Willy Brandt and Günter Grass.

possible location is proposed

The »Association for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe« proposes a location in an area north of the site of the Reich Chancellery in the former Ministerial Gardens.

Chancellor Helmut Kohl expresses his support for memorial

He also declares that it is prepared to provide a portion of the grounds of the former Ministerial Gardens as a site.

Competition for the Memorial

In a public artistic competition, 528 proposals are submitted. The jury headed by Walter Jens recommends the awarding of two first prizes: to Simon Ungers (Cologne/New York) and Christine Jackob-Marks, Hella Rolfes, Hans Scheib and Reinhard Stangl (Berlin). Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl expresses his dissatisfaction with the recommendations.

A new, more narrow competition

Experts decided for a new competition after theirs discussion on the project and its location in a three-stage colloquium. These matters were considered controversial, where the supporters of the memorial agree to adhere to the original concept at the agreed-upon location (Ministerial Gardens). In the new competition 25 architects and sculptors, some internationally renowned, are invited.

Approval of two designs

Approval to the designs by Peter Eisenman/Richard Serra (New York) and Gesine Weinmiller (Berlin) by the commission.

Public Debates on the projects

The design by Eisenman/Serra emerges as the clear favorite and Chancellor Helmut Kohl suggests the design to be revised.

Changes made to original proposal (»Eisenman II«)

The original 4,000 concrete blocks in the original proposal were reduced to 2,711 concrete blocks. The blocks were also shortened and trees were added to the site. After this first round of changes Richard Serra no longer wanted his name on the memorial and withdrew from the project.

Arguement for a combination of the Memorial with a library and a research centre

The new State Minister for Culture and the Media, Michael Naumann, argues for the concept of this addition, and together with the architect Peter Eisenman presents a new modified design for this (»Eisenman III«).

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