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A rainbow for Premnitz

The 13th and final rainbow was created this summer as part of an international youth work camps, with 30 participants from Germany, South Africa, Cameroon and Israel. The construction of the rainbow as a play equipment took place in Premnitz, venue of the National Garden Show 2015, and as a reunion of the Rainbow Project 2014 in Israel.

In many cultures, the 13 is considered unlucky number. Unlike this project, where one could use the German phrase «hit thirteen now» and describe the project as a culmination of a long journey through countries and over continents. As in all previous projects violence in the form of racism, social declassification or National Socialism in the past and present played an important role. Apart of the joint work on colorful climbing equipment the exchange on the situation in everyone’s home country and their own personal development were on the agenda.

Together, the group visited the former concentration camp Sachsenhausen. It was a difficult situation in which the grand children generation, the perpetrator and the victim visited a place of horror in the common history. But even within the Israeli group erupted emotions about the situation in their home country. During a connecting ritual of grief memories on the mass graves in Sachsenhausen let go for a moment the current and past conflicts. While working on the rainbow also everyone formed a personal message in clay. This was preceded by an intensive discussion about experienced conflicts. Together the group was searching for an icon and a solution for this conflict. When put together, the clay tiles display a colourful puzzle of signs of hope for a better world. An oversized magnifying glass has been placed in front of this puzzle. The magnifying glass is the symbol of the search for solutions that will make us wise. After two weeks of construction was the rainbow completed, the microscope built in and the place for the opening was prepared. Pastor Rolf Martin thanked the city of Premnitz for the hospitality and leaving the school building for their disposal. Mayor and Deputy Superintendent Wallenta Zastrow emphasised the need for such projects in order to generate peace. SIK-Holz® Managing Director Klaus-Peter Gust recalled that rainbows can be now found on four continents connecting the world. In particular moving were the words of the young people. Each country had one young person representing their group. Here is an excerpt:

«During our time together here, we found that, if we want to keep this community upright, yet many wounds have to be healed. We enjoy our cooperation, but we are aware that if we want to ensure long-term peace it requires from us to perceive our pain, accept it and take responsibility. This is a long and difficult process, but we are ready to take further steps on this path and in the countries where we live.»

We are convinced of the sincerity of those words. There is now a large rainbow group, thanks to the digital media and despite of the great distances, we keep a close contact.
After the opening, the group drove to Schloss Gollwitz, a German-Jewish meeting place, and worked as part of a future workshop on prospects for overcoming violence. The project concluded in Berlin. The last highlight of the project was the visit of the Reichstag with a personal guide.