Elderly Citizens  Press Reports

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- Press release of the Friedensmal Wendepunkt Association -
This article was published in Bergsträßer Anzeiger on July, 17, 2013


Warm reception for the Peace Memorial
A group of elderly citizens visits the place of peace near Hochstädten. 

HOCHSTÄDTEN.   A group of spry pensioners from the Bergstraße district, with organiser Willi Lerchl at its center, visited the Friedensmal (monument) in Hochstädten. Willi Lerchl elaborated on his group’s activities: “Statistically speaking, only a few of us will become centenarians. That inspired us to use the time we have left, visiting a special landmark on one Thursday of each month.” The Benjamin of the group is 75 years old, while the oldest member has a proud 87 years of life experience. 

Willi Lerchl first became aware of the artwork online. To the other members, he explained the project as follows: With the construction of this Peace Memorial, the artist endeavours, contrary to the usual admonishing memorials in Germany with their "hints to the past", to also convey hints and ways of thinking for the "perspective towards the future".

Tree of Life
Within the Friedensmal at the site, visitors find the Tree of Life (Bible, Genesis). The artist Thomas Zieringer has noticed that visitors seem to appreciate the concept of the monument: “I have now spent three weeks working on the monument site, from dusk till dawn. The travertine foundation was laid. School classes as well as students and numerous groups of hikers trekking from Fürstenlager to the Felsenmeer find the Peace Memorial along the way. It is regularly used as a resting stop. The well-articulated concept of the monument site has received praise from both teachers and students.” The artist explains that children are particularly interested, regularly “picking his brain” on all the different aspects of this monument site.

Each plate of the recently constructed travertine foundation has been processed by hand and selected by color. Zieringer estimates the value of the stone floor at around 26 000 Euro. Unfortunately, its beauty didn’t last a week. Around 40 slabs within the monument have been violated. The concept of the monument still proves itself, even if only few Bensheim locals really believed in it – according to Zieringer. He additionally shows how these developments have affected him: “I wouldn’t be able to withstand it all by myself, it’s starting to put a great strain on me”. A Turkish child who visited the monument site with her school class from Mannheim asked the artist the following question a few days ago: “Why are you turning this into such a beautiful place?” His teacher answered: “Because they want to reach people”.

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