Berlin: Holocaust Memorial
MEMORIAL TO THE JEWISH VICTIMS OF EUROPE
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.”
- Elie Wiesel.
Located at the top of the Tiergarten and one block south of Brandenburg Gate, lies the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe also known as the Holocaust Memorial. Designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold, the structure spans 4.7 acres and consists of 2,711 concrete pillars arranged in rows, and at different heights to create a wave pattern.
"According to Eisenman's project text, the stelae are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason."
I visited many monuments around Berlin and this to me was the most powerful. The interactive nature evokes emotion, allowing you to connect with the structure, then pause and reflect on the meaning. Walking through can be disorientating and claustrophobic, reactions I'm sure were not foreign to the people the memorial represents.
I found out later that an information centre on site (underneath the memorial) holds a list of the 6 million known names of Jewish Holocaust victims, however the location of the info centre is not clearly marked and as I entered the memorial both times from the Brandenburg Gate side, I didn't notice it was there.
Great design and very confronting! Something you should definitely take the time to see whilst in Berlin!
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