В связи с 70-летием со дня освобождения концентрационного лагеря Освенцим Еврейская община Болоньи и Союз еврейских общин Италии проводят конкурс на проект Мемориала Катастрофы.
В результате проводившейся в нацистской Германии политики, получившей название Холокост (или «Катастрофа», Шоа), погибло около 6 миллионов евреев, а также 3 300 000 советских военнопленных, 1 миллион политических заключенных, 500 000 цыган, около 9 000 гомосексуалистов и 2 250 Свидетелей Иеговы. Также было зафиксировано около 270 000 случаев насильственной смерти среди инвалидов и психически больных.
Эта трагическая страница европейской и мировой истории должна помочь построить будущее без насилия и расизма. Новый мемориал должен в полной мере передавать эту идею и отдавать дань памяти жертв нацизма. Сложность задачи заключается в том, что участок, предложенный организаторами – транзитная зона в оживленной части города, и потому необходимо спланировать его так, чтобы у прохожего возникло желание остановиться там хотя бы на минуту, чтобы поразмышлять.
To celebrate “Memorial Day” (established in Italy on 20 July 2000 with Law no. 211) in 2015, the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, Bologna’s Jewish Community and the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche) are sponsoring the creation of a "Shoah Memorial” to be located on a significant site in the city. This competition announcement invites artists and designers from all over the world to take part. The objective is to create a place to keep the memory of the Shoah alive.
Historian Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi emphasises how the Jews were the first to give meaning to history by resolving to “acknowledge it”; keeping this memory alive is, therefore, a key component in the Jewish concept of life and means they will never lose their identity. In the Memorial project this principle will refer to the wider identity of the human condition. In actual fact more than 3 million Jews met with their deaths in concentration camps (which with shootings and deaths in the ghettos reached around 6 million), as did 3,300,000 soviet prisoners of war (the policy of annihilation befell the Slavs too), 1 million political opponents, 500,000 Roma gypsies (Porajamos = destruction in the Romanès language), around 9,000 homosexuals and 2,250 Jehovah’s Witnesses, in addition to 270,000 deaths amongst the disabled and mentally ill.
This sad page in European and World history must help us build a future for our children that can link to the past and the present, where diversity is fully appreciated. If we wish to fight racism, we must learn to put ourselves in the place of others, to believe that what happens to our neighbour could also happen to us. Bearing this in mind, we are called upon to build new cultural policies, both in Italy and the rest of Europe.
The Memorial interprets this objective, expressing it as a spatial structure that can engage our citizens, inviting them to enter a different dimension, in a journey that moves from the historic drama of this extermination to the contemplation of beauty in the urban landscape: from violence and death to life. Those who cross this space will participate in a personal and intimate experience, which, linked to the concept of memory, will raise questions, yet the site will offer no preconceived answers. So the Memorial does not aim to provide the visitor with information on the historical facts it refers to, nor does it aim to tell or explain the story of the Shoah or what was happening in Bologna at the time. Archives, libraries, research centres and documentation will do that, both in the city and online. The idea shared by the sponsors of the competition and the Council of Bologna is to house the Memorial in the new square created at the crossroads between Via Carracci and the bridge of Via Matteotti. A square that came about “by accident” (a fragment of an unfinished railway station), but situated in a heavily trafficked area, where the oldest part of Bologna meets the urban expansion of the early 1900s; a square that will be visited by a wide and varied array of citizens and whose main feature will be that of Remembrance.
Precisely because of the square’s nature as a place of transit and relations, the project must tackle the issues of the use and duration of the Memorial, the issues linked to its protection and maintenance over time. Bologna’s Shoah Memorial should “stop the passerby” in a space that we must imagine as monumental in its entire length and breadth. An evocative place, where History, recalled to Memory, becomes a message to Mankind. In an era when the direct witnesses of the time are disappearing, it is the job of society to treasure the memory: life goes on and our children will guarantee that memory.