To forget is to kill! The victims of Srebrenica may only be one people with one religion but they stand for one huge betrayal of humankind. The Pillars of Shame will be a metaphor for the betrayal inflicted upon them by the United Nations and a constant warning to anyone who might work for the UN in the future.
The Plan: build two 8-meters tall bright white letters consisting of 16,744 shoes (representing 8,372 victims). The letters (»U« and »N«) will be scarred by three huge bullet holes filled with 200 shoes taken from mass graves in East Bosnia: an unforgettable monument to the oblivion of Europe’s nights of shame. At the same time, it will serve as a weapon for the media showing the enormous guilt of the Srebrenica genocide that the UN bears.
Forensic recovery work in a mass grave at Srebrenica.
16,744 shoes will be cast into white concrete and integrated into the steel structure.
The holes will be filled with 200 shoes taken from mass graves.
The sculpture is a response to the absence of decency shown to the surviving relatives.
The sculpture’s location and those (Western) politicians and generals whose names will be tainted by the memorial will be chosen by the survivors themselves.
In a record time of only 40 minutes, more shoes were collected than were needed. Every single pair of shoes not only represents a victim but also the determination of someone alive today to finally hold the United Nations accountable.
What is left of 8,372 killed individuals? An image that travelled around the globe: the Mountain of Sorrow. The material that would be used for the Pillars of Shame was piled up in front of the Brandenburg Gate: Photo of the day in many international newspapers together with reports on the UN’s role in the Srebrenica genocide.
16,744 shoes were collected from across the world in order to commemorate the 8,372 victims. Ten thousand people donated their shoes for a cause directed against the United Nations, amongst them the Ambassador of Bosnia Herzegovina to the UN, 150 celebrities such as football player Emir Spahic, director Jasmila Zbanic and Head of the Berlinale Film Festival Dieter Kosslick as well as entire nursery schools (see below).
Björn Höcke has praised the Center for Political Beauty as a »terrorist group«. Get close to the action and become an accomplice to a terrorist organization so far sadly recognized only by Höcke, Erdogan, and the Free State of Thuringia! As an accomplice you will make an invaluable contribution to inciting public unrest in the service of aggressive humanism. Nowhere else will you receive more unrest and dissent for every donated Euro.
Thousands of people responded to our call to slip messages directed at the UN and German society into the shoes: Shoes as a modern form of messages in a bottle. The huge amount of messages is still waiting to be digitalised.
FAZ Mahnmal für Srebrenica – Die Witwen klagen an
Al Jazeera Srebrenica’s lessons for the United Nations
Associated Press Memorial of 16,000 shoes blames UN for not preventing genocide
Berliner Zeitung Ein Mahnmal der Schande
evangelisch.de Srebrenica: »Das moralische Grab Europas«
Berliner Morgenpost 16.744 Schuhe erinnern an Genozid in Srebrenica
Berliner Zeitung Die Schuhe der Opfer
Spiegel Online 40.000 gedenken der Opfer von Srebrenica
Tagesschau (20 Uhr) Schuhberg für Srebrenica in Berlin
Süddeutsche Zeitung 16.000 Schuhe in Berlin
Spiegelfechter Offener Brief an den UN-Generalsekretär (Ruch)
20 Minuten Tausende gedenken Srebrenica
Neues Deutschland Vom Versagen der Vereinten Nationen
Reuters Gedenken an Srebrenica
The Guardian What stands in the way of Bosnia reconciliation
Deutsche Welle The Pillar of Shame
Today's Zaman Monument to ensure Bosnian genocide is not forgotten
Le Nouvel Observateur Il y a 15 ans, Srebrenica
Olivera Simić 'Pillar of Shame': Civil Society, UN Accountability and Genocide in Srebrenica, in: Transitional Justice and Civil Society in the Balkans, Olivera Simić, Zala Volčič (ed.), Springer, New York 2013. (order here)
All available online-articles of the Bosnian coverage