I posted yesterday on the Jewish Museum and made mention of the Holocaust Memorial, so I guess today I ought to talk about it. It’s an impressive memorial at least a block in size; you reach it by walking south from the Brandeberger.
It consists of many concrete blocks, laid on their side, in their lowest form, they resemble coffins. However, the floor deviates dramatically so at one point you are looking over the top of the blocks, others they tower above you. Underneath it all is another museum style display, on one wall, an inscription in a display area:
The whole site covers 4.7 acres and is titled, “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe”, The 2,711 blocks were designed by Peter Eisenman, its effects are dramatically varied as one can sit on the shallowest, yet feel strangely cut off and alone in the deepest channels.
It reminded in one way of our visit to the Jewish Ghetto in Venice. This, from memory, is the oldest ghetto in the world. Conveniently, it was contained on an ‘island’ on one of the canals and at one stage contained 160,000 jews. Left to their own devices, they constructed mini skyscrapers of 5 and 6 stories, but with minimal headroom as a result. There was, of course a serenity about this place. The houses with their floors becoming ever lower as they ascended upwards, all surrounding a central courtyard. On one wall was a poem and I was so struck by what I read, I copied down the last two lines in my journal;
“You will never be lost from our memories, for our memories are your only grave”.
These are the pictures I took in Berlin.