Here we have compiled answers to frequently asked questions about the Unity and Freedom Monument in Leipzig and to the finding process:
Who is still talking about the Peaceful Revolution nowadays?
Democratic movements from all over the world refer to the Peaceful Revolution, and its turning point: the Leipzig Monday Demonstration on October 9, 1989. The Peaceful Revolution is an essential part of the Federal Republic's democratic tradition and, as the first successful anti-dictatorial and above all non-violent uprising, is one of the special events in our history of which all Germans can be proud.
However, freedom, democracy and civil rights cannot be taken for granted, neither today nor in the future. They have to be fought for repeatedly and continuously.
Why a monument to the Peaceful Revolution?
A successful Freedom and Unity Monument in Leipzig can give future generations an impetus and a point of reference to continue or renew their commitment to freedom, democracy and civil rights in a united Germany.
A monument can keep the slogans of the Peaceful Revolution: "No Violence", "We are the People", "Swords to Ploughshares" and "Open to All" alive in the present.
Who wants the monument?
On one hand, the wish for a monument is expressed in two valid resolutions of the Bundestag (from 04/12/2008 and from 01/06/2017) as well as in the current coalition agreement of the federal government and in a resolution of the Leipzig City Council.
On the other hand, a representative survey also shows: 80% of all citizens in Leipzig and 70% of German citizens are in favor of a monument to unity and freedom in Leipzig.
Why another monument?
It is true that there are already St Nicholas' Column, Bell of Democracy and other monuments in Leipzig dedicated to the events of autumn 1989 and the Peaceful Revolution. What is missing, however, is a common monument with an overarching perspective that stands for all those involved in the Peaceful Revolution and their appreciation by German society and its state.
It will be a monument that gives the non-violent resistance of the fall of 1989 in Leipzig its own face and emphasizes the importance of democracy and civil courage.
Why in Leipzig
The Peaceful Revolution took place in the midst of favorable political processes in Europe and had a large number of participants. But there was only one decisive moment: the Monday demonstration in Leipzig on October 9, 1989, which proved to be the turning point of the developments to follow.
Why did the first attempt fail?
A first attempt to realize a Freedom and Unity Monument in Leipzig ended without conclusive result in 2014.
Lack of transparency and citizen participation were the main reasons among others why no monument emerged from the monument process in 2014.
Who is currently involved in the open developmental process for the monument?
- The Leipzig City Council
- Foundation Peaceful Revolution
- The citizens of Leipzig and the Federal Republic of Germany
- The Leipzig Freedom and Unity Monument Monitoring Committee
- The Expert Council for Location
- The Citizens' Council for Location
- The Expert Council for Competition
What is Leipzigs’ role in this?
In 2021, the Leipzig City Council commissioned the Lord Mayor to design a broad participation process for a Freedom and Unity Monument for the second time.
As a consequence of these resolutions, Leipzig City Council has commissioned the Peaceful Revolution Foundation to develop a concept for a development process of the monument.
At the end of a process stage, such as the search for a site or the competition procedure, Leipzig City Council deliberates and subsequently decides on the proposals developed.
What is the task of the Foundation Peaceful Revolution ?
As a representative of Leipzig's civil society, the Peaceful Revolution Foundation has been commissioned by Leipzig's city council to moderate and accompany the public participation process leading to the monument.
The goal is to initiate a discussion process about the memorial within civil society of the city, the state and the federal government that is open and accessible to all: supporters and critics alike.
How does the finding process work?
The process will include the following steps:
- Dialogue with the citizens of Leipzig and the Federal Republic of Germany on the contents of the monument, during the length of the process.
- Locationsearch by a citizens' council* in a closed meeting, based on the recommendations of an expert council **
- Drafting of a Competition. procedure for the design of the monument, prepared by an expert council***..
- Leipzig City Council deliberates and makes final decisions on the proposals developed during the participation process.
For results: see Competition and Location
How are citizens involved in the process?
Public participation takes place on several levels:
- A broad and open dialogue is to be conducted with as many people as possible in Leipzig and Germany about the contents and values for which the monument will stand.
– In the selection of the monument's location, 35 of 40 randomly selected, statistically representative citizens of Leipzig represented the population as a citizens' council.
– All citizens can and should comment directly on all planned steps and the results achieved - during public discussions as well as via the contact form on this website.
Who will pay for the monument?
The political decision for a monument in Leipzig was made by the German Bundestag in December 2008, which takes financial responsibility for it. The costs are financed by federal and state funds.
The size of the budget cannot be predicted yet, as neither the location nor the shape have been determined at this point in time. The sum mentioned, which was allocated to the monument process during the first attempt, is therefore not applicable.
Would the money for the monument and process not be better spent elsewhere, for example in education?
Freedom and democracy as civil rights do not conflict with basic human rights such as the right to education; rather, these rights are mutually dependent and form a whole. Together with human rights, civil rights form the basic rights under the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.
A monument to the values of the Peaceful Revolution would also stand for the right to education.
What will the monument look like?
Monuments commemorating actors or events traditionally tend to be larger sculptural representations such as statues, monuments, or memorials. Monuments can also be works of art or art installations. Similarly, a planted tree or garden can be a monument, or an internet platform in a virtual space.
The form, message and artistic design of a future Freedom and Unity Monument in Leipzig have not yet been decided.
- An artistic competition will be held for the shape of the monument. The jury that will select the competition design will be determined by spring 2023.
- You too can have your say in the participation process on the contents and values for which the monument is to stand.
When will the Freedom and Unity Monument in Leipzig be built?
The monument process is not yet completed, but currently the construction start is scheduled for spring 2025.