In 1789 banker Peter Heinrich von Bethmann-Metzler established the manor house “Grüne Burg” on 21.25 hectares in the northwest part of Frankfurt.1 In 1837 financier Amschel Mayer von Rothschild bought the property for his nephew and had the Grüneburg-Schlößchen, a small palace, built there in 1845. During the course of the 19th century Frankfurt garden architect Friedrich Grüneburg along with Franz Heinrich Siesmayer and his son Phillip took over the design of the outer grounds.2 In 1935 the park was expropriated by the National Socialist magistrate.3 Then owner, Albert von Goldschmidt-Rotschild, had already sold part of the eastern side of the property to the IG Farben Concern in 1927. In 1938 the Goldschmidt-Rothschild family emigrated to Switzerland, where Albert von Goldschmidt-Rothschild committed suicide in 1941. The palace was almost completely destroyed during aerial bombings in 1944, and the remains were removed in 1952. The inscription on sculptor Hans Steinbrenner’s 5 m tall African cabala wood memorial stele, which was erected in 1968, recalls the changeful history of the park.4 In 2007 artist Clemens Strugalla’s memorial plaque, mounted on a low pedestal and engraved with additional information and a silhouette of the palace, was erected a few meters behind the stele.
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The Memorial Stele in Grüneburg Park
- Drummer, Heike; Zwilling, Jutta (2007): Von der Grüneburg zum Campus Westend. Die Geschichte des IG Farben Hauses. Frankfurt am Main: Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, S. 12f.
- Vogt, Barbara (2009): Siesmayers Gärten. Frankfurt am Main: Societäts-Verlag, S. 75f.
- Voigt, Lothar (2010): Geschichte der Stadt Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurt am Main. Accessible online at http://delvau.de/Frankfurt-Chronologie/Frankfurt-Chronik.pdf , S. 329. Zuletzt geprüft am 30.11.2011.
- Kulturamt Frankfurt am Main (Hg.): Kunst im öffentlichen Raum. Frankfurt a. Main. Accessible online at http://www.kunst-im-oeffentlichen-raum-frankfurt.de/de/page150.html?id=233 . Zuletzt geprüft am 30.11.2011.