Culture & Art Philosophie

Inauguration of the Friedensmal in 2015 with Batsheva Dagan and Professor Dr. Sigrid Jacobeit, Humboldt University Berlin.

Chapter: Philosophy / Culture & Art

A culture of responsibility

Art is a vital motor behind the development of a culture. The Friedensmal (monument) represents a step away from a commemorative culture with only memorials of admonishment, towards a culture in which monuments also stand for the lived consequence of a dark past and become a light for encounter. How bad must things get before we allow ourselves to express the freeing of terror, hate, and violence in monuments as well?

Are we then in Germany through new monuments with peace, hope and life finally free of guilt as a country and thus in peace with ourselves? Of course not. This is not what a monument could express. How could monuments absolve a country? The artistic language of the
Friedensmal describes a personal responsibility given to you in life that you want to perceive. Monuments cannot bear the responsibility of what we carry around and pass on. But this clarity about a consequence that must come into life, an insight that has to become visible in our commemorative culture, is a paradigm shift in our commemorative culture. It would result in a connection to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) marked by deep understanding. It would bring peace.

A culture as fundament of a society

Art is more than just entertainment. It has the power to inspire new ideas and representations and as such is one of the most vital driving forces behind societal change. Culture is no aesthetic luxury, but rather the fundament underneath every society.  Today, there are many memorials to commemorate war and violence. But where are the monuments for peace and an upright way of living together? “The world is evil” – this thought obstructs any intention to change things for the better. It results in a downwards spiral, a vicious cycle – this is symbolized in the Friedensmal by a dark ring, but which is broken open by the Tree of Life! This should be a signal to transform this negative process into a positive one.

Get inspired. It is a spiritual place, but not a place for a religious or or political ideological you had to believe. This site of peace is the idea of an artist, and behind it is a small non-profit association of likeminded supporters. The entire project is privately financed and realized through voluntary work. There is no money or power to be earned here, which makes it hard to find support in society – at least, in the way we currently organized it ourselves. All the same, these “idealistic ideas” count and contribute to a healthy society. Here, you will find a suggestion to turn inwards and listen to what’s within, feel what’s buried inside. In other words, to set off on a journey of truth... the greatest adventure life has to offer.

The Friedensmal is located in the city district of Hochstädten in the Southern-Hessian city of Bensheim, situated in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan area. Visit the gorgeous landscapes this region has to offer. Behind the castle ruins of Schloss Auerbach, between the tourist destinations of the Fürstenlager State Park and the Felsenmeer (Lautertal), visitors find the monument site. It is located in the midst of quiet nature alongside a hiking trail, the European long-distance path E8. One has to go an inner path for peace. It’s hard to listen to what’s inside in a world as noisy as ours. Visitors of this monument will find a site of contemplation and rest. The path inwards is a way towards freedom, the realizations of which can subsequently be carried outwards to affect the way we interact with each other. “He appeared to Moses not at the Pharaoh’s palace, but in the countryside, at the edge of the road.”

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