Holocaust Memorial, Berlin

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin. Photo: Ulla Hennig

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.


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About Ulla Hennig

I live and work in Berlin. Taking photos is one of my hobbies, and writing is one of my hobbies, too. So I decided not only to show some of my pictures here but also present some of the thought which came wth the pictures.

7 responses to “Holocaust Memorial, Berlin”

  1. Brad Shorr says :

    Ulla, Chilling. I visited Dachau years ago and it was petrifying – upsets me to this day. Your photo is a stark reminder, and it is good that you took this picture, because we should not forget about what happened. In the blink of an eye evil can overwhelm us, anywhere.

  2. Karen Swim says :

    Ulla, like Brad I got chills as I read your words. Your words took us inside the picture and even now I feel that stab of pain in my heart at the cruelty and lives lost. We should never forget the atrocities in our past, in facing our darkest moments we can ever move forward in our efforts not to repeat them.

  3. Robert Hruzek says :

    Excellent and moving thoughts, Ulla. Thank you for sharing them here.

    Sometimes, the simplest forms can be the most powerful.

  4. Paul C says :

    The picture captures well the cold, hard monolithic structures which may hem us in, stereotype, and marginalize us.

  5. Ulla Hennig says :

    I am glad that with this picture I could transmit some of the feelings I had when going through the Memorial.

  6. Alex says :

    I visited Berlin in april 2008 and in my opinion the Holocaust Memorial is absolutely ugly. It is built not to honor the murdered Jews, but to humiliate Germans. Such a monstrosity in the heart of Berlin is an utter shame. By the way, I am of Jewish heritage myself, and my father is a WW2 veteran who fought Germany in the ranks of Red Army.

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