Central Council of German Sinti and Roma Mourns the Death of Dani Karavan, Political Artist of Remembrance, Commemoration and Peace

Dani Karavan at the inauguration of the Memorial to Roma Holocaust Victims 24.10.2012 in Berlin. With Chancellor Angela Merkel and the chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, Romani Rose © Central Council of German Sinti and Roma

Dani Karavan dealt with the Holocaust throughout his life. “In our many meetings in Berlin this was rarely the main topic, but his commitment to human rights, his installation “Basic Law 1949” on the Jakob-Kaiser-Haus of the Bundestag in Berlin or the “Street of Human Rights” in Nuremberg are consequences of his biography,” says Rose about his conversations with Dani Karavan.

“This is also why Dani Karavan supported a common memorial for all Nazi victims in Berlin. Against this background, it was important for the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma that Dani Karavan would receive the direct commission from the Federal Government for the Memorial for the Sinti and Roma of Europe murdered under National Socialism.  We Sinti and Roma are very proud that our monument is associated with the name of this great artist.”

Dani Karavan died on May 29 at the age of 90 in Tel Aviv. Among the many works of art worldwide he also created the Memorial for the Sinti and Roma of Europe murdered under National Socialism that commemorates the Holocaust and is located next to the Reichstag building in Berlin. Until a few weeks ago he was personally involved in the protection of the monument. In the discussions with Dani Karavan it became clear that for him and for the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma the memorial 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 a place of remembrance of the crimes of the Holocaust, to which more than 500,000 Sinti and Roma fell victim. 

“The protection and preservation of the memorial for the Sinti and Roma of Europe murdered under National Socialism is our top priority.  We have brought together here our bond from our common history, the common fate shared by Jews, Sinti and Roma. As an artist the one, and as a civil rights activist and politician the other.  The location of the monument with the Black Water Basin in the center must not be questioned, it must be protected in the spirit of remembrance, the dignity of the place and in the historical responsibility”. Dani Karavan and Romani Rose made this joint statement after a detailed discussion already on July 10, 2020.

When, following the decision of the Federal Government, Dani Karavan in 1992 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, he created a total work of art embedded in the urban landscape, with the black water basin in the center. A daily renewed wildflower stands for the memory of the countless murdered people. 

Dani Karavan was also involved in the design of the expansion of the memorial, which is currently being realized, to include an information exhibition and has integrated this into the concept of the memorial.