Places of Remembrance is a memorial in Berlin-Schoeneberg in a neighborhood called the Bayerische Viertel created in remembrance of Jews living in Germany during the Third Reich. In June 1993, the artists Renata Stih & Frieder Schnock put up 80 brightly printed signs on lampposts. Most of the short black and white texts on the backs of these framed signs are condensed versions of rules and regulations passed from 1933 to 1945 and correspond in numerous ways with the colored images on the front. Together, the words and images force passers-by to remember the almost-forgotten history of this neighborhood. The decrees set by the National Socialists systematically forced Jews out of daily life and gradually robbed them of their basic rights. Isolation and discrimination paved the way for deportations and mass murder. Essays by Caroline Wiedmer (in English) and Barbara Straka (in German). All 80 signs are depicted and translated in the brochure, including a separate, double sided map, depicting that area around the Bavarian Square in Berlin, providing a walking guide to the locations of the signs (poster size 58''x79'', text English + German).
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Renata Stih & Frieder Schnock are conceptual artists in Berlin (for more info see website stih-schnock.de).Review:
(...) Places of Remembrance a 1993 memorial in a residential neighborhood around Bayerischer Platz, or Bavarian Square. Modest, incisive, unpretentious it is the most genuinely moving and unsentimental Holocaust memorial I have seen. It sent a chill down my spine while putting a lump in my throat. Designed by Berlin artists Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock, Places of Remembrance is composed of 80 signs mounted on streetlights in a leafy neighborhood that was a center of Jewish life early in the 20th century (Albert Einstein was among the residents). One side of each sign features a simple image that relates to the place, a loaf of bread near a bakery, for example, or a dog. The other side has a bit of text, taken from orders issued after the Nazis came to power in 1933. 'Aryan and non-Aryan children are forbidden to play together. 1938.'; 'Jews may no longer keep pets. 15.2.1942'; 'Jews may only use those benches at the Bavarian Square that are marked in yellow. Eyewitness report 1939.'; 'In order to avoid making a bad impression on foreign visitors, signs with extreme content are to be removed; signs like 'Jews are not wanted here' are sufficient. 29.1.1936.' One sign features only a solid black rectangle, no image. The other side says: 'Ban on Jewish emigration. 23.10.1941.' This is the end. In an ordinary urban neighborhood, the banality of evil hovers just overhead. So does death- by- a- thousand- cuts, which led inexorably to Auschwitz and the ovens. The texts identify when specific historical events occurred but notably they're all written in the present tense. History does not live in some remote past. The stunning inhumanity codified in law and social custom lives on in other guises today. (...) Christopher Knight, L.A.Times Art review, June 25, 2005. --Christopher Knight, L.A.Times Art review, June 25, 2005.
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