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A memorial is a place of remembrance with strong reference to important - positively or negatively classified - historical events or people, which can sometimes be horticultural redesigned and structurally provided with monuments or memorials . With commemorative days and monuments, memorial sites are part of the culture of remembrance and collective memory as a result of the politics of history and the politics of the past .


Small memorials sometimes only consist of a plaque , while museums are often attached to large memorials ; in the United States are at such a (memorial places) also partially Parks (memorial park) applied.

Many memorials in Germany can be found in places related to National Socialism , such as in former concentration camps ; they remember victims, sometimes also the perpetrators of the Nazi regime. But the term has also become commonplace for remembering victims of the Soviet occupation zone and the GDR dictatorship .

Memorial sites are mostly historical places such as concentration camps, extermination camps , detention and shooting sites . These sites are to be preserved and “made to speak”. As a rule, they also offer permanent exhibitions on the history of the location and the contexts, its historical function. Monuments and memorials, on the other hand, are material, sculptural and possibly inscribed works of art that have been erected in the public and are intended to be permanent and which remind of individual persons or events. Buildings, columns, burial mounds, steles or statues present the past and keep them in mind for the future.

Many of these places develop intensive educational work, especially with young people. In addition to the large and well-known state memorials (sponsored by the federal states and partly supported by the federal government), many memorial sites have been created in Germany on a civic initiative that participate in the task of remembering, commemorating and exhorting.

Criticism of the memory culture of Nazi memorials

The culture of remembrance in places of remembrance about the history of National Socialism is criticized by various authors .

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: memorial  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations