The monument was created in 1988-1991 to commemorate the victims of the Nazi regime in Austria(1938-45) and those killed in the air raids of the 2nd World War .
Some of these powerful sculptures by Alfred Hrdlicka comprise the memorial.
The split monument features the gates to a concentration camp, and made from granite cut from the Mauthausen Concentration camp. It is better known as" The Gates of Violence ", a symbolic reminder of war against terror with carved figures including chained slave labourers and a dying woman giving birth to a soldier.
This sad depiction features a bronze sculpture of an elderly Jewish man, on his hands and knees, scrubbing anti-Nazi slogans from the street surface with a toothbrush.
A piece of barbed wire, placed across the sculpture, is not meant to remind you of extermination camps. After doing a research back home, I discovered that the barbed wire was later added after people began using the sculpture as a bench.
The next sculpture represents a half-sculpted figure with its head partially buried in the stone. Orpheus entering the Underworld, reminds Austrians of the consequences of not keeping their government on track. It recalls those who died in air raids and in resistance to the Nazis.
And this one, aptly titled “Stone of the Republic,” commemorates the founding of the Austrian Republic in 1945 with engravings of the Austrian Declaration of Independence and the names of its signatories.
I noticed some passerbys placed flowers in memory of the victims of war and fascism. It was extremely moving and touching. The memorial was even more moving when you realized it was built over the remains of a building where 300 people who were hiding from the Nazis were buried alive in a cellar during an air raid.