A Vision of Peace ... for life is sacred

At the inauguration ceremony, the psychologist and Auschwitz survivor Batsheva Dagan Batsheva Dagan places pebbles on the memorial stones in the Friedensmal.

Chapter: Project / Vision of Peace

A Path to Peace and Humanity in the World


This chapter deepens the idea that peace and freedom are not just external goals, but above all, states of being within ourselves. The Friedensmal serves as a mirror of our consciousness and invites us to take the first step towards inner peace and freedom: to pause. It is a space of human connection and dignity, freeing us from the 'terror of loneliness' and offering the opportunity to build genuine relationships with ourselves and others.

The coming to terms with the past is an ongoing process that must be guided by love and detachment from the evils of the past. It is therefore not only about erecting memorials, but also about wanting to create peace monuments and taking active steps to promote peace. The placement of the 'Chai' in the Friedensmal symbolizes the sanctity of life and the necessity to transform our traumatic experiences into a force for good.

In this chapter, we will also explore the spiritual dimension of peace and the idea of a 'new world', a world in harmony with the ideals of peace and freedom. It might be time to take the next step, to leave old systems and ways of thinking behind and to build a new world in harmony with the ideals of peace and freedom.

The vision for the future is clear: The Friedensmal is more than just a physical place; it is a symbol of peace, freedom, and human dignity. It challenges us to remember the past and to boldly shape the future in the spirit of true human dignity. Every person who experiences inner healing changes the world and thereby helps peace. It stands for the new world, where dust may be transformed into light.

You are warmly invited to join this journey of self-discovery, inner freedom, and external peace.

Awakened to Life

This is an excerpt from the text of an information board at the Friedensmal: "Dear hiking friend, be aware that the world is illusion and entanglement, and full of beauty that wants to be seen. In it, you are either a prisoner or a dancer on the playing field of freedom. The world becomes a mirror of your consciousness wherever you touch it. Recognize yourself in this Garden of Freedom, touch and be touched. May this place of peace on the long-distance hiking trail inspire and encourage you on your journey to yourself. Take the time to pause. For it is only in this way that peace and freedom begin within you." - The texts on the information boards represent a summary of the entire project. You can view the texts as a PDF in German here:   Panel A   -   Panel B   -   Panel C  

The attempt to create world peace from the outside carries the risk of ending in totalitarianism. "Peace begins in one's own house," said Karl Jaspers. This is a more realistic goal worth striving for, yet still difficult to implement. Indeed, peace and freedom can only come from within, and so peace begins with oneself. Here, "dust was transformed into light." This is a quote from the Jewish poet Nelly Sachs, who survived the Holocaust and captured her effort to illuminate pain in lines of great beauty and poignancy. The entire passage reads: "Those of you who did not raise a murderer's hand, but who did not shake the dust from your longing, who stopped where it is transformed into light."

Did Nelly Sachs write these lines for the people of her time or for people today? Why has so little dust been transformed into light since then? Perhaps we live in a "false world." Perhaps the individual people one encounters, and oneself, are much less to blame than we are made to believe? Recognizing this too means to awaken and become whole: this world shaped us and became our prison. But how do we free ourselves for a "new world" where love and peace reign?

A Call for Change

We have for too long focused solely on horror, death, and guilt in our culture of remembrance, overlooking peace, life, and liberation from the evils of the past. Building memorials is important, but if there is no Peace Monument in relation to them, they would ultimately be of little effect. They fulfill their purpose completely only when complemented by Peace Monuments that inspire us to actively promote peace. Processing the past, whether in Germany or globally, is a process like life itself. Only love can be the way and the goal to truly "learn from the past."

The placement of the 'Chai' - For Life is Sacred

The idea of healing relationships must be imbued with life and become concrete in the world. This is exemplified in the Peace Monument in Germany, also for the theme of "Peace in German-Jewish relations". It touches the deepest trauma of both communities. If the frozen traumatic energy were released, it would again be free to serve life. Serving life means learning from our past.

Setting of the CHAI in the center of the Friedensmal
Remembrance alone is not enough: as a sign for life, Rabbi Mordechai Mendelson sets the Turning Point with the inscription "Chai" (living).

Peace for the Individual: I acknowledge the pain triggered by memories, the fear, sorrow, and anger, and walk a path of peace with them. This does not mean making peace with injustice, but rather confronting these feelings. When I do this, they are held in love and in the hope of new life.

Building Relationships:

The Friedensmal along the hiking trail in nature provides space for a deep encounter with oneself and others. Thus, a "terror of loneliness" programmed into our societies can be overcome. A society needs cohesion rather than division. Understanding the Friedensmal means 'refusing to cooperate with madness' (Manova Magazine).

New Life: Healing would become visible in alert, mature, freedom-loving people, and in the signs of life set by a culture. How does 'the world' deal with the symbol of a Friedensmal?

On March 22, 2013, the entire design of the Friedensmal in the Garden of Freedom and the Stone of Encounter at the border of the peace site was given the spiritual name 'Jerusalem Friedensmal'. This name was published in Israel on the front pages of the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz as the inauguration of the project and stands as a symbol for a worldwide striving for peace and humanity. On March 17, 2024, in acknowledgment of a failure due to lack of interest from all parties addressed in the monument, the name 'Friedensmal of Change' was chosen for the entire design, to broaden the project and thereby find the strength for greater participation not of established organizations from the religious and political sectors, but of ordinary 'people from the street' for this transformative project.

The Turning Point with the inscription 'Chai,' Hebrew for 'life','was placed in the center of the Friedensmal by Rabbi Mordechai Mendelson on May 14, 2017 (Jewish calendar: 18. 9. 5777). From this one point, the entire monument was measured and constructed. 'Recognize the Holy in your midst' is the inscription at the entrance of the Friedensmal. - Living (Chai) is sacred. - Thus, a connection to Judaism is maintained through the history of this monument.

Vision for the Future

The Friedensmal is more than just a physical location; it is a symbol of peace, freedom, and human dignity. It challenges us to remember the past and to bravely shape the future in the spirit of true human dignity.

Every person who experiences inner healing changes the world and thereby aids global peace. The Friedensmal is intended to serve as a healing force in our collective consciousness (shadow), releasing energy for positive future creation. It stands for the new world, where dust is allowed to transform into light.

Perhaps today it is not so much about convincing an "old world" of new views, but rather about leaving the playing field of an old, corrupt system in love, to truly live and to build a new world with like-minded individuals. This vision of the Friedensmal, brought to life, is also an answer to the nihilism that is particularly effective today in promoting the decline of Western culture.

Change and Insight


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