The Bundeswehr Memorial
The Bundeswehr Memorial is the central memorial for the Bundeswehr’s dead. It is located on the premises of the Federal Ministry of Defence in Berlin. The Memorial is dedicated to the some 3,200 Bundeswehr members who lost their lives in the line of duty. Its foundation stone was laid on 27 November 2008 and it was inaugurated on 8 September 2009.
The Bundeswehr Memorial – an overview
The Memorial is located at the edge of the Bendlerblock complex, the Berlin seat of the Federal Ministry of Defence. The large sliding walls allow it to be opened either to the road (Hildebrandstrasse) or to the parade ground of the Federal Ministry of Defence. The Bundeswehr Memorial is publicly accessible from the Hildebrandstrasse side when no events are taking place on the parade ground.
The Memorial is made of reinforced concrete and encased in a bronze shell. The bronze shell is perforated. The holes are reminiscent of the identity discs by which deceased soldiers can be identified.
The room of silence
Inside the Bundeswehr Memorial is a room of silence. Sunlight enters this plain black space through a skylight. Flowers and mementos can be placed on a polished floor panel that is raised at an angle.
The names of the some 3,200 military and civilian members of the Bundeswehr who have lost their lives in the line of duty since the establishment of the Bundeswehr are projected onto a wall. The inscription in relief – “In memory of those in our Bundeswehr who died for peace, justice and freedom” – reminds the viewer to whom the Memorial is dedicated.
The Book of Remembrance
The Book of Remembrance is on the outside of the memorial. The names of the deceased are engraved in twenty bronze plates. Pedestrians who pass the Bundeswehr Memorial on Hildebrandstrasse can linger here for a moment of contemplation. The Book of Remembrance was inaugurated on 8 May 2014.
The information centre
The information centre opened on 11 June 2018 as the last element of the Bundeswehr Memorial to date. The architecture, symbolism and significance are explained in 120 square metres. Furthermore, there is information about the past and the present of the Bundeswehr. In the adjacent courtyard, a hornbeam symbolises steadfastness and trust in the future. Like the rest of the Memorial, the information centre is publicly accessible from Hildebrandstrasse.
Images: The Bundeswehr Memorial
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On weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., the Bundeswehr Memorial is publicly accessible from the road (Hildebrandstrasse). On Thursdays, the Memorial closes at 8:00 p.m. On weekends, the Memorial can be visited between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Group tours of the Bundeswehr Memorial are also available. Registration by phone is required. Tours are offered from Mondays to Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and on Fridays between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.