July 17, 2001
Memorial Donations Sought
By STEPHEN GRAHAM
BERLIN (AP) -- A provocative
campaign to attract donations for Germany's
memorial to Jewish victims of the Nazis gets under
way this week, featuring billboards with the slogan
"the Holocaust never happened."
The words, emblazoned across an Alpine
landscape, are followed by a message in small print
urging readers to help fight denial of the
Holocaust -- a crime in Germany -- by making a
donation toward the memorial.
The campaign, which begins Thursday, is to
include television advertisements and distribution
of a half million free postcards.
Disputes over the cost, design and prominent
location of the memorial, to be erected near
Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, have delayed
construction for years, so organizers are braced
for a mixed response to their campaign. The
publicity effort follows a big rise last year in
"We know we're taking a risk by provoking," said
Rosh, a member of a citizens' group that
has raised $1 million for the project. "But perhaps
the majority are just a bit indifferent, and we
want to give them a little push."
Federal and state funding has been guaranteed to
meet the $22 million cost of the memorial, but
organizers want to persuade ordinary Germans to put
their own money into the site.
"In this way, people would come to view the
monument as their monument," Rosh said.
She said she would meet officials from the
Israeli Embassy this week to discuss how to avoid
offending Jewish visitors who might misunderstand
Rosh's group aims to raise $2.2 million for a
four-room documentation center for visitors to the
monument, including a library and the names of the
6 million Jews killed under Hitler's Nazi
The center is to lie beneath 2,700 large
concrete slabs spread over a plot the size of two
football fields, a design created by American
architect Peter Eisenman to evoke the Nazis'
orderly execution of the Final Solution.
Construction of the monument is to begin this
summer and Rosh said the fund-raising drive will
continue until its completion. That is expected in
time for Jan. 27, 2004, the 59th anniversary of
liberation of Auschwitz.
© Copyright 2001
Campaign Aims to Shock Germany