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Germans Propose Holocaust Memorial

A group of prominent Germans, including scholars and industrialists, have proposed erecting the first monument in Germany to the memory of Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

It would be located in the rebuilt heart of a united Berlin, on the site of the chancery from which Hitler ruled the Third Reich, according to the promoters, who outlined their plans in advertisements published Monday in leading newspapers of West and East Berlin.

The governing board of the group that sponsored the advertisements consists of Marcus Bierich of the Bosch Co.; Edzard Reuter, chief executive officer of Daimler-Benz; Professor Eberhard Jackel of Stuttgart, a historian; Peter Kirchner, leader of the East Berlin Jewish community; author Siegfried Lenz; and conductor Kurt Masur, who has been named to lead the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

The advertisement notes that nearly 50 years after more than 5 million Jews perished at the hands of the Nazis, no memorial to them has been erected to remind Germans of the most awful crime in their history.

The promoters propose that the memorial’s design be included in a contest now under way among architects for the best plan to rebuild the area. The site is in the very heart of Berlin, where the last remnants of the Berlin Wall will soon be demolished.

The group has pledged to raise funds for the project if it is approved by the politicians in Berlin and both Germanys. It has already received tax-exempt status from a West Berlin court.

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