Introduction A tour through the monument

Chapter: Project / Introduction

Love is the only Revolution


The Jerusalem Friedensmal is a vivid example of how art, philosophy and spirituality can work together to create a deeper meaning and awareness of the issues of peace and freedom. It is a place that invites reflection on one's role in society and the responsibility that each individual carries for the collective good. Rabbi Andrew Steiman from Frankfurt commented in a greeting on the occasion of the inauguration of the Stone of Encounter at the Friedensmal as follows: "To get to the Jerusalem from above, you have to go through the Jerusalem from below". The name 'Jerusalem' has no political background, but is connected with the religious significance of the name and, in the context of Judeo-Christian relations, with the history of the 'Jerusalem on the Rhine'.

The name
'Jerusalem' has no political background in this context, but is connected with the history of 'Jerusalem on the Rhine' and the religious significance of the name in the context of Jewish-Christian relations.

The various chapters of this website illuminate the multifaceted aspects of the project, from the significance of cultural roots to the necessity of education for freedom. They demonstrate that peace and freedom are not just external states but internal qualities that can be nurtured through self-awareness and personal responsibility.

The Jerusalem Peace Monument is not just a place of
remembrance to Jerusalem but also a symbol of hope for the future. It encourages us not to dwell in the heaviness of dark chapters in history but to recognize that a better future is possible through conscious efforts and collective responsibility. It is a place that promotes the values of humanity, tolerance, and mutual respect, thereby offering an impressive example of what can be achieved when people commit to the cause of peace and freedom.

The location of the Peace Monument on the European Long-Distance Path No. 8 emphasizes the universal significance of this message and invites people from around the world to become part of this vision. It is a place that reflects not just German culture and history but also addresses a European and global concern.

In a time when the world is seeking solutions to its numerous challenges more than ever, the Jerusalem Peace Monument offers a profound and inspiring perspective on the possibilities of human action. It is a project that shows that the path to peace and freedom is also an inner journey that begins with the willingness to see oneself and the world with new eyes.

The Jerusalem Peace Monument is thus more than just a place; it is an idea, a vision, and a call to action. It challenges us all to take responsibility for our own freedom and the freedom of others seriously and to actively participate in shaping a better, more peaceful world. It is a living testament to the fact that peace and freedom can not only be dreamed of but also realized if we are willing to act.

The Friedensmal on the Hiking Trail

The expansive ensemble on European Long-Distance Path No. 8 consists of the large, round Friedensmal, situated in a Garten der Freiheit, symbolizing the beauty and dignity of life. At its entrance and boundary stands the Stein der Begegnung. At the center of the Friedensmals, one sees the Blüte des Schalom, as a heart symbol, in whose center lies the Hebrew word "Chai," meaning "alive".

Our society needs reconciling symbols for positive cultural identification and change, providing stability and encouragement. Especially for a monument serving as a Peace Monument in German-Jewish relations, this symbol should strengthen trust in the possibility of reconciliation. Peace in this context means not an end but clarification and transformation—a development we all very much need.

Jerusalem Friedensmal on the hiking trail brings people and cultures together. It encourages standing up for the values of freedom and life and strengthens the belief that it is love that liberates. Love and peace are intensely felt at this power place. Love generates a revolution in the heart, the only revolution that can liberate the world.

Overview of the Symbolism

The Friedensmal in Bensheim-Hochstädten

The Peace Monument takes the shape of a 24-sided polygon. This symbolizes that one can walk around it all day—and every day—and always return to the starting point. It illustrates the idea that one can continuously revolve around oneself on the path of self-awareness—until one finally stops. Inwardly, across the "Threshold of Humility," marked by the inscription "Recognize the Sacred Among You," one enters the core of the monument and finds oneself symbolically in the "Tree of Life."

The 11 large stones in the foreground symbolize in the
"dark ring of alienated intellect" the painful past, which is, however, "broken from within" by the "Tree of Life." The 22 cubes in the ring around the "tree crown" have values written on them that correspond to the 22 Hebrew letters. This stands for a sustainable future together. From the Jerusalem Peace Monument, it is 22 km in a straight line to Worms, the middle city of the former "Jerusalem on the Rhine" with its great Jewish past.

The name
"Jerusalem Peace Monument" refers not only to an earthly place but also to the "heavenly Jerusalem" within us. On the way there, we encounter the "Jerusalem in the World," which means enduring difficulties because one stands up for the right values. Learning from German history today means courageously standing up for the values of our culture.

Flight over the Friedensmal

Elements and Symbols of the Jerusalem Friedensmal

The following initially provides an overview of the essential elements and symbols of the Jerusalem Peace Monument. They are not only aesthetically and spiritually significant but also have a profound social and cultural meaning. In the "Project" menu, you will then find these elements described in detail.

The Friedensmal - for the Inner Path to Life

The Friedensmal in Benshein in wintertime

As you walk around the circle of the Friedensmals, you always end up at the same point. You keep revolving around yourself until you stop and step into the center, into the Tree of Life. To do so, you cross two steps. It is the "Threshold of Humility" (and of arrogance). Written on it is: "Recognize the Sacred within your midst". The picture shows the Tree of Life as a relief in the monument circle.

What the Tree of Life in the Peace Monument signifies is described by Eckhart Tolle in his book "Stillness Speaks" as follows: A dimension of consciousness deeper than thought; one could call it awareness, presence, or unconditioned consciousness. It is the true essence of who you are.

11 large stones in the "dark ring" symbolize the blockages and entanglements that stand between a person and their freedom on the path of life to oneself. It is the mind of the traumatized person. Unfree people are identified with their entanglements and thereby cause the world to be as it is today. Liberation from the entanglements is symbolized in the Friedensmal by the Tree of Life, which breaks through the dark ring.

12th stone, the Stone of Encounter (on the outside), stands outside the Peace Monument circle on the European Long-Distance Path. It represents a responsibility for peace and freedom in the outside world. It is "… a call full of love for human freedom""  (inscription).

The Friedensmal - Here you will find a detailed description of the symbolism.

A Garden of Freedom for a Culture of Freedom

garden-of-freedom, part of the Jerusalem Friedensmal

A Garden of Freedom with its outer boundary provides the space and framework in which the Friedensmal can exist. It is about the space that we collectively create to make this possible. This space is a call for peace, freedom, and new life. The framework is a culture of freedom that we want to live together.

With its two
"angel wings," a Garden of Freedom frames the 26 m large Friedensmal. At the boundary to the European Long-Distance Path No. 8 (the path through the world), there is the Stone of Encounter with the inscription Yerushalayim… (Hebrew for Jerusalem) on the "side of hope." On its other side, the suffering of the past and the present is addressed. Below it, a slate stone in the ground with the inscription "Where Dust Turns to Light" points in the direction of the Peace Monument.

A Garden of Freedom forms the framework of the Friedensmal. It enables contact with the environment and overcomes prejudices, which a memory culture focused on death caused. This chapter with an overall view and an explanation of the individual elements of the design serves as a solid introduction for understanding the project.

* Education for freedom gives us the tools for liberation from education (kokhavim) *

Stone of Encounter

- the dark and raw side

Stone of Encounter at the Jerusalem Friedensmal

This is the 12th stone, the Stone of Encounter. We look at the past, we remember who we really are, and encounter the present. Life happens in the present: Where do we experience war and lack of freedom instead of peace and freedom in our own lives today? Where can we take responsibility for a better world? Where does our responsibility begin? A slate threshold beneath the stone points with the inscription "Where Dust Turns to Light" to the Friedensmal next to it, which shows the path into one's inner self. It signifies a peace that one can find within oneself and will carry out into the world.

The past at the location - The 12 years of Nazi rule, ultimately a collapse of civilization, is a wake-up call for a life in freedom; beyond the boundaries of an ideological prison.

Stone of Encounter

- The light and polished side

jerusalem-stone, polished site

Inscription: "Yerushalayim - A call full of love for human freedom. That we recognize the fences in our togetherness and do not seek our lives in the past." The Stone of Encounter stands for coming into relationship with the other and shows the sanctity that lies therein. In the encounter, the mere notion of the other melts away. Life is development. The picture shows the old version of the inscription, which lasted for 7 years: "...that we overcome the fences in our togetherness and do not seek our support behind fences of ideology." Back then, when we still wanted to overcome the boundaries in our togetherness, the stone was still called the Border Stone. With the new version, the claim to overcome captivity in ideologies comes to life. The stone now already shows openness for relationship in its name. Wanting to recognize boundaries shows that the other may also think differently and have different ideas about the world. This implies an interest in the other and his different view and understanding of the world.

YERUSHALAYIM  denotes the spiritual Jerusalem. The root "Jerusalem" extends beyond Christianity into the origins of Judaism. Yerushalayim is thus also "the other" and at the same time a root of our European culture, which has been deeply wounded. Behind the Stone of Encounter, in the direction of Jerusalem, there is a fence on the other side of the European long-distance hiking trail. The symbolic meaning is: healthy boundaries. We do not put walls between us humans, and we do not tear down fences; rather, we are aware of the fences and recognize the light and beauty that they protect.

Freedom is not the absence of boundaries, but the conscious recognition of them. Freedom arises from the will to understand the impact of our actions on the other. If we are indifferent to the consequences of our actions for our fellow human beings, true freedom remains unattainable. The source of freedom lies within us: It unfolds when we become aware of the ideological barriers that separate us from each other, as well as from truth and life itself. In this context, the ego can be considered a kind of 'ideological fence.' It is a collection of beliefs and convictions that shape our view of the world and our behavior, often in a way that cuts us off from a deeper connection to others and to ourselves. Becoming aware of these 'ideological fences,' including the ego, is a crucial step on the path to more authentic freedom

Encounter Stone - Here you will find a detailed consideration of both sides of the large stone made of Odenwald quartz: the raw side with the suffering and burden of the past and the light, polished side that shows the sanctity of relationship. With the name "Yerushalayim," a root of our culture is designated, and it is a reference to the "heavenly Jerusalem." The stone is a symbol of healing and freedom and thus a hope for peace in the world.

The Blossom of Shalom for a Living Heart

Children at the Jerusalem Friedensmal

The Blossom of Shalom carries the seed of life. Shalom means harmony, wholeness, abundance, and peace. The Jewish poet Nelly Sachs described Shalom as "a butterfly zone of dreams." Shalom starts within one's own soul. The Blossom of Shalom consists of twelve white petals and a star lying on top: a living heart (heart chakra)!  The hexagonal star serves as a symbol for the connection between "Heaven" and "Earth"; between spirit and matter. Along with the center, it is a symbol for the Sabbath, which also means "coming to oneself" for humans. The Blossom of Shalom is located in the center of the Tree of Life in the Friedensmal: humans can connect "Heaven" and "Earth" within themselves, similar to a tree.

The Blossom of Shalom - Here you will find pictures and texts for the inauguration of the Blossom of Shalom on May 17, 2012.

Jerusalem on the Rhine - A Jewish Story

View into the Rhine Valley from the Jerusalem Friedensmal

This place of retreat is located on the European long-distance hiking trail on a hill near Bensheim, South Hesse. From here, one looks out over the Rhine plain with the city of Worms, where once Jerusalem on the Rhine was located.

Looking westward from the
Blossom of Shalom between the two hills into the Rhine plain, one sees the silhouette of the city of Worms (22 km) with its large cathedral on the horizon. Worms is the geographically central city among the three cities of Speyer, Worms, and Mainz, which formed Jerusalem on the Rhine in the High Middle Ages. Due to their central importance for the Jewish communities in Central Europe, they are considered the birthplace of Ashkenazi Jewish culture in the High Middle Ages.

Jerusalem on the Rhine - Here you will find more information about Jewish history.

Community and Engagement

The Vision of the Peace Monument

The Peace Monument is a living memorial that encourages reflection and inner transformation. It serves not only as a place for inner contemplation but also as a space for encounter and dialogue. It reminds us that peace is not just the absence of war, but a state of inner balance and harmony with the world around us. In a time when the world is plagued by conflicts and misunderstandings, the Peace Monument offers a space for healing and understanding. It is a project that is constantly growing and evolving, just like our collective pursuit of peace. Unlike traditional memorials, it takes a constructive and forward-looking approach.

May the Peace Monument serve as an inspiration to us today and to future generations to continue the path to peace and freedom.

Singing in the Friedensmal, GG&G Seeheim
People from "Gemeinsam Genießen & Gestalten" (GG&G) from Seeheim sing at the Peace Monument during the inauguration ceremony

Get Involved and Participate

Regularly, various events and workshops take place at the Peace Monument. It is also a space for your ideas: Get involved with your events for peace, meditation and yoga events, and suitable dialogue formats. It should not only be about a theory of peace but primarily about practical steps for implementation in society.

Whether through active participation, donations, or simply by your visit and reflection at the Peace Monument—every form of participation is welcome and contributes to the collective pursuit of a more peaceful world.

Become Part of the Circle of Friends

A circle of friends is currently being formed around the Peace Monument. This aims to strengthen the understanding of the importance of peace and freedom in society. We warmly invite you to become part of this growing project by joining the Circle of Friends. By doing so, you publicly express your friendship with the idea of the Jerusalem Peace Monument and receive the - rarely and thoughtfully sent - newsletter about the news at the Friedensmal.

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