Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
|⏰ Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
Find it on google maps
What is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe?
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is an expansive and poignant site located in the heart of Berlin, near the Brandenburg Gate. This evocative memorial encompasses a staggering 2,711 concrete slabs, referred to as stelae, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. Designed by architect Peter Eisenman, the layout is such that an undulating, wave-like form is created, stirring up an uneasiness as one meanders through the narrow passages. It stands as a somber tribute to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and is one of the most significant landmarks and remembrance spaces in all of Berlin.
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History of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The idea for creating a central memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Berlin was first proposed in 1988, and the German Parliament voted to establish it in 1999, after a long period of debate and consideration over its design and implications. The competition to design the monument was won by Peter Eisenman, an American architect. The memorial was completed and opened to the public in 2005. As you walk through the site, the ground undulates unpredictably, and the height of the slabs varies greatly, evoking a sense of confusion and disorientation which reflects the incomprehensible and chaotic nature of the Holocaust. Below the field of stelae lies an underground "Place of Information," which presents information about the victims and the locations of the crimes, further embedding the memorial into the historical fabric of the city.
Why is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Important?
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe holds profound significance, as it embodies the solemn remembrance of the atrocities of the Holocaust. It's more than a sobering reminder of the past; it's a stark symbol of a vow that history should never repeat itself. The abstraction of the design does not include statues or overt symbols, which compels visitors to reflect on the systematic extermination of Jews in an introspective manner. Its central location in Berlin signifies the responsibility and commitment of modern Germany to acknowledge and remember the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Nazis. The memorial also serves an educational purpose — to provoke dialogue, to challenge visitors to confront the horrors of the past, and to ensure that the victims are not forgotten.
Things to Do & See at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Visitors to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe can take several profound journeys. The stelae field invites you to wander through the disorienting corridors formed by the slabs, an experience which varies depending on your path and the shifting light and shadow. The subterranean Place of Information houses an exhibition that documents the persecution and extermination of European Jewry as well as the historical sites related to the Holocaust. You can find numerous biographies of individuals and families, giving personal depth to the statistics of the genocide.
Audio guides are available, providing detailed commentary and directing visitors to additional sites of interest. There are also various tours that you can join which delve into the history and significance of the memorial and the Holocaust in Germany. Whether you're silently contemplating the memorial's haunting ambience or engaging with its deeply historical and educational exhibits, your visit here is sure to be thought-provoking and memorable.
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