About a paradigm shift in commemoration
The Peace Memorial does not describe the illusion of a good, peaceful world. Life with its movement comes from the struggle of various forces. And yet there is an interior spot of peace deep in the human soul. The task is to locate it in your own processes that you go through. That is a religious aspect. If you have found this spot, yet again you will go into the world, which still holds its problems. Yes, you can make peace - what the Peace Memorial is a call for - but not with beautiful words, but in just action. It's about to face the reality honestly and fairly and not to be stuck in the processes that make up life.
The sequence of such a process is described in the dialectic: View topic - discussion - integration. The stage of the debate, an admonishing memorial, but also a war memorial can be assigned to. The stage of integration would be assigned to the Peace Memorial. When I due to the Holocaust Memorial Debate in 1998 wrote my book on the subject, I thought that this last step was missing in commemoration. I had the impression, that the whole country would be stuck in its dealing with the past described in monuments and that the common commemorating in a warning attitude would become more and more an end in itself. I saw that the transition into integration was lacking. To look at the shadows is an absolute necessity in order to bring more light into life. But to stop at the negative doesn't do anyone any good. Also a whole country can not tolerate this. We need a Turning Point. So what do we want to bring about positive things in life, because we have understood something from the past?
Already back in 1999, I tried to publish the first ideas that make up this project. In fact, I found the Member of the Bundestag Mrs. Widmann-Mauz, who made a motion in context of the Berlin Memorial Debate, which would be decided on in the Bundestag and in which I could find my ideas. But no influential newspaper was reporting about it. Then i made a call to the responsible editor of one of the largest German newspapers and asked why they would not report on this important issue. The answer: We can not tell about it, because you do bring a whole new perspective. With that the debate could not be ended. I have seen in the context of my work many similar actions with always the same result.
I think to help to solve a blockage in the German commemorative culture with the design of this Peace Memorial and to help in a transition into integration with art. The real work, however, is to make myself understood with this idea. For what is not anchored in images in the mind, it is difficult to understand. Rarely is understood that projects like this are a cultural necessity in its refreshing effect. If our culture goes, also society founded on certain values is going to crash.
The project of the Peace Memorial is not just&148; about building a monument. It is about a state of mind which expresses itself in the concept of the Jerusalem Peace Memorial and which is a necessity to be seen in society. In this approach it becomes obvious, that negativity is a reason to work for a better world; that there is hope. Our country will need this hope, because a society must be able to renew itself again and again.
With three different ways of commemorating a painful past, three ways of dealing with reality become visible: 1. a final stroke, 2. memorial pride (Germany is proud to have dealt with its recent past and it sees itself as a model in the world) and 3. the Jerusalem Peace Memorial as a Turning Point. This Peace Memorial is about beeing also abel to admit the negative in having the awareness, that with ones own positive way of thinking and acting it is becoming transformed.
The ways of "final stroke" and "memorial pride" are known in our culture and they are lived. The "final stroke" is an attitude of ignorance that - once it has caught wide sections of the population - undermines every real culture. "Memorial pride" is the mindset to be stuck in the negative - that takes life. To admonish is not wrong. It is a necessary step in a dialectical process that leads with the integration of the subject in an own inner peace and thus creates also in the outside world genuine peace. That is also associated with humility. There is good reason to deal with the path that is identified through the Jerusalem Peace Memorial.