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Design Phase Almost Complete for Central German Holocaust Memorial

March 17, 1995

BERLIN (AP) _ Two German architects were chosen as finalists Friday to design the nation’s first central memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Both designs are low and somber. On one, the names of concentration camps would be carved, stencil-style, onto steel walls. The other would exhibit the names of Jews killed by the Nazis on a gently sloping stone plate.

Berlin officials expressed shame that Germany did not have a central national memorial to Holocaust victims. The project was controversial, partly because Germany already has many small memorials.

The cost is estimated at $11 million, to be shared by the public, the federal government and Berlin. The federal government donated the planned site near the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, just yards from where Adolf Hitler committed suicide at the end of the war.

A 15-member jury choose from more than 500 designs. The winner is to be selected within three months. Construction will start in 1996, to be completed before the government and parliament move from Bonn to Berlin in 2000.

The jury also said it supported building a memorial to the 500,000 Gypsies killed by the Nazis as well as memorials for gays, handicapped people and others singled out for death.

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