Artist Alice Pasquini was contacted in 2017 by architect Ingeborg Schlimme of Viaverde to create artwork for a set of public memorials in Raunheim, Germany to honor three members of the White Rose. Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst all lost their lives at a young age fighting for what they thought was right during Nazi Germany. And in April 2018, she traveled to Raunheim to execute the work.
‘It was an honor for me to be asked to commemorate the courage of these young people, who peacefully fought against Nazism. The project was an important commission and a big responsibility, especially for the possibility to pass the story of Sophie, Hans, and Christoph to a new generation so that they may never be forgotten.
The murals are a contemporary way to attract the interest of young people on this important theme. The symbol of the white rose, the incorporation of their quotes, and details showing their eyes were chosen to communicate their interior strength, emotions, and determination.
Civil resistance is the only way to safeguard our liberty‘ she says.
Ingeborg Schlimme, the architect with viaverde who designed the project, offers this perspective:
“With the construction of disshaped and raw concrete walls framed in steel I wanted to show destruction, the misuse of power, even make it a physical experience. But in the end the freedom and force of life should overlay oppression. That’s why the soil starts to cover parts of the construction, plants grow in gaps and holes and regain space. The idea of having resistance whenever there is tyranny and the belive that in the end freedom will persist is shown in the plants used on all sites, belonging to ancient and widespread species.
But the main eyecatcher should always be the artwork representing the three young people who the sites are dedicated to. And this artwork should represent everything these three were standing and in the end dying for. Having their portraits on the walls implicates their strength, overlayering the static stuctures. The quote is to help to identify the person while passing by with the car. It should arouse interest to find out more about them.
I thought of Alice doing the artwork as soon as our agency was commissioned with the project. I knew her work for quite a bit of time and I was immediately fascinated by the emotional expression as well as the ambivalence of both of strength, hope, confidence and sadness, doubt, vulnerability. I always adored the vividness and individuality in her work as well. That’s why I thought she would be the best for it. Fortunately City officials and sponsor could have been convinced and luckily she was interested in this project immediately.”
And Raunheim mayor Thomas Juehe offers his thoughts as well,
“A few trees and flowers, one or the other rock, or the replica of the city coat of arms with the help of pansies, that way roundabouts are preferably designed in Germany.
This type of design is hardly tolerable and fail to recognise the special visibility and the high frequency of visits roundabouts are characterised by.
At the time of the Nazi regime in Germany, there were courageous, high-moral people who were willing to actively fight oppression, agitation, racial delusion and genocide. They committed their lives for justice, truth, freedom and humanity. Many of these courageous fighters fell into the hands of the Nazis, were humiliated, tortured, convicted and in many cases murdered without delay. They died as high traitors and yet were great personalities who should be a role model for humanity for all time.
Raunheim therefore does not want to give priority to the beauty of flowers and shrubs in these exposed places, Raunheim wants to place special emphasis on the beauty and greatness of human integrity.
These courageous people of resistance should be given what they might have wished for in their last thoughts before being murdered:
By visible remembrance we acknowledge their actions, which after the end of the Second World War have been an essential foundation for the emergence of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for Human rights in our country.
In Raunheim, the planning office viaverde, the company August Fichter and the artist Alice Pasquini made it possible to grant remembrance by means of dedicated artistic creativity.”