Czech Republic: New Holocaust memorial in Brno
A cube of black granite down which water streams now decorates a square in Brno. It is a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, referencing the racial persecution of Jewish and Romani people by the Nazi Third Reich during WWII.
The memorial was designed by painter Daniel Václavík. His design won from among the 51 submissions to the open competition that was held by the city two years ago.
City councillors had cancelled a previous competition because they didn't like any of the designs submitted. The city paid CZK 3.7 million for the memorial.
The edges of the cube are 3.14 meters long, a rounded-off approximation of the infinite number pi. "The endless progression of water evokes the constant repetition of human suffering throughout history," Václavík explains.
The water flows down the cube as a symbol of cleansing and forgiveness. It then settles in a small pool of black granite.
The text section of the memorial is inscribed at the bottom of the pool in Czech, Hebrew and Romani and includes Jewish and Romani symbols. It is supposed to be a reflection on the epoch of Hitler's Germany, the ideology of which considered Jews and Roma "inferior races" to be destroyed, and millions of people perished in concentration camps during WWII because of this ideology.
The designer of the memorial previously won the Interior of the Year prize in 1995 for his artistic design of the vestibule of the cancer ward at Motol Hospital in Prague. He has been working freelance since 2004, primarily focusing on graphic design.
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