Memorial to the murdered Sinti and Roma, Berlin
"Every day, a flower disappears and is replaced; it is like a prayer which reminds us to never forget, never." - Danny Karavan, sculptor
Danny Karavan on the Memorial
A clearing in the Tiergarten, lined with trees and shrubs, in the vicinity of the Reichstag building. A quaint, unimposing site, withdrawn from the bustle of the city. A site of inner sadness, a site for feeling pain, for remembering and not letting the annihilation of the Sinti and Roma by the National Socialist regime fall into oblivion. Is such a place possible? Or is it only found in emptiness, in nothingness? Do I have the strength to create a site of nothingness? A site deprived of everything. No words, no names, no metal, no stone. Only tears, only water, surrounded by the survivors, by those who remember what happened, by those who know the horror as well as those who never experienced it. They are reflected, upside down, in the water of the deep, black pit, covered by the sky – the water, the tears. Only a small stone, which sinks and rises, again and again, day after day. And on it every day a new blossom, so that each day we can remember anew, constantly, to all eternity. The water encloses the sky, the blue, the grey, the black sky. Clouds, light, darkness. The whirling water swallows it all. All that remains is the sound of a lonely violin raising a murdered melody, poised in pain.
The memorial to the murdered Sinti and Roma during the National-socialism is part of a wide network of memorial centers, museums and institutions with a focus on public memory in Germany and Europe. The public space of the memorial is open to all, and is dedicated to remembrance, commemoration, and reflexion before the symbols of tragedy, but even more, to study on this, until recently, rarely studied and remembered component of the crimes of Nationalsocialism. Written, on the glass panels surrounding the memorial space, is the chronology of Roma and Sinti suffering under the Nazism. The memorial commemorates Sinti and Roma victims from entire occupied Europe. On the carved stone slabs, among all of the European sites of suffering, are also the names of large camps and killing sites of Roma and Sinti of Yugoslavia. With this, the suffering of the Roma of our country is presented as an indelible part of German and European history.
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