We mourn the loss of Dani Karavan, the political artist of memory, commemoration and peace. He died on May 29, 2021 in Tel Aviv.
Dani Karavan grappled with the Holocaust throughout his life:
‘In our many meetings in Berlin, this was rarely the subject directly, but his commitment to human rights, his installation ‘Grundgesetz 1949’ at the Bundestag building Jakob-Kaiser-Haus in Berlin or the ‘Street of Human Rights’ in Nuremberg are a result of his biography. This is another reason why Dani Karavan was in favor of a common memorial for all Nazi victims in Berlin. With this background, it was important for the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma that Dani Karavan then received the direct commission for the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe murdered under National Socialism from the Federal Government. We Sinti and Roma are proud that our memorial is associated with the name of this great artist.’Romani Rose
Dani Karavan, who, among many works of art worldwide, also created the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under National Socialism, which commemorates the Holocaust and is located next to the Reichstag building in Berlin, died in Tel Aviv on May 29 at the age of 90. Until a few weeks ago, Dani Karavan was personally involved in protecting the memorial. In the discussions with Dani Karavan it became clear that for him and for the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma the monument has the highest moral and political significance. The memorial is a central place of remembrance for Sinti and Roma in Germany and in Europe, and at the same time it is a place of remembrance for the crimes of the Holocaust, to which more than 500,000 Sinti and Roma fell victim.
‘The protection and preservation of the memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe murdered under National Socialism is our first priority. We have brought together our bond drawn from our common history, our common fate as Jews, Sinti and Roma here, as an artist the one, and as a civil rights activist and politician the other. The place where the monument with the black water basin in the center is located must not be compromised, it must be protected for the sake of remembrance, the dignity of the place and as a historical responsibility.’Statement of Dani Karavan and Romani Rose on July 10, 2020 after an extensive conversation.
When Dani Karavan was asked by the chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, Romani Rose, to design the memorial for the Sinti and Roma of Europe murdered under National Socialism after the decision of the German government in 1992, he designed a comprehensive work of art for it, embedded in the urban landscape, with the black water basin in the center. A daily replaced wildflower stands for the remembrance of the countless murdered people. Dani Karavan was also involved in the design of the expansion of the memorial to include an information exhibition, which is currently being realized, and integrated it into the concept of the memorial.