German Identity Philosophie

Promotional poster for the Peace Monument, showcasing a celebration with the Jewish Chabad community from Karlsruhe, aimed at engaging the public.

Chapter: Philosophy / German Identity

Why does Germany need reconciliation?

The sense of German identity remains fractured today due to the era of National Socialism. Healing the wounds of the past is necessary. The Friedensmal, with its 'Stone of Encounter', is a symbol of reconciliation among peoples, individuals, and within oneself. Remembering the past and connecting to our roots is important, even if it involves pain. However, we must also have the desire to transform the burden of the past into a blessing for the future.

What spiritual insights can be learned? Only on this basis can a future be built, as the foundation of our culture, which has developed over millennia, is indeed spiritual! To be sustainable, this must be reflected in the symbols that a culture continually redefines, in its culture of monuments. Although there are peace monuments today, which are former war monuments that now advocate for peace, a vibrant culture of monuments from which peace itself speaks has not been established. Present-day Germany has a culture of
memorials of admonishment wich remind of a dark past.

Without the idea of peace in the hearts of people, there is no peace in the world. A look at the newspaper shows that the past is by no means overcome. This takes away our strength to shape the future. This overcoming must be reflected in remembrance and anchored in monuments and symbols.


The symbolism of the Friedensmal shows a positive way to deal with the burden of the past, that the burden may be turned into a blessing. A new, positive sense of identity emerges, describing the tasks and responsibilities of our country, which is vital for a culture. Thus, the Friedensmal demonstrates how we can overcome the limiting images and concepts of our inner world, which keep us unfree today, and transform them into a deeper understanding of humanity. It represents the search for the (spiritual) path - often going in circles (metaphorically 'around the Friedensmal') and yet only revolving around oneself…

Stepping over the
Threshold of humility, into the Friedensmal, marks the true path into one's inner being; no longer revolving around oneself. One can enter into genuine relationships because one is finally with oneself and connected with one's heart. Through the process described here, the inner creative force can flow freely again, creating a future. This applies both personally and to the country as a whole. The Friedensmal was created as the next step after the Berlin Holocaust Memorial - not as an antithesis of a concluded static peace, but as a synthesis; the representation of pain in a process of transformation.

This representation reflects a universal truth that repeatedly proves its validity both in our inner experience and in the external world. Steps of reconciliation and symbols of healing become not only part of our own history but part of human endeavors towards peace and understanding.

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