Memorial for victims of National Socialism to be built in Bern
Bern, 26.04.2023 - The Federal Council is committed to ensuring that the victims of National Socialist persecution and the Holocaust are not forgotten. At its meeting on 26 April, it approved CHF 2.5 million for a memorial for the victims of National Socialism. The memorial is to be erected in the city of Bern and will be accessible to all. The FDFA has been instructed to draw up a corresponding cooperation agreement with the city of Bern by the summer of 2023.
The demand for a place in Switzerland to commemorate the victims of National Socialism goes back to two motions from 2021 (Mo Heer 21.3181 and Mo. Jositsch 21.3172). The Federal Council considers it of great importance to keep alive the memory of the consequences of National Socialism, namely the Holocaust and the fate of the six million Jews and all other victims of the National Socialist regime. This is particularly important today, as hardly any survivors or contemporary witnesses remain alive, and Holocaust relativisation and antisemitism are on the rise again.
Memorial in the city of Bern
In recent months, the FDFA has held talks with various interested groups and institutions about a possible location for the memorial. Finally, an ideal partner for the realisation of the memorial was found in the city of Bern. The memorial is to be erected at a central location in the city of Bern that is accessible to all.
The Confederation is contributing CHF 2.5 million to the design, the public competition and the realisation of the memorial. The city of Bern will be responsible for the maintenance of the memorial.
A strong symbol
In erecting this memorial, the Confederation, together with the city of Bern, is creating a strong symbol against genocide, antisemitism and racism, and for democracy, the rule of law, freedom and basic individual rights. The memorial is also intended to promote discussion and debate and to have an impact beyond the country's borders.
The Federal Council, in cooperation with the Canton of St. Gallen, also supports the planning and realisation of a national cross-border mediation and networking site. The FDFA was instructed to propose to the Federal Council by the end of the year options for a joint funding arrangement for a national project in St Gallen.
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