Steven in Berlin

food, places and thoughts

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

February 18, 2017    

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is located right in the center of Berlin, and is very close to Brandenburg Gate. Instead of one building, it has 2710 concrete slabs standing on the ground. According to dw.com, the slabs “were arranged symmetrically on 19,000 square meters of land. All of them have identical base measurements, but different heights. The total cost amounted to about 27 million euros.”

I’m not an expert in any arts, but I can tell this has a very interesting and different design from other memorials I’ve seen. There are no names, no years, nothing on the stones. People can walk in between the aisles, take selfies while sitting on one of them, and children can play hide and seek in the maze.

I remember this place distinctly from the readings required for our class. Specifically, people complain that the design is too “abstract” and does not convey what really happened or even what this place is there for.

Seriously?

I asked myself this question after reading the article and seeing the picture, and I asked myself again when I was actually there. The memorial is a magnificent piece of architecture. I have always been a fan of simplicity and minimalism, and to me this place serves its purpose very well. We discussed in class about the concept of “void” in design, or maybe the designer wanted to present an “unspeakable” past. In any way, it certainly has purpose and meaning and is a result of well-thought-of hard work.

memorial_jews