Jewish Holocaust Memorial

Jewish Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany

Public Art: Jewish Holocaust Memorial

Architect and Sculptor: © Peter Eisenman (architect) and Richard Serra (sculptor)

Date: 2002

Description: The memorial centerpiece consists of 2,700 concrete pillars of different heights and are designed to represent a waving cornfield.

Location: On a 600sqm site between the Brandenburg Gate and Adolf Hilter's bunker.

Commissioned By: Government

Cost: Approximately €25 million.

History of the Jewish Holocaust Memorial: The Jewish Holocaust Memorial in Berlin began construction in 2002 after years of contoversy and delay. An international design contest was held in 1998 to find a a suitable memorial to honour the millions of Jews murdered during World War II. The eventual winners were two Americans, architect Peter Eisenman and sculptor Richard Serra. Richard Serra later withdrew from the project after his designed was scaled down. Chancellor Helmut Kohl had rejected a few of the top entries because he felt they were too grandiose.

Controversy: In 2003 more controversy surrounded the Jewish Holocaust Memorial project when it was discovered that the German construction firm, Degussa, who won the contract to cover the pillars with the graffiti-proof coating, was connected with the Nazi's during World War II. They apparently supplied gas for the murder chambers. Degussa had once been part of Degesch, a company that supplied Zyklon B to many Nazi Concentration camps.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to Dr Andrew Taylor for kindly providing the photographs.

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