I built this in one day for my history class at school. The assignment was to construct a memorial, so I chose to memorialize those who lost their lives crossing the inner-german border separating Western Germany and the DDR from 1949 to 1989. Officially, around 870 people died in attempted border crossings, though some estimates go as high as 1,300. The trapped dove invokes a failed border crossing, and is also representative of those who were separated from family by German separation. The dove is a symbol of peace, but the dove in this memorial is injured to show that the peace existing between East and West Germany at the time was tainted by the violence at the border. The border was outfitted in many places with barbed wire fencing or electric fencing, mine fields, and watchtowers manned by soldiers with orders to shoot on sight, affording the stretch of land immediately to the east of the fence the nickname of Todesstreifen – "death stripe".
The sculpture aims not to glorify, nor to spark in the viewer feelings of pain or anguish, but to elicit a sense of sadness at the unnecessary loss of life as well as quiet respect for the courage of the border’s victims, who were willing to risk their lives in pursuit of freedom.
Needless to say, the build broke both on the way to school and on the way back, but I was able to reconstruct it both times. My apologies for the terrible picture – white and black are a pain to photograph, and black backgrounds are an even greater pain to edit, especially with a dynamic build like this.
Let me know if you think the blood warrants a parental warning. I've seen worse go without one, but just in case.
Wow man. Great work. My family is from eastern Germany and lived in East Germany at that time. My great uncle was actually shot attempting to cross the border, though I believe he survived to tell the tale from what my parents tell me. Never met him, sadly. Anyways a very meaningful build and message.
This is, fantastic. Both the build itself and the reason why it was built. (The reason being memorializing the tragic event... the event it's memorializing is not fantastic) I especially like the way the barbed wire coils and the method of attaching the wings. Keep up the good work.
Beautifully built and very touching. My family is from Germany, so I know well the hardships and sufferings of that time firsthand from my grandparents (Opa and Oma). I applaud you on your choice and presentation. Sehr gut und vielen Dank.
This is simply incredible. The message coming from this is so real, and I've never before seen a build like this to symbolise our freedom. Well done, my friend, and I hope to see even better things from you!