Berlin, Holocaust Mahnmal
Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial is Berlin’s stunning monument to the Holocaust, dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide of World War II, impressive in its awesome grey soberness, rather than sombreness.
It took 17 years for the Memorial to be completed in Berlin. Its foundation stone was a Bundestag resolution passed on June 25, 1999 to erect a Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This was followed by years of discussion and deliberation, until the Monument was completed on May 8, 2005. US architect Peter Eisenmann conceived the winning design consisting of 2711 rectangular blocks of concrete laid out in grid formation, recalling tombstones. The monument is open day and night and it is possible to walk through the concrete slabs at one’s own pace. Visitors are not allowed to climb on them though, something which is particularly hard for younger visitors and small children to resist. The effect is that of inner dislocation in a destabilizing maze as the ground is uneven and the blocks vary in height and size. An ideal setting for quiet contemplation.