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Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial // In pictures

Berlin's Holocaust Memorial

Between the Brandenburg Gate and Tiergarten in Berlin lies a solemn field of 2771 grey stone slabs. The Holocaust Memorial – or, to give it its full name, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – commemorates the Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust. It’s an almost impossible task to create something to symbolise that horror, and the design process was a long and controversial one that started back in 1988. Eleven years later, US architect Peter Eisenman’s design was finally approved and the memorial opened in May 2005, on the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII.

The slabs almost look like graves or coffins and from outside it seems like they slope upwards into the middle, but when you get in among them you can see the ground level changes too. Every slab is a different shape and size, and as the ground level rises and falls they vary in height from 200cm to almost five metres tall. It’s a strangely disorientating experience as the ground moves up and down beneath you and huge slabs tower above you. They’re densely packed and you move between light and dark as you walk between them. But what does it all mean? The architect’s never said, but it’s a moving experience and a Berlin must-see.

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin
Berlin's Holocaust Memorial
Berlin's Holocaust Memorial
Berlin's Holocaust Memorial
Berlin's Holocaust Memorial

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 The controversial but moving Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, a solemn field of 2771 grey stone slabs commemorating the Jewish lives lost in the Holocaust.

manwithvanwesthampstead

Friday 15th of May 2015

It is both moving as a memorial and beautiful as an architecture even through the pictures!

Lucy

Tuesday 19th of May 2015

Thanks, yes for such a simple structure it has such a lot of meaning.

ambitiouswanderer

Tuesday 7th of April 2015

This is a sad, but beautiful place at the same time. Strange experience, highly moving. I love how you described it so well, but also how you managed to take pics from such artistic angles and without any other tourist walking in your way. What time of the year was this taken?

Lucy

Wednesday 8th of April 2015

Thanks, we were there in early February, so were lucky to get the blue skies – it was absolutely freezing though, which I think put people of lingering too much (but was perfect for photography!).

Uptourist

Tuesday 24th of March 2015

I guess the feeling comes from all the emotions in this place. It is sad yet the silence lets you know that these people are now at peace.

Lucy

Thursday 26th of March 2015

Yes it was surprisingly moving – a very simple design but very effective.

jordancloc

Friday 20th of March 2015

I like the memorial, I think it is really moving. The effect I felt it had when I visited was that you could be seen no matter where you stood within the slabs

Lucy

Monday 23rd of March 2015

Yes, there's no place to hide in there – it's a really clever design when you think about it as you can take so many different meanings from it.

bevchen

Friday 20th of March 2015

Did you go to the museum underneath? So sad/moving.

Lucy

Monday 23rd of March 2015

No we didn't get chance this time – I'm going to have to go back as there's still so much to see out there!