Holocaust Memorial (Berlin) and unintended consequences

The Holocaust Memorial or Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was inaugurated in Berlin about 7 years ago close to the Brandenburg Gate.

If you see the following picture from Wikimedia, you get a glimpse of what could be a huge cemetery of concrete slabs.

Holocaust Memorial (by de:Benutzer:Schreibkraft).

The memorial is described in the Wikipedia with the following words:

“It consists of a 19,000 square metres (4.7 acres) site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs or “stelae“, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. […] 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.

However, the memorial is not to be contemplated from the air as seen above, but from the ground and people can walk through it.

If you visit the site you’ll experience or watch some unintended consequences:  people tend to sit on the stones, run between them, jump from one to another, play “hide and seek”… the least people do is to experience with light and shadows, distances, slopes…

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Then there is a poor security guard calling on people (sometimes bunches of playful students) to “behave”, not to run, jump, etc.

1 Comment

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One response to “Holocaust Memorial (Berlin) and unintended consequences

  1. What impressed me the most of that memorial (one of my favourite places in Berlin by far) is the feeling of isolation you can have when going into the middle area of it. Noise suddenly disappears and you can easily lose track of your position.

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