Memorial and information space commemorating the deportation of Jewish citizens from the Großmarkthalle
In the run-up to a possible acquisition of the Großmarkthalle site by the European Central Bank (ECB), the history of the Großmarkthalle and the deportation of Jewish citizens were discussed. On 19 December 2001 the then President of the ECB, Dr Willem F. Duisenberg, held a meeting on the subject with Dr Salomon Korn, Chairman of the Frankfurt Jewish Community and the current Vice-President of the Central Jewish Council in Germany. The two parties agreed that, following the international urban planning and architectural design competition for the new ECB premises, a separate competition should be launched to design a memorial that would commemorate the deportation of Jewish people from the Großmarkthalle. However, it was decided to include this chapter of the history of the Großmarkthalle in the competition brief and invite the participating architects to make suggestions for the location of such a memorial. In the revision phase, the three finalists were invited once again to make a proposal for a possible location. More detailed proposals will be made by the participants in the separate international project design competition.
On 5 November 2004 the President of the ECB, Mr Jean-Claude Trichet, held a meeting on the planning of the memorial with Lord Mayor Petra Roth and Dr Salomon Korn. It was agreed that the memorial may also include an information space and that both should be publicly accessible. However, the access rights will depend on the location of the memorial, as follows:
- Location on the Mainufer or in the Grüngürtel area: public access could be guaranteed at all times.
- Location on ECB premises (former site of the Großmarkthalle): access would be restricted to the ECB’s opening hours.
All parties agreed that the future memorial should not interfere with the functioning of the ECB.
The competition to design and create the memorial will be conducted in close cooperation between the ECB, the City of Frankfurt am Main and the Frankfurt Jewish Community. The details of the competition procedure and the composition of the jury, etc. are currently being developed by a working group comprising representatives of all three parties. The architect chosen to design the new ECB premises will also be a member of this working group.
The costs of the competition will be shared between the ECB and the City of Frankfurt. It is planned to launch the competition in summer 2005.
At present, preparatory and demolition work is being carried out on the Großmarkthalle site under the responsibility of the City of Frankfurt, which will hand the site over to the ECB on 1 January 2005. Structures relating to the deportation, such as the cellars and part of the tracks, will be preserved until the terms of the competition have been finalised.