About the healing of the past. Awakened to life in the spirit of freedom.

The Memory of Peace Circle in the Garden of Freedom is dedicated to the inner peace of man. This is where peace begins. Then we bring peace out into the world.

This place makes a message of peace in the outer world touchable. From here one looks into the Rhine plain, where once the Jewish "Jerusalem on the Rhine" was.
Its message is the healing of the hurt root Jerusalem, an essential root of German culture.

In the outer development, the inner development is fixed: In the middle of the
Memory of Peace Circle you find the Turning Point for Life with the inscription "Chai", Hebrew for "Life". From this point of reference, the whole monument was constructed.

Garden of Freedom

Garden of Freedom in Bensheim, Germany

The Garden of Freedom in Bensheim, south of Frankfurt a. M., is a call for peace, freedom and new life. It consists of the 26 m large Memory of Peace Circle, symbolizing the inner path, the Border Stone by the European long-distance path No. 8 and two "angel wings", which form the sides. At the Border Stone suffering, both past and current, is addressed, pointing towards the Circle with the inscription „Where dust is turned to light”.

An Introduction - Here you will find an introduction to the project that is a solid foundation to interpret the website. It shows an overall view of the Garden of Freedom and an explanation of its individual components with short philosophical texts.

Memory of Peace Circle - for inner peace

The Tree of Life within the Memory of Peace Circle

The Memory of Peace Circle is situated in the middle of the Garden of Freedom. When rounding the memorial's circle, you arrive at the same spot again and again. You circle around yourself until you finally stop and walk in the inner into the Tree of Life. For that, you have to walk over the two encircling steps, the Threshold of Humility with the inscription „Recognize the Holy in your midst”. In the picture you look straight on the Tree of Life as a relief in a circle.

Eleven large stones in the "dark ring" symbolize the blockades and entanglements that stand on man's way to himself between him and his freedom. Unfree people are identified with their entanglements and this is exactly the reason, why the world can be in a state as it is today. The liberation from the entanglements is symbolized by the Tree of Life within the Memory of Peace Circle.

The 12th stone stands outside the memorial circle next to the European long-distance path. It represents a responsibility for freedom and peace in the external world. It is „…a call full of love for the freedom of man” (inscription).

Memory of Peace Circle - A detailed description of its symbolism is provided here.

Border Stone - confronting a raw side

The dark and rough side of the Border Stone

This is 12th stone, the Border Stone. We look at the past, remember who we truly are, and confront the present. Life happens in the present: Where do we experience war and restriction instead of peace and freedom today, in our own lives? Where can we assume responsibility for a more beautiful world? Where does our responsibility begin? A threshold of slate underneath the Border Stone refers to the Memory of Peace Circle located to the right of it, with the inscription „Where dust is turned to light”.  It shows visitors the way to the path inwards. It signifies an inner peace that can be found in oneself, which one will carry outwards into the world.

Local Past - The 12 years of Nazi rule, a collapse of civilization in the end, is a wake up call for a life in freedom; beyond the borders of an ideological prison.

Jerusalem Border Stone - the shaped side for outer peace

Bright side of the Jeruslem Border Stone

Inscription: „Yerushalayim - A call full of love for freedom for man. That we succeed in overcoming the inner fences in our dealings with one another and do not seek to find our inner stability behind fences of ideology.”  YERUSHALAYIM –  the root Jerusalem, reaches beyond Christianity into the origins of Judaism. It is a root of our European culture, that has been deeply wounded. Behind the Border Stone there is a fence on the other side of the path. Its symbolic meaning is: healthy boundaries.

We do not set walls between us humans and we do not tear down any fences. Rather, we are aware of the fences and recognize the light and beauty they protect. Freedom does not mean "No nation, no border". Freedom comes from within: we are aware of the inner "ideological fences" that separate us from each other; and from the truth and the life.

Border Stone - Here you will find a detailed reflection on the two sides of the large stone from Odenwald quartz: the raw side with the suffering and the burden of the past and the shaped, civilized side with "Yerushalayim" as a root of our culture  and with reference to the "heavenly Jerusalem", a symbol of freedom and a hope for peace in the world.

The Rose of Shalom - for a living heart

The Rose of Shalom within the Memory of Peace Circle

The Rose of Shalom is a sign for Shalom, which means harmony, salvation, wealth, and peace. The Jewish poet Nelly Sachs described Shalom as „a butterfly zone of dreams“. Shalom begins in one's own soul. The Rose of Shalom consists of the flower of a „White Rose“ with a star resting on it: A living heart!  The hexagonal star symbolizes the connection between "Heaven" and "Earth", between spirit and matter. The Rose is located in the center of the Tree of Life within the Memory of Peace Circle: man can connect "heaven" and "earth" inside himself, similar to a tree.

Jerusalem on the Rhine - a Jewish past

View from the Memory of Peace Circle on Jerusalem on the Rhine

View into the Rhine Plane, where once was "Jerusalem on the Rhine". If you look from the Rose of Shalom to the west, between the two hills, the silhouette of the city of Worms can be seen with its large cathedral on the horizon. Worms was in the high Middle Ages, the geographically middle of the three SchUM cities Speyer, Worms and Mainz. Because of their vital importance for the Jewish congregations in Central Europe, they are considered the birthplace of the Ashkenazi Jewish culture.

Jerusalem on the Rhein - From the Rose of Shalom in the center of the Garden of Freedom you can look into the Rhine Plain. Between the two hills just in the middle of the notch there in the linear distance of 22 km is the city of Worms.

This place offers you an inspiration to incorporate into your daily life. There is a sole objective:  Peace and Shalom

Continue to the next chapter:  Introduction
For navigation of main chapters click on the round menu icon at the top.
  © Text and image, Friedensmal Wendepunkt, 2018