A memorial to the victims of National Socialism is to be built in Bern. The Federal Council took this decision on 26 April 2023, considering it of great importance to keep alive the memory of the consequences of National Socialism, namely the Holocaust and the fate of the six million Jews and all other victims of the National Socialist regime.
The FDFA signed a cooperation agreement with the City of Bern on 16 February 2024 to prepare for the erection of the memorial. "We have an individual and collective responsibility to stand up against antisemitism and all forms of racism, hatred and violence," said Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis. The head of the FDFA thanked the City of Bern and the mayor of Bern, Alec von Graffenried, who had signed the agreement in advance. "I look forward to continuing to work with the City of Bern on this project which is important for the whole of Switzerland."
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis signs the cooperation agreement with the City of Bern. © FDFA
The cooperation agreement sets out the next steps leading to the erection of a memorial in Bern: first, consultations will be held and clarifications undertaken in order to define the parameters of a public call for tender. Project proposals for the memorial may then be submitted, from which the winning project will be selected. The process will be managed by a political and a technical committee.
In erecting this memorial, the Confederation, together with the city of Bern, is creating a strong symbol against genocide, antisemitism and racism, and for democracy, the rule of law, freedom and basic individual rights. The memorial is also intended to promote discussion and debate and to have an impact beyond the country's borders.
In addition, consideration will be given to how best to support a national network of memorial sites relating to the victims of National Socialism, based on a project for a cross-border mediation and networking site by the Canton of St Gallen.
Federal Council press release of 26.04.2023