Leçons Allemand

Thèmes

Memorialization in Germany

Germany's past role as the prime perpetrator of the Holocaust and the Second World War, and as a nation formerly divided into capitalist and communist states, have made for a very strong national culture of memorialization: die Erinnerungskultur. There are many memorial museums, sculptures, and plaques dedicated to the memory of victims of the Nazis and the former communist state of East Germany. There is also a project called Stolpersteine ("stumbling stones"), initiated in the late 1990s by a German artist, which has installed tens of thousands of small brass plaques throughout Europe into the sidewalks outside the houses where people persecuted by the Nazis once lived. Let's take a look today at some Yabla German videos that feature the theme of memorialization.

 

The German word for a memorial—sometimes a museum and sometimes just a place of memorialization—is die Gedenkstätte:

 

Und im Rahmen dieses besonderen Tages wurde auch die Gedenkstätte für die ermordeten Wiesbadener Juden ihrer Bestimmung übergeben.

And in the framework of this special day, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Wiesbaden was consigned to its set purpose.

Captions 8-10, Holocaust-Gedenktag: Gedenkstätte am Michelsberg

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Auf dem Gelände der neu errichteten europäischen Zentralbank ist nun eine Gedenkstätte entstanden.

On the grounds of the newly constructed European Central Bank, a memorial has now arisen.

Captions 19-20, Rheinmain im Blick: Neue Gedenkstätte an der EZB

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And here, along with the term das Gedenken ("memory," "remembrance," or "commemoration"), are some other words that use das Gedenken as a root word:

 

Anlässlich des Gedenkens an die Befreiung von Auschwitz vor sechsundsechzig Jahren...

On the occasion of the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz sixty-six years ago...

Captions 2-3, Holocaust-Gedenktag: Ausstellung "Frankfurt-Auschwitz"

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Neben dem Kunstprojekt sind im Jubiläumsjahr viele weitere Gedenkaktionen geplant.

In addition to the art project, many further acts of remembrance have been planned for the year of the anniversary.

Captions 38-39, 25 Jahre Wiedervereinigung: Ampelmännchen wird Einheitsmännchen

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Der 27. Januar ist in Deutschland ein offizieller Gedenktag.

The 27th of January is an official day of remembrance in Germany.

Caption 15, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

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Eine gigantische nationale Gedenkfeier...

A gigantic national commemorative celebration...

Caption 8, Rhein-Main-TV: Feier zur deutschen Einheit in Frankfurt wird gigantisch

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch the videos above in their entirety. One active research aspect of memorialization is the return of stolen and looted cultural assets, such as artworks, to the families of victims of Third Reich. You can watch the Restitution von Raubgut series on Yabla here.

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