In Germany today, all Nazi paraphenalia as well as Hitler's writings are banned. In Berlin, police with machine guns vigilantly guard Jewish premises such as the one Jewish school --it would be embarrassing if terrorists managed to make a successful attack on a synagogue or Jewish bookstore in the German capital. But terrorists are not the only people who can spread the embarrassment on the subject of Jews. There is a type of breast-beating German do-gooder who makes other Germans--and the rest of the world-- cringe. Lea Rosh is one of these Germans who, despite their seemingly good intentions, spread a mistaken message about Germany and its memory. Other germans rarely speak up in fear of appearing anti-Semitic. In this instance though, with the Berlin holocaust memorial, many Germans, including Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a rather cartoonish figure in politics, had the good sense to speak.
Everything about Rosh is a little over the top, from her big hair and booming voice to her big ideas to her big tombstone of a memorial, everything is excessive. A former talkshow host, Rosh created the documentary Der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland (Death is the Master in Germany) with Eberhard Jackel. The memorial was her idea, and she makes that clear. As she says, "It's not for the Jews; it's for the Germans."
Christine Jackob-Marks and Simon Ungers were named the first prize winners of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial Competition. Later, Jackob-Marks' design was chosen as the grand prize winner. At the public exhibition of all the designs in Berlin, the Bus Stop Proposal of Frieder Schnock and Renata Stih was the clear crowd favorite, as well as the favorite of many critics and intellectuals.
Some of the other designs include yellow flowers in the shape of the Star of David, a hexagonal silo to symbolically hold the blood of the 6 million victims, an enclosed structure shaped like Europe with 12 million eyeholes for the 6 million victims, a ferris wheel with Auschwitz cattle cars instead of the normal baskets, and a 40-ton block of steel placed in a tub of salt water that would dissolve over the next 40,000 years. All were to be placed in the middle of Berlin, near the Reichstag parliament building and the Brandenburg Gate.