If you don't know what this is and have never been here: don't look at the pictures. This is the only experience I've had as a tourist where I felt like there could be "spoilers" as the sight is such an unexpected experience that I wouldn't want someone to know what to expect. So, if you haven't been... stop reading. Go. Don't read or study up on this. Go. Learn. Grow.
If you've been then you'll share this overwhelming feeling this monument can have. It seems senseless and yet also calculated... much like the Holocaust it represents. Seeing people walk in... walking past people and glimpsing them as you go through.
I don't think this captures the pain and suffering of a group of people... but it certainly captures the overwhelming horror and serves as a reminder of something awful that happened in our world's history.
As many others have said this is a place where you can actually feel how cruel and crazy of a history that has happened before. But it is good to not forget and also to have a memorial for the many Jewish people that were killed during the war.
As you walk and see the many tombs don't worry there are no bodies inside it is just a symbol. I thought it was beautiful and amazing that they have something like this here. I mean if you think about it europe land is pretty expensive and to put this in an build it must tell you that they do not want to forget the past.
Safe place with also a few eateries close by if you are hungry or thirsty. Also just overall something to see since you really can't see it in USA. I think this place is better to visit than Checkpoint Charlie.
Our walking tour went through the Memorial of the Murdered Jews. You have to experience how somber the situation was as you walk by the various sizes of blocks. It's up to you how you interpret the concrete blocks. Highly recommended place that is available for free.
This thing is huge. A group of just under 3000 concrete stands to represent the holocaust last century. Its quite interesting to walk through,as the stands are built on angles and different heights, as has the ground. Take a visit and walk around. Not spooky, just interesting use of space.
What a moving place to visit. The museum and memorial above are touching in every aspect. It makes you think about the history of the world! The memorial blocks and the hills don't have any specific meaning but what you take away from it.
Interesting fact: According to my tour guide the anti-graffiti paint that is used is manufactured by a company that was started by the Nazis and was renamed after the war. :(
There isn't much I can really add to the other comments made about this place.
A powerful and beautiful memorial. Random sized slabs, hundreds creating a maze and a destination that really makes you create your own personal meaning and connection with the space.
Overall I would suggest going with a group, I went as part of a free tour, of which there are some really good and worthwhile ones to take advantage of in the city. It was amazing discussing your own personal journey through the space and obviously being guided through by someone who has visited the memorial several times.
It is a must for anyone visiting the city.
It amazes me that a city as steeped in WWII history and lore as Berlin wouldn't have a memorial to the Holocaust until just six years ago. However, here it is finally, over 2.700 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field (see photos) about a block away from the Brandenburg Gate. Ironically, it was designed by an American, architect Peter Eisenman, but I suppose that isn't any more ironic than Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin designing the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall. Art is art in any language. You may quote me.
Anyway, I understand Eisenman's dramatic intent - that the seemingly uniform order of the slabs gives way to unexpected fear and a lack of human reason that would give way to something as horrific as the Holocaust. Perhaps it's the dense urban setting or the throngs of tourists that traipse through it carelessly like an Alice in Wonderland labyrinth or lay on the slabs to sun themselves, but something about the memorial as a whole just doesn't move me as much as I would like it to. If you are interested in the historical facts, the underground information center is a must. Otherwise, it is quite worthwhile simply to walk and ponder.
As previous reviewers have explained the English translation of this memorial site is "The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe" which acts as a place for remembrance of the millions of Jewish victims of ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Nazi party. Never have I visited a country so willing to admit to the atrocities in their own past. I had an image of Berlin where you can say anything....just don't mention the war! This couldn't be further from the truth. Berlin tackles it's past head on and this memorial is testament to this.
The memorial itself is beautiful and tragic, however with kids playing hide and seek in it and couples posing for pictures on top of it it's difficult to submerge yourself fulling in what this memorial is supposed to commemorate. Of course it is a tourist hot spot and if you are visiting Berlin you HAVE to go and see it, but if you really want to know more about the attempted eradication of the Jewish people from Europe then seek out the visitors centre. The centre is underground and hidden amongst the monument itself.
Before you can enter the information centre you have to go through a bizarre airport type security check where you walk through a body scanner and your bags go through an x-ray machine. And the award for the most intimidating information centre entrance goes to..........
Unlike the memorial itself the information centre is deathly silent as visitors view the haunting exhibits in horrified awe. The tragic facts are conveyed to you in a series of devastating displays. In one dark room the floor is covered in letters which Jewish families have written to each other, full of fear and confusion. In another dark room there is simply audio playing every known victims name, date of birth, date of death and a short biography. Each persons biography lasts about 3 to 5 minutes and there is a sign saying that it takes something like 7 years to play every known victims biography and they play them round the clock, 24/7.
This is not easy going so I suggest you break up the day with something fun afterwards! Go grab a beer and some currywurst to lighten the mood! If you don't mind a bit of a weeping session on your holiday though then this memorial and information centre is a MUST see.
Situated near the Brandenburg Gate the Holocaust Memorial only came about as recently as 2005, 2,711 unique stone blocks pay homage to the murdered Jews of Europe.
It is a magnificent site to behold, criticisms have included that it does not provide enough historical information or illustrate its specific connection to the Jewish people, as the stone tombs are all unmarked and are free from any religious symbols. For me however the monument is a perfect piece of installation, in its vast expanse and blocks of varying heights it is both unnerving and disorientating, as the architect Peter Eisenman intended, it is a symbol for how Jewish people must have felt at the time.
For those who are some how unaware of the historical significance of the site there is now a visitors centre beneath the blocks, how much information it contains I do not know as I didn't feel it necessary to go in. Directly across the road from the monument is the Gay Holocaust Memorial, far too easily missed, it is a single large Grey cube with a repeating image of two men kissing inside.
Feels odd giving this 5 stars (aka Woohoo! as good as it gets!) but it is one of the best memorials to anything that I have ever seen. It makes you think a lot and when I was in the middle of it all I could think about was how to get out because I felt like I was going to suffocate with all the blocks/tombs/lines on a bar chart/whatever you see around me--and I'm not claustrophobic at all.
I had been to Prague a few days before coming here and it does remind me of the Jewish cemetery there.
I did not go underground due to lack of time, and just went with my Free tour from Sandemans/New Europe Tours
I have had a deep experience with the memory of the Holocaust in my life. I have watched movies on the Holocaust and been to the museum in DC. This event always moves me and disturbs me. I went on a tour of Berlin and saw this memorial from the bus. I thought it was interesting and effective. It looks like a series of block structures. It's a nice effort.
How does one yelp the Holocaust Memorial??
Colossal scale; makes you feel very small.
Note that the museum is closed on Mondays.
The Holocaust Memorial is a powerful, controversial art installation that is definitely worth checking out while in Berlin. The memorial certainly captures the overwhelming gravity of the Holocaust, and it's hard not to be moved and humbled by it. Situated in an historic part of Berlin, the memorial is a nod to the country's tragic past, promising never to forget.
The tour guide I was with told me that this was quite controversial when it was erected. But then again, Berliners never shy away from controversy, do they? It's part of what makes the city so great.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, - George Santyana.
It is fitting then, that Germany constructed this memorial 60 years after the end of WWII; should any of us forget the horrors that innocents suffer in war, then and today.
It's a very difficult task to capture the magnitude, reverence and inportance in such a memorial, but I feel the architect, Peter Eisenman, has got the balance right. A forest of 2700 odd stelae, concrete pillars of varying size, sit on an a vast, undulating surface which you can access from all sides (but please don't stand on the pillars).
For me, the scale of the project was thought provoking and certainly made me take a few moments to reflect.
I have somewhat of a hard time with this memorial, which was built in the memory of Europe's Jews murdered during the holocaust. However glad I am that the German government decided to make the effort to erect a memorial to my family and the family of millions of others, I cannot say that I "feel" much out of this memorial other than an admission of guilt built of concrete slabs.
I visited the memorial in 2007 with both my younger brother and my then-boyfriend. Being the immature, free-spirits that we were and remain, we played hide-and-go-seek between the slabs of concrete, let ourselves get lost among them and laughed our hearts out. You might initially think this is disrespectful or downright outrageous (the security guard obviously did when he kicked us out), but such lightheartedness and humor has been an integral part of the way Europe's Jews dealt with tragedy - and modern Israelis do, as well.
Humor is the lifeline of a struggling people, without it - we cannot bear the enormousness of tragedy. The systematic murder of Europe's Jews by the Nazis was a massacre of enormous proportions in the face of which we build mechanisms which allow us to deal, also today, with the never-ending fear of annihilation and violent hatred.
In trauma, we laugh as well as cry. We tell jokes, we mourn our dead in song and dance. We find places of death, and turn them into living, flourishing patches. This is how we go on.
I give this memorial 3 stars, all of which go towards the intent. The two missing stars - one for understanding and one for genuine compassion, will be filled when this memorial is turned from simply a constant reminder of Nazi Germany's guilt to a genuine reminder and celebration of the Jewish communities which flourished in Europe so many years ago.
dieses Denkmal ist auf dem ersten blick sehr merkwürdig, allerdings nach weiter betrachten und das durch gehen kann man sich in gewisse situationen einversetzen.
Danke Berlin für dieses Denkmal!!!!
An interesting memorial to a crime against humanity. It is set on space that used to be wasteland in the border zone which probably accounts for its scale.
It's an interesting concept as it doesn't present any facts but and is more of a place for contemplation. The sheer scale of it provokes reflection upon the scale of the crime whose victims it commemorates and as such it probably will serve as a permanent reminder.
Germany has embraced democracy and the scars of division in this part of the city are healing it's to the credit of the city authorities and federal government that this memorial is only a stone's throw of the Brandenburger Tor and within sight of the Bundestag and redeveloped Potsdamer Platz. Modern Germany will have a permanent reminder of the darkest chapter in its history.
The only let down is the standard of shops and cafes nearby. They're a little bit tatty.
It's a testament to the city of Berlin that they would use this huge piece of prime real estate for a memorial.
The notoriously poor city probably could have easily leased the land to a financial conglomerate.
And it's good they didn't because this is a fascinating place.
It's intended to overwhelm you, to confuse you, to suffocate your senses - and indeed it does.
It's not really a place you want to visit over and over again, but it definitely deserves a visit.
Definitively worth visiting
This place manages to be a fascinating monument and abstract art, and controversial sculpture. It takes up the space of about a city block, right in the centre of Berlin, and within a stones throw of the Brandenburg gate.
The monument is unlabelled, so if you didn't know what it was, it would be hard to understand the significance. It is easy to feel somewhat alienated/lost in there as you can easily lose people amongst the sculpture blocks.
This sense of loss can be mitigated by the fact that some people treat the area as a place to have hide and seek games, kiddies run around (and even on top of the blocks), and some people don't really know what it's about.
All in all, great to spend 10-15 minutes contemplating the atrocities, and praying that humanity won't do it again.
Also, the restaurants/cafes that front the monument are full of cheap touristy stuff, but the cafes are frequented by locals (which explains the somewhat unhelpful service I received at one of the places e.g. why didn't they tell me to order food at one counter, and drinks at another instead of making me line up 3 times).
It's hard to write a review for this memorial as I think that everyone has a very personal reaction to and experience of the memorial. I personally really love the memorial. I think it does a great job of having a presence, nodding to the gravity of the situation, but also being beautiful and livable. It is meant to resemble a Jewish cemetery elsewhere in Europe (can't remember where), but it also can look like a city from certain angles. I love that it's surrounded by the city and looks beautiful surrounded by trees. I also love that people sit on top of it and just hang out on the outskirts where it's shorter, but if you go deeper and spend time you can really feel the eeriness. My one complaint is that I wish there was more explanation of it. If there is one, it's not evident as I've visited multiple times. It's definitely worth going to and not too overwhelming..
In front of the American Embassy, and not far from the now razed, Third Reich hqs from which Hitler et al directed the Final Solution, lies a field of stellae commemorating the WWII Holocaust. The stones are aptly shaped like tombstones, and cover the ground in undulating rows. The real power lies underground, where silent visitors read reproductions of WWII era documents and view photographs collected by curators at Shoah. It's a sad testimonial to lingering malice that visitors must pass through a security point like one would find at any international airport. Also sadly emblematic of lingering mailce, this monument took more than 60 years to appear on the German landscape.
It is unorthodox and unexpected. It is difficult and ugly, but then it is not meant to be pretty. It is not a maze, and yet it evokes a greater feeling of confusion and disorientation than one. There is a great deal to explore within over here as you lose yourself in your thoughts, and you will be ever grateful of the knowledge in the back of your mind that you can walk out to freedom whenever you choose. A haunting experience that does exactly as it means to, offers a tiny glimpse into whatever you choose to reflect on.
This is one of those places that is important to visit, if only out of respect. You will learning nothing, but that's not important, as the scope and fluidity of the stones draws you in both physically to walk among them, and emotionally to lose yourself in thought about all that went so wrong.
This is a memorial to the Jews of Europe. As the world knows, European Jews were exterminated by the Nazi Germans. This memorial is in their honor. Apparently, it was very controversial because of the design and the fact that Berliners love to graffiti stuff. Good thing for the memorial the concrete is covered by an anti spray paint coating. Good stuff.
Thousands of large, stone blocks represent the millions killed by Nazi Germany. Another powerful monument/site in an area rich with history.
I like this monument. It's fun to walk between the blocks. At night it can be scary, though. In summer, people use to sit on the blocks and bathe in the sun.
Amaizing place to see. It really makes you feel all the people and all the meaning of this monument.
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