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This is the chapter „Details” - It is about our detailed „old” site, which dates back from 2015 to 1998, when the project began. More actual information about this project you can find in German here: Garten der Freiheit. This German site is in the process of translation into English. I am a sole person doing this work, so it will need a while for the translation.

Contact (to write to the artist please click here)

Yerushalayim (Eng. Jerusalem, foundation of peace) one can read on the Commemorative Stone at the entrance of the Jerusalem Peace Memorial in Germany. This name has always been a metaphor for beauty, hope and light. As the „Heavenly Jerusalem” it is a call for a world in which people live together in peace, freedom and dignity. The Hebrew form of the name was chosen as a propitiatory commitment (Numbers 24:9) to the Jewish roots of the European culture. So through Christianity values ​​of the Torah, for example the 10 commandments, were anchored in our culture. They are values of life.

The Jerusalem Peace Memorial is oriented by its architectural design and location to Jerusalem and it is situated in the Metropolitan Area Rhein-Neckar. From the Peace Memorial one can look down into the Rhine valley to the city of Worms. It is the middle of the Rhine Cities Speyer, Worms and Mainz, lying on a straight line. In Jewish sources, these cities are referred to by their initials as ShUM cities . Because of its importance to the Jewish communities in Central Europe they are regarded as the birthplace of European Judaism in the Midddle Ages. These cities were called Jerusalem at the Rhein (German Film, ZDF, 45 minutes). Through persecution of the Jews and destruction of their Communities in the High Middle Ages the ShUM Culture was destroyed. „The events themselves occupy a significant place in modern Jewish historiography and are often presented as the first instance of an anti-Semitism that would henceforth never be forgotten and whose climax was the Holocaust” (Reference).

The Jerusalem Peace Memorial was built by citizens on their own. It is a positive example of a forward oriented commemorative culture. There will only be a future of freedom and dignity, as we confront the past. That means making peace with the past, because there is a responsibility from it taken into present life. In relation to the ShUM cities one can see coherences, which are mirrored since a long time in the history context. This project wants to go back to the reasons. Already the beginning of the German-Jewish history needs acknowledgement and peace. There is also reference to the recent history by a former armaments factory in the valley below the Peace Memorial. Deported Greeks and concentration camp prisoners were used there as slave laborers towards the end of WW2. In the context of war and a breach of civilization this Peace Memorial asks us not to become enslaved by ideologies and to remember the positive „values ​​of Jerusalem”.

-->  Commentaries (since 1998)

-->  Media Report

Jerusalem Peace Memorial for the dignity and freedom of man

A Turning Point

„Remembering is not enough!” - is the claim of the Jerusalem Peace Memorial, as it affects society. It needs an active responsibility for life today. Its statement „Where dust is transformed into light” describes a process that can continue on and on positively in the future. This is contrary to the idea, to have „finally come to terms with the past”. For how could a positive performed responsibility (Tikun Olam) have an end? This is not an action out of guilt, but it means a genuine new awareness. There is thus the opportunity to reach again the younger generations. The Peace Memorial isn't meant to show the peace of a graveyard, but a new life; namely that the peace which lived newly every day becomes the path itself.

„That we overcome the fences in cooperation and not seek a hold on our life and a stop behind fences of ideology” - is written on the Commemorative Stone at the memorial site. Societies like individuals are always changing. The Jerusalem Peace Memorial is about remembrance, but its at the same time guiding us to make the positive change toward freedom and light; toward life.

-->  Film of the Opening (Rhein-Neckar-TV)
-->  Frontpage: Jerusalem Post and HAARETZ
-->  Facebook Site about the Jerusalem Peace Memorial

Jerusalem at the Rhine
View in the Rhein valley with the city of Worms (distance: 22 km). In the High Middle Ages the Jewish Ashkenazi culture was born here.

Three information boards with descriptions at the memorial site. Here you can read their texts: www.Shalom.vision

Click to enlarge - Place of reflection and encounter, Metropolitan Area Rhein-Neckar at the European Long Distance Hiking Trail Nº 8

Beeing human - Life at the Peace Memorial
--> more photos and a report about the Jewish festival Lag baOmer at the Jerusalem Peace Memorial

Live Is Beautiful. There is much to read in newspapers about the darkness of the world. It's also part of the story of our own lives, affecting our history, our perceptions and our experiences. Yet we know we cannot be content in a world where the darkness of ignorance and baseless hatred cast a shadow on what should be a life filled with beauty, truth and goodness.

The  Jerusalem Peace Memorial  is composed of a Commemorative Stone and the Peace Memorial „Turning Point”, a monument circle of 26 m diameter, which shows the Tree of Life. The Commemorative Stone with its inscription „Where dust is transformed into light” addresses past suffering and references therein to the Peace Memorial (see Red Heifer). This peace site is dedicated to all people and it is built along the European long-distance path in Bensheim, Germany. Here is a place, dedicated to the beauty and dignity of life. It brings an awareness to the inner yearning for holiness. Its focus is to give space to goodness in ones own life and with the people we meet. The fight against evil may not have an end in sight from where we are sitting today, but recognizing what is good and beautiful in one's own surroundings and giving truth to it, will do much to help make darkness disappear. Peace starts within and it is working its way through the small social structures into the big nexus.

Only when ignorance, self-righteousness and hatred in relations flinches for a true dealing with each other, the post-Shoah motto of „Never Again!” can be true. The „idea of Jerusalem” is a vision of hope for living in togetherness. It can become true, where there are free people who seek peace, reconciliation and understanding of themselves and others. The Jerusalem Peace Memorial is a symbol of this idea and it is connecting to the hearts of people, „where dust is transformed into light”.

You can find out more about the spiritual background of this project in this elaboration about Nelly Sachs with her poems and some philosophy.

Peace Memorial in the Geopark Bergstraße-Odenwald” - below this link you can find a diashow showing the landscape of the area and an explanation about the „Tree of Life”.

The entry of the Peace Memorial
Human dignity shall be inviolable

„Recognize The Holiness Within Your Midst” - is the meaning of the inscription at the entrance of the Peace Memorial towards the „Tree of Life”. This is written on the grey „threshold of humility”, that limits the monument outwardly. To get inside, the visitor on the „walk into the own center” has to overcome this threshold. Man carries inviolable sacred beeing in himself. Therefore „the dignity of man is inviolable” (1. article, German constitution). It also means becoming open for walking an inner way to Self-awareness to peace and freedom, instead of merely projecting pains from within to the outside world.

The beginnings - context and conclusion

In March 1998, I was sitting in the car, driving a long way to Traunstein, a town in Germany. Across many channels of the radio one could hear reports about the Berlin-Holocaust-Memorial-Debate. I asked myself questions: Why do people deal with their past or their country's past and then remain in the dark, rather than turn to life just because of this darkness? Why does a country, that has put so much blame on itself in its history, is giving now its children feelings of guilt, rather than to educate them as a concequence to become truly free and responsible citizens? Why isn't it a good idea, to build - because of this darkness in history - Peace Memorials about the consequences too? A culture is defined by the symbols it sets itself. Do these symbols succeed in connecting us with one another? Do they create a foundation that encourages an individual to make a commitment to peace and freedom? Would that not be „what can be learnt from the past”?

That night in Traunstein towards morning I saw in a dream like in a short film a section of the image of the Peace Memorial. It was like a first puzzle piece that caught all my curiosity. In that night my subconscious must have been very busy with that subject, in which I previously never was interested in, and so an inner journey of discovery started. At its end 16 years later there would exist a Peace Memorial, built as a real monument in the exterior. The courage to build this elaborate monument, I had because of the first positive reactions of some experts, when I introduced them to this new approach. Here you can read, among others, the comment by Kurt Hacker, president of the International Auschwitz Committee.

Art is an essential force for stimulating cultural development. This project is about the evolution from a culture focused on memorials dealing with the pain in history, toward a culture with also memorials bringing in a responsibility, we can live together in a positive way. For how bad have things become, that we want to be allowed to formulate also the detachments of terror, hatred and violence as monuments?

Can we by new Peace Memorials in Germany finally feel free as a country from guilt and thus at peace with ourselves? But a monument can not speak about that. How could monuments acquit a country? The Peace Memorial speaks of a personal responsibility one has in life and wants to exercise. Not monuments, but each person is responsible for what he carries around and how she acts in that sense, and thus passes it on to other people. But this clarity for a consequence, which has to find its way into life, to bring that into the monuments, is a paradigm shift in the German culture of remembrance. It would result in a deeper understanding of a relationship with Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). It would bring peace.

The center of the Peace Memorial was built first. Everything was constructed from here as a reference point. Below it inside a capsule is Psalm 1.

Kein Kampf

In noise and fight
survive  and  win
shall any wisdom lie therein
to bend the inner truth within?
In stillness inner beings hold
rich - as a shimmering of gold
pure words remember to unfold
That our souls shall be raised
(T. Zieringer, 2014)

A Tree of Life

The Tree of Life (shown in a topview) - oriented with its roots towards Jerusalem - breaks open the „dark circle of violence” with its 11 „Stones” as projection surfaces of the alienated mind. The „Stones” are made of the polycristalline rose quartz of our region. The ring is also broken open from the outside by a bright and friendly looking floor - for the dance of life, for a renewal and rebirth: joy brings us to the light. The Tree of Life stands in Judaism for Torah (Instruction, five books of Moses), of which Rabbi Hillel said: „That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is explanation.” Peace in the world would not be far off, if we only wanted to take this serious. Yerushalayim one can read on the Commemorative Stone at the entrance of the Peace Site. It is written on the 12th „Stone”, which is located „facing the world” outside the Peace Memorial Circle. This call for a better world is more than a georaphical place, Jerusalem is a state of beauty.

Not darkness  is the source of live,  but light;
for this, the memorial is a symbol:  „RECOGNIZE THE HOLYNESS WITHIN YOUR MIDST"  (Inscription).

Ephraim Kishon
 Ephraim Kishon
Kishon Referenz
Translation: „Dear Thomas, your beautiful and nobel mission is full of praise.
Thank you for it.”
- Ephraim Kishon, international best-selling author, master in art history

Alternative to nihilism

The Jerusalem-Peace-Memorial could also be described as an identity memorial. After all, it deals with finding one’s peace with one’s own identity. The theme addressed is that of cultural and spiritual uprooting in the present day and age. For the individual, it becomes increasingly difficult to find a foothold in the exterior. What is an ideological construct and what is truth in it? Within the peace memorial, you will see the „Tree of Life” in the form of a relief. It is the view from „above”, the bird's eye view. It means to see oneself in an inner experience: Who am I? - The tree’s roots are oriented toward Jerusalem. This denotes a deep root of our occidental culture, which today has been cut off by inner fences, to a greater or lesser extent. The greatest damage done to these roots happened during the reign of the so-called Third Reich.

Considered from a social dimension, the peace memorial shows a way back toward a healthy cultural identity, which endeavours to mirror itself in what is „beautiful, true and good”. Behind this is a long cultural history that was based in religion and which was enhanced by reconnaissance and humanism. The result was a cultural bloom in Germany. A culture which is characterised by uprooting is not capable of surviving.  Only a tree with strong roots can reach high into the sky. Only those who still possess the roots that define their provenance and culture can successfully reach across beyond borders and fences and express themselves in communication with their neighbors. This would bring peace, it would make the world culturally richer and led to a real appreciation of the other, instead of mere tolerance.

Healing can only ensue rather quiet from within, with each individual personally, and from the roots of civic society. This for sure is not „less important”. Therefore, a quiet place of contemplation in the heart of nature was selected, instead of a loud and apparently important location. The Jerusalem Peace Memorial is situated in Bensheim-Hochstädten, which is in close proximity to Frankfurt a. M. and has developed in the course of 16 years, in own initiative and voluntary work - without even the support of tax money. This is a sign that citizens have to take on responsibility within democratic society if it is to remain truly democratic. Peace and freedom needs citizens to take on responsibility. From here, the cultural uprooting could be overcomed.

Music for the soul:
(short films of three live concerts)

Hallelujah            Bridge over troubled water            just strolling again...

Violet represents repentance and change.  Green represents hope and life.  Gold represents joy and light.

Inauguration of the Commemorative Stone at the memorial site - an allegory
(making an abstract idea comprehensible by comparison with a descriptive action)

„Baum des Lebens - ein Friedensmal für Deutschland” (Tree of life - a Peace Memorial for Germany). The sign was bent. „Peace for the world” is a task which can only be achieved together with others.

The origin of the idea of the Peace Memorial was rooted in Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial Debate. This idea reflects the insight, that in addition to the memorials of a painful past in the same context we need public spaces that are dedicated to a good future with each other.

The Commemorative Stone

„Wo sich Staub zu Licht wandelt” (Where dust is transformed into light) - this sentence was selected based on a poem by Nelly Sachs „Ihr Zuschauenden”. If you stand in front of this side of the Memorial Stone you look out to the west into the valley of Hochstädten. Towards the end of the 2nd World War, a research and development institute had been built there. It was under the direction of the Heymann company, which was supported by the SS with considerable means. Much of the 129 Greek forced laborers, who were housed in the neighbor town Auerbach, had to march every morning to Hochstädten (Reference). In appalling conditions the Greeks had to work for the expansion of the mine for this institute. The men had been arrested on August 17, 1944 during a raid in Nikea (near Athens) from the German military and deported to Germany for forced labor (raid by Kokkinia).

Concentration camp prisoners were used as technicians Tfor the operation of machine tools, for the technical developement and construction work. According to the report of a contemporary witness (Mr. Bitsch, Hochstädten) they had finshed the shell construction of three addtional shanties in the „Sauloch” in Hochstädten. One shak behind today's tennis court of Hochstädten was already completed, including the inventory for technical developement (drawing boards, drawing paper...). Behind that place in the forest a shak had been built as a common shelter for the concentration camp prisoners and the guard personnel. Originally the operation was based in Darmstadt. Due to the attacks of the Allies, it was moved at the end of September 1944 to Bensheim-Hochstädten (Reference, p. 39), to use the mine tunnel as protection against air attacks. Presumably it was planed to produce Gyro control systems for the stabilization of missiles and torpedos. According to the information of the contemporary witness, the future production hall (Heymann Hall) in the mine was still under construction. In the side corridors of the mine, already casing parts of a diameter of 10 cm for technical systems were produced with modern machines. After the war the machines, first of all lathes, were initially stored in a hall of the Fuchs craft business in Bensheim-Auerbach. They were provided according to the time witness as a reparation for the Allies.

This place in Hochstädten was run as the subcamp „Bensheim-Auerbach” of the concentration camp Natzweiler in Alsace. The plan was already for Darmstadt the expansion to 300 inmates (Reference, p. 49, p. 51). However, this could also not be realized anymore in Bensheim-Hochstädten. In October 1944 around 25 concentration camp prisoners were housed here (Reference). By no later than February 6, 1945 the camp was expanded to about 60 inmates (Reference, p. 88, p. 120). „For a company that was housed in Hochstädten in a mine, about 20 inmates ... have been working with lathes. Around 10 inmates of the camp were employed with outdoor work on the mine; they have built an air shaft. Around 6 inmates worked in a shack directly nearby the camp. These were engaged with drafting. The rest was used in the forest for wood felling and the construction of shanties.” (Barch B 162 / IV 419 AR 1436/68). The last trustworthy declaration for the occupancy of the sub-camp is a list of the concentration camp Dachau, in which can be found, that 75 prisoners from the sub-camp Bensheim-Auerbach arrived there on April 2, 1945 (Reference). Included therein are 15 to 21 prisoners from the sub-camp Darmstadt-Griesheim, which was administratively affiliated to the sub-camp Auerbach. This confirms * the occupancy of the satellite camp Auerbach with about 60 prisoners at the time of closing.

This information board (Arno Huth, Concentration Camp Memorial Neckarelz) about the closure of the concentration camp Natzweiler shows the system of its sub-camps and it shows which position is occupied by the sub-camp of Bensheim-Auerbach. Before the Allies arrived on March 27, 1945, a few days prior to this the camp was cleared. The prisoners were evacuated to the Dachau concentration camp. So a topic here is the one system of main camps and sub-camps prevalent all over Europe during the Nazi reign. According to a report in the New York Times from March 1, 2013, there were „some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.” One could hardly go anywhere in Germany without running into a camp, it was said in the report (Reference).

* Please consider, that according to the list 1 prisoner died on the way to Dachau and that it wasn't been unusual, that a few prisoners absconded on such an evacuation. Many thanks to Dr. Kilthau, synagogue club Zwingenberg and Mr. Arno Huth, Concentration Camp Memorial Neckarelz, for the contemporary historical documents.

Comment: What have the forced laborers from a Greek Christian culture to do with a „Jerusalem Peace Memorial“, that is connected with Judaism? With the name „Jerusalem Peace Memorial”, why would it appear als hypocricy, if one would forget to mention the fate of the Greeks at this place? There are two ideas in the memorials name which match together: Peace is universal; it applies to all people. Jerusalem is considered by Jews, Christians and Muslims as a holy city. This „city” could and should bring people together. - An interesting statement: without the Greek and Jewish contribution in history there were no German culture.

This side of the Commemorative Stone, raw and blank, is facing the grounds of the former Nazi camp. It reminds us of the darkest chapter in German history. Behind the trees and a hill (in the picture above), there is the city of Bensheim and the Rhine Valley. Once there was a rich Jewish life in our area. On November 9th, 1938, the synagogues burned; also in the cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz with its large Jewish past. On November 10th, the synagogue burned in Bensheim. The Jewish communities in Germany and later far beyond were destroyed. The Jewish Germans were expelled or murdered. In Bensheim at that time we were „supportive of the state”. After the bombing of Darmstadt in the 2nd World War, the Gestapo office of Hesse was moved to Bensheim (Kirchberg murders).

But that what is hard to pronounce in the relationship of Germany to Judaism in its own country reaches far back. The already mentioned ShUM culture in the Rhine cities Speyer, Worms and Mainz was so important, that the so-founded current application of these cities seem appropriate for the title of "World Heritage Site" (UNESCO). On the way to the Jerusalem in Israel in the year 1096 Christian crusaders marched through the „Jerusalem at the Rhine”, the Shum cities. Jews who were not willing to convert to Christianity were massacred. The Crusaders left a trail of destruction. Also in the following time there were repeatedly pogroms against Jews, as it happened shortly after the 3rd Crusade in the year 1195, and in the years 1282 and 1343 (Reference). It has also to be spoken about the pogroms in the years 1348-1351 in Germany during the plague, that was blamed on the Jews, because it was alleged, that they had poisoned the wells. Owing to better hygiene, because of religious precepts, it was much less common for the Jews to become sick.

It should be clear that here in the context of a dark past it is not the Jerusalem Commemorative Stone that was something dark. Its about the history of its surroundings. The Jerusalem-Stone reminds us of that, what its inscription on its reverse side says: „A cry full of love for freedom for the people. That we can overcome the barriers in dealing with one another and no longer seek to find our halt behind the fences of ideology”. We do acknowledge the past, we remember it and we remember who we are and we meet the present. Life happens in the present: Where are we personally experiencing war and bondage instead of peace and freedom in our own lives? Where can we take responsibility for a more beautiful world? Where does taking responsibility start? The slate below the rock refers with its inscription „Where dust is transformed into light” to the Peace Memorial next to it, showing the walk into the own inner soul. This is about an inner peace that you can find in yourself , which you will carry out into the world.

„You spectators, who did not lift the hand of a murderer, but who did not shake of the dust from your yearning, who paused, there, where dutst is transformed into light”   (from the poem „Ihr Zuschauenden” by Nelly Sachs).

Dance for Freedom in the Peace Memorial; its the dance in the colors of the rainbow around the „Tree of Life”. Through their graceful movements, the dancers provide access to the perception of beauty and joy through a heart that has been touched and moved. The Peace Memorial next to the Jerusalem Commemorative Stone stands for the walk into the own center. „Where dust is transformed into light” - peace and freedom start from within.

The picture was taken in the period when the Peace Memorial was still under construction. It shows a 24-gon, around which one could walk 24 hours, the entire day, the entire life and yet one would still only revolve around oneself in one’s own egocentricity. Then one pauses, and comes to a halt. Thereafter one can find the way over the „threshold of humility” - the outer threshold of the memorial with the inscription „Recognize The Holiness Within Your Midst” - toward the own center: The monument shows the Tree of Life, which breaks through a dark ring. The ring represents the alienated mind. The stones are „projection surfaces”, because this is how the mind works. Looking at oneself from a bird's eye view - which is why the Tree of Life is a relief in the monument – one can see oneself and is no longer a prisoner of limited intellect, but learns to act from the heart. In our own centre, in the relationship between heaven and earth, the ego loses its captivating power and man is free within himself. This is the way toward finding inner peace. In that perspective - a view from the standpoint of the Peace Memorial - one looks upon the (Jerusalem) Commemorative Stone, remembering a responsibility for life in this world, meaning love.

Greeting of the Frankfurt Rabbi Andrew Steiman for the inauguration of the memorial: „Jerusalem is wherever beauty is.” This is the other bright side of the Commemorative Stone. It speaks of the beauty of living together, when man no longer needs to be the enemy of mankind, because he can see himself reflected in the other and he could find peace with himself. The free man acts in the world in his peace. The selfishness, being concerned only about the own well-being, loses power. Yerushalayim is the hope for peace that is common to the three monotheistic religions.

More and more people flock to the Jerusalem Peace Memorial on a beautiful autumn day. It is located between Frankfurt and Heidelberg, between Mannheim, Worms and Michelstadt along the European long-distance path number 8 in Bensheim. The Peace Memorial was built alongside a hiking trail, because for peace one has to go a certain way (of contemplation) through the world. What is more, peace is not found then in the noise and loud importance of the world, but rather in a silent pilgrimage experience to a place of beauty and strength, where you can meet like-minded people.

„Yerushalayim - a call of love for freedom for mankind. That we overcome the fences in cooperation and not seek to find our halt behind the fences of ideology” - reads the whole inscription on the Commemorative Stone. It's a call of longing for freedom and peace and for an atmosphere of respect in human relationships. Herewith the the issue „healthy boundaries” is addressed. The Peace Memorial shows how on the own inner way through the inner peace, limits can be overcome in the exterior. One can errect rigid „fences” around oneself, as these have the purpose of providing protection against injuries. Whoever dismantles these „fences” should hazard the consequences of injuries. However, where it makes sense, we have to overcome „fences” between each other in order to create an atmosphere in which one can even try to understand the other, and this in turn would allow a great deal of freedom and peace to enter the world.  However, a world or the people without „fences” – without limits and boundaries – is an illusion. This is because the own identity can not be protected without boundaries. Yet these boundaries must be healthy, i.e. they must be flexible and well-defined, but not rigid and immovable, and not higher than necessary. Thus one can find a healthy balance in which one can take an interest in the well-being of others beyond the „fences”, because one may also be good to oneself. 

The Bensheim Councillor Oliver Roeder (left) and artist Thomas Zieringer (right) enjoy the festival.

„Jerusalem of Gold” played in dedication of the Commemorative Stone to Yerushalayim (Heavenly Jerusalem).

The centre of the Peace Memorial - the rose of peace - has people becoming curious. Some refer to it as a Star of David or a Christmas Star on a White Rose, yet others can see the symbol of the heart for universal love and healing. The symbol lets different people and different religious beliefs get togehter, because it speaks about a common humanity. The archetypal meaning of the symbol: two triangles are connected with one another in the centre of „the heart”; heaven and earth meet each other. The one triangle represents the masculine side, or the spirit (heaven), and the other the feminine side, or the material world in which we live (earth). The world is no longer in balance, as this inner communication has been disturbed. Today this holds particularly true when looking at the relationships between men and women. Yet society, with its hostile manifestation, is also a consequence of this, in that is has led to a situation in which the „male” spirit, the creative power, has removed itself too far away from the feminine sense for the world, which represents a healthy way of living with one another. Ideological aloofness is even disruptive for a society and its neighbours. However, its not about a one-sided problem „of men”. It was also just another sign of a disturbed internal communication, when the male is no longer allowed to be and it is not accepted as a healthy and necessary part of the whole, just as the female is. - The centre of the Peace Memorial is a symbol of the heart.

Comment of a visitor

The Peace Memorial is more than a place of peace. It is a place of silence, of reflection and of contemplation ... - it is a powerful place, it is a very special place. It is not possible to experience it or recognize it with one’s intellect - no - it is only possible to recognize it with the heart. We human beings are called to stand up and embark on this new route. A Chinese proverb says: “No way is longer than the distance from the head to the heart”. Yet in the end everyone will get there, it is merely a matter of time.

I like being at the memorial site. Frequently, I notice that people pause there. Walkers stop and cyclists descend. They want to rest for some minutes and pay attention to the peace memorial; many even take a seat on the benches. Obviously the memorial site has been accepted by the people. I am very grateful to the initiator and all others who have helped in the creation of this place. Please continue your work, because there are a lot more people who really like this place and who benefit from it more than you might think. Sigrid

Art is more than entertainment; it may give pause to new pictures, making it one of the major forces driving social change. Culture is not a luxury “belles”, but the foundation of any society.

War and violence have many monuments these days, but what about peace and honest interaction? „The world is bad” - that is just the declaration not to act in a better way oneself. It leads to a downward spiral, a vicious circle - in the monument symbolized by the dark ring, with the Tree of life breaking through! The Peace Memorial will be a signal to turn this negative process into a positive one. 

Be inspired by this project. There is spirituality to be found, but not religious or political ideology, you had to believe. This memorial site is the brainchild of an artist. Behind the idea is a small non-profit association of supporters. The whole project has been funded privately and implemented by volunteers. Since no one here can earn money or power, finding support in our society is often quite difficult. Nevertheless such „idealistic ideas” contribute to a healthy society. You'll find here the proposal to go into yourself and hear what tingles there; to feel what is lurking there. That will, however, mean embarking on a real journey ... - the biggest adventure of life.

The Jerusalem Peace Memorial is located in in the South Hessian Bensheim in the Metropolitan Area Rhein-Neckar. Visit one of the most beautiful landscapes of this area. The memorial is behind the ruined castle of Auerbach between the tourist destinations State Park Fürstenlager and Felsenmeer (Lautertal). It is situated in free nature at a hiking trail; the European Long-Distance Path Nº 8. One needs to walk his way for peace. In the worlds noise it's hard to find oneself. With the Peace Memorial, visitors will find a place for contemplation. The path toward one’s inner self is a path toward freedom, which is in turn conveyed to the outer world in the way we deal with one another.

„HE appeared not Moses in the Pharaoh's palace, but in the countryside on the edge of the path.”

The Jerusalem Peace Memorial - a citizen project  -  development time 17 years
Report of the first opening on Mai 17th 2012  (link)
Inauguration of the star in the center of the Peace Memorial

Report of the second opening on October 21th 2012  (link)
Inauguration of the Commemorative Stone at the memorial site



The Tree of Life breaks through a dark ring of terror and violence. The first stones have been erected. The stones are standing and serve as projection surfaces. Are we caught in the relative truth (projections) of our mind or have we found an access to the deeper truth of our heart?

Circle - Ø 26 m - 24 steps. The memorial is surroundes by the white-grey Threshold Of Humility. There is an inscription on it: „Recognize The Holiness Within Your Midst”. The memorial shows the way towards the own inner self. In the center of the memorial, in the center of the „Tree”, you can turn around - the Peace Memorial as a Turning Point - and carry the blessing out to the world.

Project description

  • The Peace Memorial is a symbol of reconciliation between people and within our own nature, our own inner soul. Remembering the past, having a connection to it is important. Even if there is pain in it. But more than this we have to endeavour to turn a burden of the past into a blessing for the future. Only then can we speak of true responsibility.

  • This work is about the fundament of of our culture, which has been established and developed in thousands of years. To ensure that this will be sustainable, the insights have to become visible in the material world; in the art-language, in the symbols and memorials of a culture.

  • Without the idea of peace in the hearts of the people there will be no peace in the world.

What is self realization?

Often the person who pursues self- realisation merely revolves around him- of herself, and in the process he or she actually ends up losing even more a true him- or herself. This peace-memorial is a circle. You can walk and turn around it a long time and will still pass by the same stones - as projection surfaces of the human mind - again and again. But if you come to a halt, and if you step over this grey „threshold of humility”, with its black and white spots, into the „Tree of Life”, into the relationship with G'd and the most inner spot of your own soul, so you will meet your true self. 

What is the Tree of Life? It is the law of life. It is not a law of an outside authority, but internalized as a natural order, that the soul may have life (New Covenant, Jeremia 31,33). That is how „the son” is born in us. It is, when heaven and earth connect in us like in a tree. It is when a man or a woman leads a life from a truly spiritual perspective and becomes a son or a doughter of G'd.

Old and new badge (view from above on the Peace Memorial)

Road To Peace - Hochstaedten (Performance Art)

On the left side you can see the badge which was used for the „Road To Peace”. The picture on it shows the original planing of the Peace Memorial. The futile approach to bring about „Peace in the Great” made me work for the rather difficult „peace in the small” - the Hochstaedter „Road to Peace” - and then it became the work for the „peace within”, that place where everyone has the power to really transform something into light.

On life itself, the design of the Peace Memorial developed further, namely from the image that is shown on the badge on the left side to the image on the right side. So we can dance together and freely around the Tree of Life, free of narcissism and become „simple”. The bright area in the ring around the tree crown is the dance floor for the dance of life. Within the monument life has already occupied the dark ring in its dance for a good part again.

Development of the years 1998 - 2011

In 1999 the book „Turning Point - the vision of a new humanity” was released by the initiator of this project, Thomas Zieringer. Therein the concept formation took place: When the admonishing memorial addresses the confrontation with injuries from the past, the new concept of the Jerusalem Peace Memorial would represent an integration in the process. That means going into the consequence (responsibility) and taking action for a healing today. A memorial concept was created, that connected the past, present and future.

Two short texts from this development time:

--->   Goals of the project

--->   Paradigm shift in the work of commemoration


We give thanks to each other (Pastor Christoph Mohr and me). There you see, what Yerushalayim could mean. If one person would only give thanks to another person, one of them would appear great and the other small - and yet it only works in togetherness. We are those little men gently dressed in the right corner of the picture, but the great figures behind us are staying very still and in the scene they no longer seem a bit greater, brighter and more important. They seem to protect the event with their beauty, so that it is given a space in which Yerushalayim, its vision of peace, may turn into reality.

End of the chapter „,Details”, other chapters of the site:          Home          About us          German

Like the tip of a pyramid

This website is like the tip of a pyramid. It was built in the years 2011 - 2015. Below it are two further elaborations in the form of another website. The lowest level of the pyramid is an elaboration about the „recent German past”; a recognition of injustice and suffering. It was built in the years 1998 - 2002. The middle level is the bridge between the result of this work featured on this website and the suffering that was addressed first. It was built between 2002 and 2011. This website, which is the basis of the whole work, is only available in German.

--->    www.Frieden.vision  -  The Basics (previous work)

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