How Do We Memorialize Genocide? The Case of the German Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe



We often acknowledge and memorialize events of human suffering through works of art. This sometimes begins as a personal statement, as was the case with Picasso’s Guernica . Oftentimes such acknowledgments take the form of a national statement, such as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas) in Berlin. The Berlin memorial raises challenging moral and aesthetic questions regarding the memorializing function of such public monuments. What sorts of experiences are such memorials intended to evoke in the viewer? Is there a tension between the aesthetic experience and the “real” emotions such memorials engender? Does the didactic nature of such works rest comfortably with their aesthetic function? Are these functions mutually exclusive? Such questions are addressed in this chapter.


Public memorials Jochen Gerz John Dewey Noël Carroll Holocaust Counter-monument Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Aesthetics Modernism Marian Marzynski Peter Eisenman James E. Young 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySouthern Connecticut State UniversityNew HavenUSA

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