19,000 m2 (4.7-acre) powerful memorial

Images provided by ncpc.gov

Images provided by ncpc.gov

“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.”
Elie Wiesel

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe , also known as the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin –  designed by American architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. It consists of a 19,000 m2 (4.7-acre) site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. Extremely difficult to photograph.

The building of the memorial started in 2003 and situated a block south of Brandendburg Tur.  It was inaugurated on May 10, 2005, sixty years after the end of WWII, and opened to the public two days later.The Memorial 0

The slabs are 2.38 m (7 ft 10 in) long, 0.95 m (3 ft 1 in) wide and vary in height from 0.2 to 4.8 m (7.9 in to 15 ft 9.0 in). They are organized in rows, 54 of them going north–south, and 87 heading east–west at right angles but set slightly askew.

The total cost came to 25 million Euros.The Memorial 8

The information center, which is located at the site’s eastern edge, begins with a timeline that lays out the history of the Final Solution, from when the National Socialists took power in 1933 through the murder of 500,000 Soviet Jews in 1941. We didn’t visit the information center, because we couldn’t find the entrance …. ???!!! There was no signs what so ever.The Memorial 5

The monument has been criticized for only commemorating the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Many critics argued that the design should include names of victims, as well as the numbers of people killed and the places where the killings occurred. The Memorial 9

Meanwhile, architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff claimed the memorial “is able to convey the scope of the Holocaust’s horrors without stooping to sentimentality – showing how abstraction can be the most powerful tool for conveying the complexities of human emotion.The Memorial 4

In the past, there have been various incidents of vandalism. Despite Eisenman’s objections, for example, the pillars were protected by a graffiti-resistant coating because the government worried that neo-Nazis would try to spray paint them with swastikas.The Memorial green

Indeed, swastikas were drawn on the slabs on five different occasions in this first year. In 2009, swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were found on 12 of the 2,700 gray stone slabs. In 2014, the German government promised to strengthen security at the memorial after a video published on the Internet showed a man urinating and people launching fireworks from its grey concrete structure on New Year’s Eve. slabs 1

The security was there and was very strike regarding people’s jumping between the slabs, otherwise it was very relaxed … some families had pick nic on slabs. One of the guard took his time to explain to some children what the memorial stands for.

I found the memorial very powerful and still very relaxed …. and I like that there is no names, places or dates – a memorial for all Jews that was murdered … in Europe – one powerful statement for them all and a reminding for us! May it never happen again

The Pilgrims’ Chorus

“Through penance and repentance I have propitiated
the Lord, Whom my heart serves,
Who crowns my repentance with blessing,
the Lord to Whom my song goes up!

The salvation of pardon is granted the penitent,
in days to come he will walk in the peace of the blessed!

Hell and death do not appeal him,
therefore will I praise God my life long.

Alleluia! Alleluia in eternity!”

(Information provided by wikipedia.org)

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10 thoughts on “19,000 m2 (4.7-acre) powerful memorial

    • Loisa, personal I think it’s great that people is relaxed about visiting the memorial .. and that it also can be a playground and create some fun for next generations.¨I think that is also the meaning about the memorial. Loads of young people from all world visited and walked between the slabs. It made me very aware what had happen .. but it also told me that life goes on.

  1. Thank you so much for this. I had no idea Berlin had such a substantial memorial. I’ve visited a number of places in Warsaw that mark the horrors inflicted on Jews (and also on Poles, including the notice of the execution of ten year old boys near my daughter’s apartment.) It’s hard for a safe mind to encompass such murderous evil.

    • Last time we were in Berlin we gave Brandenburg Tur all our time, so this time we thought we will visit the memorial. It’s very powerful without any fuss … and I think the simplicity of the memorial is what make it so powerful. I would love to know where they got the number of slabs from ???? Can’t find anywhere. The sad thing is that there is people that still believe in that it’s the right way. And now with all the refugees from Syria coming into Europe it starts to blow up again big time. Do we really have such a short memory.?????

  2. I was thinking as I read this just how many memorials and testimonies to man’s unspeakable behaviour there must be throughout the world, Vivi. But sadly we really don’t seem to get the message.

    • Jo, I agree with you …. it’s so scary that national parties are getting stronger and stronger in every country. Here in Sweden they have grown with 20% since the election last year. Truly scary.

  3. Pingback: Share Your World 2015 – Week 37 | Mama Cormier

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