Coiled to commemorate

After all, it still took 70 years in Rosenheim after the end of the Second World War and the Nazi era before the city council decided to commemorate the victims of National Socialism individually and by name. It’s now seven years since there was a debate in Rosenheim on the widespread stumbling blocks of the artist Gunter Demnig. The city has now found its own form of commemoration, which it calls the “Rosenheimer Weg”: Instead of stumbling blocks in the ground, large Möbius loops made of brass and gold leaf, each bearing their name, are to be placed in trees or on house facades to commemorate those who were murdered remember the Nazi era.

A Möbius loop is a kind of twisted ribbon, or mathematically described as a surface that has only one side and one edge and therefore knows no direction and no inside or outside. Möbius loops are widely popular as symbols, most recently for the German EU Council Presidency in 2020. The design for the Rosenheim loops came from the Munich artist Christiane Huber, who in her works – often performances or installations – deals a lot with contemporary historical topics. A jury of experts and local politicians selected their proposal from five submitted applications. The city had asked more than two dozen artists to submit entries for the competition.

It is part of Huber’s proposal to involve the Rosenheimers in the work in the form of campaigns in the coming year. Of course, a first loop is to be installed in a few weeks on November 9, the anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass in 1938. Before that, the city council must follow the almost unanimous vote of two committees in the coming week, which, however, already make up almost half of the council . Dissenting votes came only from the AfD, which would have preferred to leave it at that with small commemorative plaques.

Mayor Andreas March and his CSU as the dominant parliamentary group supported the jury’s vote. The CSU in particular had always spoken out against stumbling blocks , such as Gunter Demnig has now laid in more than 1,200 German municipalities and in many other places in Europe. The Christian Socialists always followed Charlotte Knobloch’s arguments. The President of the Jewish community in Munich and Upper Bavaria does not want to see the names of the victims trampled underfoot and had already shaped the debate in Munich.

The Rosenheim CSU initially wanted to orientate itself in the form of commemoration of Munich and set up slim steles for the victims of National Socialism, before Rosenheim agreed on its own path in the past few months. Karl-Heinz Brauner, who as chairman of the historical association and Green City Councilor had campaigned for stumbling blocks over the years, is now also satisfied with this. Brauner also hopes that the agreement on the loops will further advance research into the victims of the Nazi era.

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