Mahnmal gegen Faschismus
Monument against Fascism
Hamburg-Harburg, Germany 1986
Jochen Gerz and Esther Shalev-Gerz
The Municipal Council of Hamburg-Harburg reached the decision in 1983, after several years of discussion, to erect a Monument against Fascism. Following a public hearing the commission was awarded to Jochen Gerz in collaboration with Esther Shalev–Gerz.
The artwork invited the city’s residents and visitors to engrave their names and sign against fascism on the monument, a 12-metre tall lead coated square column. As soon as the accessible part of the monument was covered with signatures, it was lowered into the ground. Between the inauguration on October 10, 1986, and its disappearance on November 10, 1993, the Monument against Fascism was lowered into the ground eight times.
Today, a text in seven languages recounts the history of the Monument against Fascism: the 70,000 signatures, the sinking of the column and its disappearance. This text reads:

We invite the citizens of Harburg, and visitors to the town, to add their names here next to ours. In doing so we commit ourselves to remain vigilant. As more and more names cover this 12-metre tall lead column, it will gradually be lowered into the ground. One day it will have disappeared completely, and the site of the Harburg Monument against Fascism will be empty. In the end it is only we ourselves who can stand up against injustice.

Object: Column of galvanized steel with a lead coating, 1200 x 100 x 100 cm, weight ca. 7 t., underground shaft with viewing window, depth 14 m, concrete footing, 2 steel styluses for signing the surface, text panel. Site: Hamburg-Harburg, Harburger Ring at the corner of Hölertwiete/Sand, Harburg-Rathaus S-line train station.

- Mahnmal gegen Faschismus, Monument against Fascism, Hatje/Cantz, Stuttgart 1994 (German and English)

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Photo: Kulturbehörde, Hamburg
Photo: Hannes Schröder

Gerz: Quando ver é Lembrar - Article in Portuguese - Obvious Magazine February 2012