The artist Elke Härtel designed the memorial ensemble “Für Euch” (“For you”). Her design was realized as part of an invited art competition by the city of Munich and in close consultation with the relatives of the victims. “Für Euch” consists of a stainless steel ring that wraps around a ginkgo tree on a green area and sinks into the ground over a width of more than three meters. The connecting form of a ring and the ginkgo as a tree of life and medicinal plant stand as an ensemble for the connection with the dead who were rooted here. “The work of art ‘Für Euch’ stands for connectedness, community, infinity and eternity. I chose the shape of a ring because it symbolizes these values,” says artist Elke Härtel. The ring bears the names and portraits of the nine victims.
Initially, the act was described in public and on the inscription on the artwork as a killing spree. Despite numerous tips, the Bavarian security authorities did not initially classify the murders as a racially motivated crime. Only after several years of discussion and the intervention of the City of Munich was the official assessment changed accordingly.
“On the first anniversary of the terrible act, we handed over the work of art ‘Für Euch’ to the public. It had been developed in close consultation with the family during the first months of their grief. That demanded a lot from them and at the same time corresponded to their and our desire for a lasting collective memory of the victims. The clear political classification of the murders as a racist attack is another important step for all of us. Because we are all called upon to actively position ourselves against right-wing extremist ideas and contempt for human beings!” said Mayor Dieter Reiter.
The inscription on the artwork reads: “In Erinnerung an alle Opfer des rassistischen Attentats vom 22.7.2016” (“In memory of all victims of the racist attack on July 22, 2016”).
Elke Härtel, born in 1978 in Erding, lives and works in Munich.