In an article in Die Welt about the recent sad death of Leonard Cohen I came across the phrase:

"Eine Gedenkveranstaltung werde zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt in Los Angeles..."

I assume eine Gedenkveranstaltung is a remembrance service? Are there any other contexts or similar phrases/uses anyone can illustrate for me?


It is a "Veranstaltung zum Gedenken" = "Event for remembrance".
"Gedenken" is an unusually flexed irregular verb, which is not commonly used — mostly in the aforementioned context. It is not a service, as that would imply a religious thing that you do in church, and that is "Gedenkgottesdienst" in German.
It is, instead, a public gathering to remember someone or something, and it usually includes a minute or so of silence (German "Schweige-" or "Gedenkminute") in which all attendees are supposed to think about the person or event that the remembrance event is for. The rest is mostly speeches, talking about the nice things one remembers about it — it's more similar to something that happens during a funeral at the grave, but more public.

edit I have to add that this is the traditional and well, literal interpretation. Nowadays, it can be anything, but it is a public gathering and you will most likely have that "Gedenkminute", but the rest is open to interpretation, which can mean anything that befits the person or event that is remembered, as chosen by the people. Depending on importance, it may also be broadcast.

as a comment, cannot comment due to low rep in your case, I would say it's very likely they would include music from that person.

  • 1
    Welcome to German Language Stack Exchange. Feel free to take a tour of the site. Visit the help center for unanswered questinos about how it works.
    – Jan
    Nov 11 '16 at 19:08
  • I don't understand why this is on hold? Somebody already gave me a really good, helpful answer so they clearly understood what I was asking?
    – Davtho1983
    Nov 14 '16 at 10:21
  • The thing is: Simple word translations are not in the scope of this site. You could have easily found the translation for "Gedenkveranstaltung" in every online dictionary...
    – Tode
    Nov 14 '16 at 10:46

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