University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

  • Aschrottbrunnen Fountain

    Aschrottbrunnen Fountain

    Memorial to the Aschrottbrunnen Fountain in Kassel, Germany.

    Aschrottbrunnen Fountain

    Aschrottbrunnen Fountain Project. Removal of Original Base Used as a Flower Bed.

    Aschrottbrunnen Fountain

    Excavation for New Fountain Memorial - Aschrottbrunnen Project, Kassel, Germany.

    fountain linstallation

    Aschrottbrunnen Fountain Counter Monument Ready for Installation.

    fountain linstallation

    Aschrottbrunnen Fountain Counter Monument Ready for Installation.

    fountain linstallation

    Aschrottbrunnen Memorial Being Installed.

    fountain linstallation

    Aschrottbrunnen Fountain. Completion of Installation.

    covered with glass

    Aschrottbrunnen Fountain Before Being Covered with Glass.

    fountain completedLeft. Aschrottbrunnen Fountain. Completed Memorial. Water still flows up from the water source 12 meters below the street level directly to the perimeter channel, then back down through the eight radial channels shown to the center, where it cascades downwards, the "negative" of what was there previously, a fountain that shot vertically into the air. The water is recirculated. However, whereas the old fountain shot water into the air, this memorial does not permit that uplifting memory. The central area where people are standing are cast metal plates for servicing the fountain. When descending below, which the public cannot do, one can see the entire fountain upside down. The fountain, through its negativity, serves to create a discourse among visitors, who engage in conversations about what the fountain is and what it means. The negative form, however, is still viewed as problematic by most viewers, who would prefer something "uplifting." Hoheisel has noted that the foundatin can be reversed and made like the original form. However, he thinks this should only happen when there is a strong concensus about the meaning of the Holocaust for Germans.

    drawingRight. Drawing by the artist indicating the concept of use of negative space - inversion of the monument. The notes on the left indicate, from top to bottom, the size and date of the original monument (1908), the destruction (1939) and the beginning of the memorialization process(1987).

    fountain skinhead demonstration skinhead demonstration

    Above. Despite the fact that Hoheisel's memorial project is a memorial to a destroyed fountain and hence the murdered Jews of Kassel, Germany, the site has nevertheless been used by neo-Nazi groups for demonstrations. Thus, memorial sites have become contested places of memory, as well as absence.

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