Events in the context of the conversion project
A New Place of Remembrance to be Established at the Original Site of the Tragedy
A way is being paved for the creation of a new place of remembrance at the Old Tower: At a symposium organized by the administrative district office, researchers and representatives from politics and society discussed the plans to erect a memorial for the victims of the Munich Massacre of 1972 at the air base site. It became apparent that the site was not only to become a place of remembrance but also one of meeting and learning.
The almost 200 participants were welcomed to the officers’ quarters with a projection showing two burned-out helicopters as viewed from the Old Tower. In a failed rescue attempt, nine athletes from Israel and a German police officer were killed at the airfield. On 5th September 1972, the athletes had been taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists in the Olympic Village.
Since 1997, the district of Fürstenfeldbruck has organized memorial services at the gates of the air base. Closing the air base by 2019, however, offers the chance to erect a memorial at the very location of the tragedy. What it could look like was the topic of the meeting held on 25th September. Thomas Karmasin, head of district, brought to mind the central memorial service to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the massacre when relatives from Israel visited the original site of the tragedy for the first time. At that time, Minister-President, Horst Seehofer, assured that the Free State of Bavaria would support the establishment of a worthy place of remembrance.
Charlotte Knobloch, President of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, emphasized that the more time that passed, the more important it became to remember. She stated how it was a central task to explain to young people that there was a connection between their lives and the past and that young people should be involved as early as in the planning stage. “They are the future.” In addition, it was vital for her to put the events into a context. Dan Shaham, Consulate General of the State of Israel in Southern Germany, expressed his desire for a place of meeting and reflection promoting tolerance and co-existence, a place for learning and teaching.
Bavarian Minister of Science Ludwig Spaenle, pointed out that at a memorial service in Tel Aviv he felt the deep scars the dreadful event has left and that he was to make an effort to get that project off the ground. Historian Angelika Schuster-Fox, who is supervising the project on the site, emphasized that the district was in no position to bear the enormous costs involved in the establishment of such a site. In addition, she said that the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) would also close the Old Tower and the runway as early as by the end of the year making planning an increasingly urgent matter.
Ferdinand Kramer of the Institute for Bavarian History of the Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich brought up the subject of possible exhibition contents. He suggested presenting topics such as key figures and victims, sports in transition, the international position of the Federal Republic of Germany or the Middle East conflict. He is of the opinion that it should also be discussed how to deal with the perpetrators. Based on a number of examples, Sonja-Maria Herzl-Förster and Marie-Luise Kreilinger of Dokumentation Obersalzberg (Documentation Obersalzberg) presented the museum’s educational work and educational program. According to them, that was the only way to appeal to a broad audience while keeping alive such a memorial site.
Birgitta Klemenz, historian and cultural adviser of Fürstenfeldbruck, supported a clear separation of the documentation center and the memorial site. She suggested there could be a presentation of the events in the Old Tower, whereas the runway should become a place to commemorate the victims with dignity.
Martin Kornacher, head of the municipal planning and building control office, pointed out urban development and monument conservation aspects from a Fürstenfeldbruck town administration point of view. He explained that a new part of town was going to be created at the air base site after the complete withdrawal of the Bundeswehr and that the Tower and the runway were going to be located within a residential and business area. According to Mr. Kornacher, the memorial site should be integrated without being perceived as an obstruction. For him it is important that an area of about 20,000 square meters around the Old Tower should be kept undeveloped for establishing the memorial site. According to the expert, this is the largest connected open space in the district. It is vital to link the area to the road network. In order to avoid the area being used privately, the municipality could imagine designating it as a “special memorial site area”. He suggested that initiating a competition which was also open to submission from Israeli representatives could provide strong architectural concepts.
Architect Ferdinand Krissmayr prepared an expert opinion for the Old Tower which had been built from 1936 onwards. According to it, the building has undergone fundamental changes since 1972. It explains that the flight control center construction was dissembled, the windows renewed and the lettering “Fürstenfeldbruck” removed. What remains is an average functional building. “Its state as of 1972 would be of central importance for the memorial site” Krissmayr emphasized. He does, however, think that realizing a memorial site there would be possible.
Jörg Skriebeleit, director of Flossenbürg concentration camp memorial site, referred to it as a crime site emphasizing the importance of the Old Tower’s exterior. He explained how it was these very images that have stuck in the memories of many people. However, he advised against reconstruction. With a view to documentation, he suggested to focus on the essentials. Curator Piritta Kleiner presented the exhibition contents for the new memorial site to be established in Munich. It became clear that many possible topics are already covered there.
Fürstenfeldbruck Town Hall to Host Exhibition on Conversions
Taking up “Quarters in Munich”
From December 2014 to the end of January 2015, the traveling exhibition “Taking up Quarters in Munich” is on display at Fürstenfeldbruck town hall at Hauptstraße 31.
This exhibition focuses on former military territory that has been converted within the city limits of Munich since the beginning of the 1990s. Presenting a number of short profiles of converted barracks areas, the exhibition illustrates how military sites can be developed into vibrant residential quarters. In this context, different planning approaches and different ways and means were chosen as well as different results were achieved. With the help of selected examples, visitors can also learn about the complex spectrum of tasks to be tackled and the opportunities a conversion can offer in terms of urban development.
The approaches taken and results achieved in Munich cannot be copied and applied to Fürstenfeldbruck as they are. The overall conditions as well as the pursued targets and implementation strategies are different. That is why appropriate tools, targets and strategies need to be developed for each municipality and each conversion area individually.
Information on the status quo, the problems and risks, the potentials and fields of action in Fürstenfeldbruck are also presented.Rollups to view
First Public Information Event about the Air Base Conversion on 4th March 2013
Opening address by Mayor Mr. Kellerer
Presentations by the parties involved in the conversion process
- Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) as the present user of the property (Colonel Scheibl)
Conversion from the Bundeswehr perspective
- BImA (Institute for Federal Real Estate) as the owner of the property (Mr. Hans-Peter Fehr)
Role and interests of the BlmA
- Stadt Fürstenfeldbruck (Fürstenfeldbruck town administration) as the municipal planning authority (Mr. Kornacher, head of the municipal planning and building control office)
Planning and decision-making processes, targets
- Professor Mark Michaeli, TU München (Technical University of Munich)
Preparatory studies, presentation of fundamentals and short analysis
Ideas and questions brought forward by citizens