30 October 2001 marked the beginning of construction work on the Memorial site. Over two years of intensive planning and preparation initiated by the German Bundestag’s resolution concerning the establishment of a Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe have thus now reached the realisation phase. On a visit to the construction site, Bundestag President Thiese expressed his delight to the assembled journalists that this important step had been taken and that the Memorial would now begin to take on a concrete form. Construction of the Memorial and Information Centre is to be completed in the course of 2004.
The initial phase of building will involve the cleaning of the site and the removal of the remnants of earlier construction. The site will also be carefully checked for any discarded munitions, which would be particularly hazardous for excavation in the south-eastern section of the Memorial site, where the underground Information Centre is to be located. With the end of the winter frost, excavation of the area forming the Field of Steles will commence, and the concrete forming the external walls of the Information Centre will be poured.
The choice and production of the steles and their foundations will be particularly significant for the final form of the Memorial and its visual impact, and the highest standards must be adhered to in order to do justice to the formal requirements of the Eisenman design. November 2001 will see the production of further stele models in preparation for the awarding of the major commission to construct the 2700 steles.
While construction of the Field of Steles is proceeding, the Foundation will be working intensively on the design requirements of the Information Centre in regard to both structure and content. To this end, an international symposium will take place in Berlin from the 1st to the 3rd of November at which experts will discuss the realisation of the project in terms of historical, curatorial- educational and art-historical perspectives