Holocaust Memorial, Berlin
I must admit – I first had my difficulties with this memorial when I looked at it from the outside. Nothing but rows of gray stone slabs that do not bear any markings, neither names nor dates.
It had been designed by the famous architect Peter Eisenman and was openend in May 2005 to the public as a contribute to the death of all the Jews who were killed under the Nazi regime.
From the beginning, people were sitting on the slabs, jumping from one to the other. To me this had almost nothing to do with a memorial.
And then I walked between the big slabs. My feelings changed. I began to feel caged in, lost, helpless. You could not see the sky properly, only the shades of the light from above.
Of course those feelings were nothing compared with what the Jews must have felt when they were humiliated, hunted down, terrorized, shot, killed with gas, killed with work, with no chance to save their lives in the concentration camps – the feeling of hopelessness and of being forgotten by the rest of the world.
But being there between the huge labs made me realize where I was: At a Holocaust Memorial.