The Peace Chapel

 

Peace Chapel - Photo: © Cornely Verlag, D-53489 Sinzig am Rhein 

Since nothing in Remagen remained to commemorate of the Prisoner of War camps, Kürten wished to erect a chapel dedicated to the Black Madonna on the grounds of the former camp site.

A few days before Christmas 1984, the German Press Agency dpa published a photograph of the Madonna.  The response was overwhelming.  On 22 June 1985 the foundation was laid for the chapel and a large Cross of Remembrance was erected.

Donations continued to arrive totalling more than DM 300,000.  Two years later, building was completed.  On 9 October 1987 the chapel was opened dedicated with a special service.  More than 1,200 visitors - former POWs and their families - came to Remagen.

The top of the chapel shows a crown of thorns as a reminder of the barbed-wire fencing.  Wind and rain have access to the chapel as it did in the spring of 1945.  The Madonna rests in an enclosure. Tablets of bronze remind visitors of the suffering of the prisoners of war and call for peace in the future:

Former mistakes must not be repeated.

Revenge is not love and hatred no ground

on which peace can flourish.