Project Synagogue Square
Project Synagogue Square: “Remembering, Not Forgetting”
Project Group Denkmal Synagogenplatz (Synagogue Square Memorial), consisting of local residents, the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Church Parish and the Geschichtswerkstatt.
The synagogue square is a narrow area of about 200 square meters adjacent to the former synagogue plot (Gartenstaße 33).
The project group Denkmal Synagogenplatz was founded in February 1998, consisting of representatives from the local residents, church parishes, and the Geschichtswerkstatt. It dedicated itself, by creating an artist-designed memorial for the synagogue, to setting a symbol against forgetting.
In order to raise funds, the project group called upon the Tübingen population to help financing the memorial, which was followed by many charity events such as concerts. The project group initiated a design competition. An independent jury then selected a proposal by sculptor Gert Riel and architect Jörg Weinbrenner, Architektengemeinschaft Maier-Weinbrenner-Single Nürtingen.
As it is crammed between houses on three sides and open on the fourth side to the traffic-heavy Garstenstraße, the memorial wants to calm visitors down at first. But it also wants to irritate. Through its plain and severe aesthetic, it focuses and provokes at the same time. A new layer of remembrance envelopes an older one, pointing the beholder not only to the crimes of yesteryear but also to how our today remembers. The fountain with its inscriptions, placed within in the steel cube, is made visible through 101 openings in the cube.
The squares taken from there symbolize the expelled and/or murdered Tübingen Jews. They are remembered on plaques along a water channel through which the water runs down to a two-pronged stele made of steel, the Ort gegen das Vergessen—the place against forgetting.
Texts on the stele provide information on the history of the community, the destruction of its temple, and its annihilation. Further texts document the problems of dealing with the past at this place. Moreover, the stele marks the starting point of the Geschichtspfad. The memorial was dedicated on November 9, 2000.