Coping with the Past: The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin
On May 10, 2005, a solemn ceremony was held in the center of Berlin, Germany, for the opening of the “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe”, as one of the celebrations to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Victory Day of WWII. After 17 years of controversies and expectations, this historic memorial finally lifted its heavy veil. Since its proposal, the project had overcome more than ten years of obstacles and disagreements. Finally, in 1999, an overwhelming majority of the German Bundestag (the national parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany) approved the decision to construct the memorial. 27.6 million euros was allocated to building the memorial. This was one of the last and most significant resolutions passed by the Bundestag before moving from Bonn to Berlin. It is a clear demonstration of Germany’s introspections of its historical crimes and its unwavering attitude towards accepting its historical responsibility. The German experience discussed in this paper will provide useful references for Taiwan’s authorities, who are eagerly implementing their own process and mechanism of transitional justice.