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Monument to the International Victims of Nazism

Graz, Austria
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In Graz, Austria, the architect was faced with a challenging fact: placing a monument of international significance in the heart of the city cemetery, whose diversity of intimate memorials and their stories makes it difficult to accommodate a larger ambient with the solemn atmosphere of a different, communal reverence. Consequently, he defined the space of the monument with a slightly raised platform supporting the central device - a granite arch symbolically connecting the victims belonging to the different nations. Their names are engraved on the arch's bottom surface while the upper surface is formed by steps leading to a large bronzed urn on its crown. There is a secondary element of the monument's composition engaging the wider space - the obelisk with inscriptions about the purpose of the monument in multiple languages. The suggestive power of the design is emphasised by its size in the sense of the dimension of its simple elements, as well as the material: Pohorje tonalite cut in large dimensions. To serve as a screen separating the monument from the thematically disparate background of individual graves and their small scale, the architect planted columnar poplars very close together. With their ethereal character, they play an important role in the composition as a whole, representing an active counterpoint to the monumental role of the monument's stone elements. Their colourful accompaniment to the annual circle of life acts as a lighter and sprightlier complement to the more embittered engagement of the dark stone. The monument is also technically interesting: the markedly thin and elegant long-span arch is composed only of precise-cut segments of granite with two bundles of steel ties in minimal concrete wrapping passed through two parallel longitudinal bores securing them in their positions.