Otherwise known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe this 19,000 square metre space in the middle of Berlin is covered with 2,711 concrete slabs of varying heights, arranged to form a maze-like grid. Upon walking down the slope and into the middle of the memorial, the concrete gets higher and higher, eventually until you are shadowed in all directions by nothing but darkness. I had read about the artists Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold’s ‘vision’ for this project prior to visiting but for me, experiencing the uneasiness and confusion when walking down into the unknown was indescribable. A sense of not knowing where you are or where you are going comes over you, and even though you can still see the sky above the whole world feels to be closing in on you. For me it felt like the feeling of purpose had been lost, despite being within such an ordered environment of the neatly arranged concrete slabs. I could only imagine that for every single victim of the holocaust, they were experiencing these emotions many, many times over.
These are emotions which have stayed with me since my visit to Berlin, and it’s something I believe everyone on this planet should see for themselves, in the distant hope that we can prevent something like this from ever happening again.
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