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Outcome of the competition for a memorial commemorating the deportation of Jewish citizens from the Grossmarkthalle in Frankfurt am Main

Remarks by Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the ECB
Frankfurt, 28 May 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sehr geehrte Frau Oberbürgermeisterin Roth,

Sehr geehrter Professor Korn,

Sehr geehrter Professor Hirsch und verehrte Kollegen der Jury

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

I am honoured to be here today as a member of the jury. Today’s decision on a design concept for a Jewish memorial at Frankfurt’s Grossmarkthalle marks an important milestone.

From the moment the European Central Bank (ECB) chose the site of the Grossmarkthalle as the most suitable for its new headquarters, it has also been committed to establishing a memorial at the Grossmarkthalle. Professor Korn, as you remember my predecessor, the late Wim Duisenberg, discussed this project with you back in 2001 and I am sure that he would be very pleased with the outcome that we will present today.

In 2004 Professor Korn, Lord Mayor Petra Roth and I met again to discuss the project further and to establish the requirements and criteria for such a memorial. The competition, which has been concluded today, is the result of the fruitful discussions throughout this period, including the many meetings between representatives of the City of Frankfurt, the Frankfurt Jewish Community and the ECB. This very close cooperation has continued until today and it will continue until the final inauguration of this memorial.

The memorial itself is to be constructed on public grounds and will be open to the public at all times. In addition, the ECB will preserve one of the basement rooms in its current state as an “authentic place”. This room will be open to the public at times which will be determined once we have moved into our new headquarters.

I would also like to highlight the dedication of you, the chairperson of the jury, Professor Hirsch. You have decisively contributed to the success of the competition. And I believe we all appreciate the commitment and work of the participants who entered a design concept in this competition.

The jury - as you can see - had to choose from among a great variety of very interesting designs. I am glad that all three prize winners have come up with remarkable concepts. I am convinced that it will be a challenging task for all three prize winners to further develop them. I am looking forward to the construction of the memorial.

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