To Berlin with Love
On 19 December 2016, a truck was deliberately driven into the Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, leaving 12 people dead and 56 others injured.
On 19 December 2017 the state memorial was officially opened right where the act of violence happened: "The Golden Rift" is the concept and design by the Berlin office Merz Merz plus who recommended to commision Michael Hammers with the artistic realization.
Together with the relatives of the murdered and the living victims and in the presence and great personal sympathy of Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Berlin’s Mayor Michael Müller Michael Hammers casted the last piece of the Golden Rift in a non-public ceremony.
After an inter-religious devotion in the Gedächtniskirche, the press official opening of the memorial place took place. After that, the Breitscheidplatz got opened to the public.
In the evening, hundreds of Berliners gathered with visitors from all over the world for a peace prayer and a peace rally.
At 8:02 pm, the time of the assassination, the deep bell of the Gedächtniskirche rang for 12 minutes.
The rift symbolizes the wound that hit the stop. It is closed - ‘healed’ - with cast bronze containing a symbolic portion of gold dust.
What remains is the scar in the pavement of the Breitscheidpatz and are the names of the 12 people murdered, written in the steps in front of the Gedächtniskirche: ‘For a peaceful coexistence of all people’.