Greetings from Berlin VIII
Walking through the streets and suddenly…
In the street where I am living there is a monument of a special kind. Take a look:
This is just one of many such panels hanging at the street lamps in this area. Do you have any idea which event this picture means to commemorate? I show you another one:
I give you a hint: I live in a quarter in the Southwest of Berlin where many Jewish citizens had lived before World War II. Here is a last example:
The pictures, altogether 80, hint to laws and decrees the National Socialists enacted to disenfranchise the Jewish population in Germany. These laws are cited on the backsides of the panels. The one with the cat says: “Jews are not allowed to keep pets. 15.5.1942” (see photo below), the one with the bathing slip refers to “Public bathhouses and swimming pools are forbidden for Jews. 3.12.1938”. And the one showing the writing tablet hints of course to the prohibition to visit public schools.
I think that the concept and design of this monument is excellent because the pictures look so familiar as if they had been taken out of a primer. Thus they express a normality which was destroyed for the Jewish persons in a creeping and cruel process. Walking through the streets today, looking at the pictures, I guess nobody would know which story they refer to, but the discovery is all the more alarming.
You can find more information about the memorial on the website of the artists Renata Stih and Frieder Schock who created it: http://www.stih-schnock.de/remembrance.html