Memorial to the Victims of Totalitarianism, Brussels, Belgium


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Competition entry in the open international competition.

It’s been estimated 120 million human beings fell victims to Communism, National Socialism and Fascism worldwide.

The concept of the memorial has been derived from the ancient tradition of mass burial grounds manifested by Burial Mound - Kurhan (Kurgan) that is commonly found in Indo European area. It was regarded as a Sacred Hill and recognized as a significant landmark in the vast landscapes.

The 400 stone Columns of Remembrance emerge from and follow the form of abstracted Urban Kurhan. Each Column represents 300,000 victims, visually giving the sense of unimaginable number of victims.

Passages of Remembrance that cut through the Memorial enable pedestrians to cross the Place Jean Rey in both diagonal directions and to interact intimately with the Memorial. Passages recall funeral paths found in ancient Kurhans. The intersection of Passages creates space flanked by 4 tallest Columns. On top of the South West Column we propose a symbolic eternal flame (reflection of fire pit in ancient Kurhans). Three remaining Columns will have a water source at the top creating slow sheet flow down each of the Columns (Weeping Columns of Remembrance).

The Column with the eternal flame will cast shadow every 23rd of August at 12:00 PM Brussels time over stainless-steel inscription embedded in the center of walkway to commemorate Black Ribbon Day, Day of Remembrance for the victims of Stalinism and Nazism.

  • team Voytek Gorczynski, Andrzej Pawlik, Janusz Kapusta
  • client The Platform of European Memory and Conscience
  • cg FAMA