The urns of more than 1,360 victims of national socialist violence were buried anonymously in a small area of the Friedhof Altglienicke. In order to restore the names to these victims, the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection put out a call for a competition to redesign the site in late 2018. On the recommendation of the prize jury, the commission was awarded to the working collective struber_gruber together with outside < landschaftsarchitektur.

The core of the new design is a green, glass wall that will soon display these people’s names and birth and death dates in a special form: all of the information will be personally handwritten.

This special touch will be possible through the participation of a great number of people who are alive today.  For each person buried here, we are looking for someone to record the name and birth and death dates in their own individual handwriting. In this way, together with a great number of volunteers, a site for memory and learning arises, which also enables proper mourning for the bereaved.

How can you contribute?

Accept a no-cost sponsorship, and contribute to the new design with your own personal handwriting.

View of the design by struber_gruber

Remembrance forms collectively

The new design of this burial site is based on living memory. Buried at the Friedhof Altglienicke are people who were murdered in the concentration camps Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and Dachau; in euthanasia centers as patients in Hartheim, Sonnenstein, Bernburg, Grafeneck, Brandenburg, and Hadamar; and in the prison Plötzensee.

The participatory process focuses on the names of those who fell victim to national socialist violence. We are looking for volunteers to record by hand, the names, and birth and death dates of those buried here. This personal handwriting shapes the main design element at the memorial site.

Erinnerung entsteht gemeinsam zwischen Menschen die heute leben.

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New design

Existing state

The burial site for the victims of national socialist tyranny is located in a small area at the entrance to the Altglienicke Friedhof. Around 1950, an official measure was taken to install a collective memorial stone, which by today’s standards, is rather minimal. The fact that you are standing on a collective grave first becomes apparent when you read the inscription on the memorial stone.

Design

A dignified ceremony will now give back the names to those buried here. Similar to the two-part burial site of grave and gravestone, we are designing a two-part memorial site: on the burial site for the urns of the victims, plants will be grown, and it will be wrapped with a ribbon of letters thus forming a communal burial field. Next to it, the names of the dead will be written on a large glass element.

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History

The Friedhof Altglienicke is part of Berlin’s Treptow-Köpenick neighborhood, located on its western border. The cemetery is bordered to the north, west, and south by green spaces, or individually standing structures, and to the east by an avenue, Schönefelder Chaussee (since 1920, previously Schönefelder Weg). The address of the cemetery is Schönefelder Chaussee 100, 12524 Berlin, which is where the entrance is located. The entire area of the cemetery comprises roughly 23,500 m².

The peculiarity of burial grounds U1 / U2 at Friedhof Altglienicke, namely, the collective-grave-like burial of large numbers of urns, which was carried out for a brief time from 1940 to 1943, has direct links to the national socialist reign. In the early years of World War II, urns of the victims of concentration camps and euthanasia centers were buried individually. Towards the end of the war, the ashes were brought unsorted to be placed first in collective graves and later, mass graves, for example, in ditches or adjacent bodies of water.

Historical plan burial grounds U1/U2
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