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'A place of remembrance and hope'

The central element in this room is a cube made of glass and steel. Its contents: stones from the Danube. The victims' ashes were dumped into the river.
Children from the grammar school in Alkoven collected as many stones from the Danube as the number of people murdered. The cube in the middle of the tower recess was filled with them.
On a door made completely of glass, you can read Article 26 'Integration of Persons with Disabilities' of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Passing through this door, you approach the object – this was decisive for the design idea of the meditation room. Proximity to the elements, in particular to water, was a prerequisite. It was therefore logical to interpret the element of water as a 'source of life' and no longer as a 'grave' in the following design work.
Glass panels in gentle colours were mounted in the window recesses (to cover the windows).
Peaceful, simple surfaces and linear structures generate an association with flowing water. The colour (from transparent to green to blue) is concentrated on the windows in the corner tower. The colour of the glass panels is of decisive importance for the atmosphere of the room. For this reason, the panels are illuminated from the rear and below so that the effect created by the windows is also preserved at dusk or in the evening.
Further equipment is limited to the illumination of the cube and seating in the form of simple stools that are inviting for contemplation.
For memorial services and religious prayers, there is a special place for candlesticks in the tower recess.
It was a conscious decision not to use the religious symbol of a specific confession, since the room was to be a place for everyone. A place for commemorating the victims of the euthanasia campaign, but also a place that leads from memories to hope, which in turn brings about memories."
Herbert Friedl 


Photo: Meditation room with stools and coloured glass panels on the windows  Kubus mit Donaukieseln im Meditationsraum

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Lern- und Gedenkort Schloss Hartheim

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