University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
chgs@umn.edu
612-624-0256


CHGS

Places of Remembrance

An Art in Public Space Project by artists Renata Stih and Frider Schnock, Berlin, Germany.

Gallery I
Gallery II
Gallery III
Gallery IV

Renata Stih's & Frieder Schnock's, "Places of Remembrance - Isolation and deprivation of rights, expulsion, deportation and murder of Berlin Jews in the years 1933 to 1945," is an "art in public space" project, approved by the Senate of Berlin (Die Senatsverwaltung für Bau-und Wohnungswesen), which was in charge of all art in public space projects at the time the project was conceived. The jury was an "art in public space jury" with members coming from different professions and not a special jury for Holocaust memorials. It is definitely not an exhibition in public space in the traditional sense, but a new and unique kind of memorial,  created in 1993.

"Places of Remembrance" is made up of 80 signs in public space. On one side of each sign there is a text  that reflect upon the anti-Jewish regulations and laws, the letters and the eyewitness reports. The original texts of the laws and regulations are very different in format from the "created texts"  of the artists. All, however, are from the Nazi period that reduced the rights and privileges of "non-Aryans," meaning Jews. Other signs indicate historical events or individual cases of oppression, such as the 1943 report of the murder of a German Jew who  refused to give up his pet bird. The reverse of each sign has an artistic image, created by the artists. The signs are scattered in the Bayerisches Platz area and while a map is available, a walk to see all the signs takesat least two hours. The exhibition has unique pedagogical value, establishing an understanding of the "legal basis" for the ostracism of  the Jews from German society beginning in 1933 and ending in 1945.

Professor Saul Friedlander of UCLA has called what happened in the Nazi period "redemptive anti-Semitism." (See  Friedlander, NAZI GERMANY AND THE JEWS, Volume 1), a legal removal of Jews from German society.

The outdoor public space opened in June, 1993 with protests from neighbors, who saw the images as a form of grafitti. However, after some legal issues were resolved, the images and texts have remained on poles, approximately  3 meters above ground, are are easy to read by the German public. According to Katerina Kaiser, Director of the Schoenberg Museum, the images may be photographed and used on web sites as they are a public art, what some may consider a memorial, although certainly not in the traditional sense.

All texts and translations may be found in the book: Condensed version of the Nazi regulations by Renata Stih & Frieder Schnock, source material/original origins in: Joseph Walk (Ed.) Das Sonderrecht für die Juden im NS Staat/ Eine Sammlung der gesetzlichen Massnahmen und Richtlinien - Inhalt und Bedeutung, 2. Aufl. Heidelberg 1996.

The original catalogue that accompanied Places of Remembrance is: Renata Stih & Frieder Schnock, "Places of Remembrance -Isolation and deprivation of rights, expulsion, deportation and murder of Berlin Jews in the years 1933 to 1945." (3rd edition Berlin 2002. ISBN 3-7759-0473-5)

Renata Stih is an artist and lecturer (Prof. University of Applied Sciences, Berlin). Frieder Schnock is an artist and art historian (Ph.D.). Their other major project is "Bus Stop,"  has also drawn wide applause for it's inventiveness in stimulating memory.

For other monuments see: