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Article appeared in the Bergsträßer Anzeiger in February 2014
BfB: Statement on the Discussion about the Friedensmal
Apfel for the Preservation of the Memorial StoneHochstädten. The Friedensmal, with its memorial for forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners (the raw side of the border stone), who had to toil in Hochstädten during World War II, should be preserved as a complete work by Bensheim artist Thomas Zieringer. The citizens' association Bürger für Bensheim (BfB) wants to advocate for this.
The Friedensmal is located on the European long-distance hiking trail near Hochstädten. This monument stands for the "dignity and freedom of mankind." The memorial gives the Friedensmal a crucial root in this regard. Thus, in dealing with the surroundings, an important contribution to the culture of remembrance in Germany has emerged, which can also reach younger generations, writes the BfB.
'Citizens' Are Disappointed
The memorial was co-inaugurated by a district committee member of the Bergstraße district in October 2012. The Bürger für Bensheim are all the more disappointed that it was precisely the Bergstraße district that issued an order in February 2014 for the removal of the memorial stone, benches, and two information boards that explain the monument.
The inscription on the memorial has already been damaged several times. The state security service had therefore investigated on suspicion of a right-wing extremist act. "The fact that the district authority now wants to have the entire memorial stone torn down is incomprehensible to me," states Franz Apfel, mayoral candidate of the BfB.
The sponsoring association Friedensmal Wendepunkt e. V. wants to file an objection against the notice. For the time being, this has "halted the removal of the memorial." "As a municipal voters' association, we will keep a very close eye on further developments," says the BfB.
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