Memorial to Nazis´ Jewish victims is ´place of hope´: architect (AFP-FRANCE PRESS) BERLIN, Germany 05/10/05 1:18 PM ET)
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BERLIN (AFP) - Peter Eisenman, the American architect who designed a
controversial new memorial to the millions of Jews killed by the
Nazis said it should not be viewed as a graveyard but as a "place of
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe will be
opened in central
Berlin on Tuesday with a ceremony attended by survivors of the Nazis´
concentration camps and political dignitaries.
of a field of more than 2,700 rectangular grey
concrete blocks, or stelea, laid out in a grid pattern has attracted
The press conference on Monday was interrupted by
questions from a German writer, Rolf Hochhuth, about why the blocks
do not carry the names of the estimated six million victims of the
"Why are there no names when the names were the first
thing the Nazis
took away when people entered the camps?" Hochhuth asked.
Eisenman said he had insisted throughout the project that the
blocks be left blank.
"I fought to keep names off the stones,
because having names on them
would turn it into a graveyard and I did not want that.
this to be a place of hope."
The stories of a selection of
Holocaust victims are briefly told in a
visitors´ centre situated under the memorial.
Eisenman and the
speaker of the German parliament, Wolfgang Thierse,
were asked why it had taken Germany 60 years since the end of World
War II to build a permanent memorial to the Nazis´ Jewish
"I do not think it is too late, because we got it
said. "One hundred years from now, people will not say ´this came too
"For me, it is still early."
Thierse admitted people
had a right to be "dissatisfied" with the
"But the development of a collective memory takes time,"
The Israeli ambassador to Germany, Schimon Stein,
meanwhile said he
was skeptical about the worth of the new memorial.
"For me, the
concentration camps are the real places of remembrance,"
he said in an interview with German radio. (Copyright © 2005 Agence
France Presse. 05/09/05)
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