The Commemorative Container
How can one counter a forgotten terrorist act? Fifty years after the event, in an informative way that is relevant to the present day yet is dignified with regard to the victims and their relatives and awakes the awareness of the general public?
The Commemorative Container as a symbol to mark the arson attack on the Jewish home for senior citizens at no. 27, Reichenbachstrasse.
How can one counter a forgotten terrorist act? Fifty years after the event, in an informative way that is relevant to the present day yet is dignified with regard to the victims and their relatives and awakes the awareness of the general public? The organisers decided in favor of a horizontal stele on Gärtnerplatz within sight of the crime scene, symbolized by a container covered with photographs of the fire brigade during its assignment. The inside was dedicated to the victims.
This commemoration in the immediate vicinity of Reichenbachstrasse was backed by guided tours over the two-month period that the installation could be visited. The project was devised by Christian Springer, founder of the “Schulterschluss” initiative, and Bernhard Purin, director of the Jewish Museum Munich. Those interested were able to gain a more in-depth impression of the extent of this tragic chapter in Munich’s history. As a result, the memory of the deceased and the knowledge that, to date, no one has has ever been brought to justice for this crime, have once again become part of the city’s collective memory.
The commemorative container was an installation by Christian Springer / Initiative Schulterschluss,
Concept and design: Alfred Küng und Katharina Kuhlmann.
Supported by: Landeshauptstadt München, Kulturreferat, Jüdisches Museum München, Branddirektion München, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, Evangelische Akademie Tutzing, Katholische Seelsorge an der KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, Fachbereich Dialog der Religionen im Erzbischöflichen Ordinariat, Israelitische Kultusgemeinde München und Oberbayern K.d.ö.R.
Thanks to Kriechbaumer Druck GmbH & Co. KG und Kathrin Heinzle as well as the Friends of the
Münchner Trambahn-Museums e.V.
Photo credits: Archiv Branddirektion München, Archiv Münchner Merkur.