After a long period of preparation, we started work on the “Zettelkasten“ project on 09.11.2011. Together with the Jewish community of Marburg and the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation, we looked for people who have been intimately associated with the former Jewish community of Marburg. Our search led us to Israel, where, in January 2012, we interviewed former members of the Jewish community who managed to escape the Shoah, and their descendants.

Photos: Christian Ahlborn
“Zettelkasten“ is the sculptural component of the redevelopment of the grounds of the former synagogue.
Our point of departure was the empty lot, a blank space which not only denotes the destruction of the synagogue but also symbolizes the annihilation of a whole culture.
On the empty site formerly occupied by the synagogue, we will install glass cases containing 10 statements from former members of the local Jewish community and their descendants.
This will mark the starting point for a continuous dialogue on the site and its significance: Each year, the “Zettelkästen“ will be filled with new statements from a variety of participants relating to the initial quotations.
Conzept and realization: Oliver Gather, Christian Ahlborn
awarded first prize in the competition “Former Synagogue Universitätsstrasse“, together with scape Landschaftsarchitekten
Marburg, 2009
Realization since 2011
“Zettelkasten“ marks the passing of the era of contemporary witnesses. 73 years after the November pogroms, the project strives for a sculptural formulation which demands a continuous and evolving discussion, a dialogue with the location and its history, instead of restricting itself to a finite memorial message.


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