Backtracking to The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was one of the last excursions I made in Berlin after six days in the city.
This memorial pulled me in like a magnet. I gravitated to the slabs for their aesthetic structure and feel.
60 hours earlier I tripped-out Night walking through Berlin blocks.
Revisiting Berlin’s stelae in daylight and white; another view of life in the cracks.
Embassy of the United States is building on right and glass dome of German Reichstag in center.
This field of slabs is also commonly referred to as The Holocaust Memorial.
The Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a German government foundation created on June 25, 1999.
One of the criticisms I read about the Murdered Jews Memorial is the absence of reference to other murdered peoples based on their ethnic, social and political lifestyles under the National Socialist Nazi regime.
In 2009 the German government amended the federal organization charter for The Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe to also include oversight for two other memorials:
“for the The Foundation furthermore administers the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered under the National Socialist Regime and the Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted under the National Socialist Regime.”
Act concerning the establishment of a »Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe« of 17 March 2000, amended on 3 July 2009
»Act concerning the establishment of a ›Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe‹ of 17 March 2000 (BGBl. I p. 212), which has been amended by article 1 of the Act of 3 July 2009 (BGBl. I p. 1686)«
§ 1 – Establishment and Legal Form
Under the name of »Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe«, a foundation under public law with legal capacity at a federal level shall be established with headquarters in Berlin. The Foundation will come into being with the entry into force of this Act.
§ 2 – The Foundation’s Objective
(1) The objective of the Foundation is to commemorate the National Socialist genocide of European Jewry. The Foundation shall contribute to ensuring that all victims of the National Socialist regime are commemorated and honoured appropriately.
(2) For this purpose, the Foundation will, in particular, undertake the following:
1. Maintain and run the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Field of Stelae and Information Centre);
2. Maintain the permanent exhibition at the Information Centre;
3. Organise special exhibitions, lectures and seminars;
4. Compile accompanying publications to the extent necessary.
(3) The Foundation furthermore administers the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered under the National Socialist Regime and the Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted under the National Socialist Regime.
The architect of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is U.S. born Peter Eisenman.
The Memorial consists of 2,711 slabs of concrete referred to as ‘stelae’ placed on a sloping field. From an aerial view the slabs appear like waves on the field.
The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin was inaugurated May 10, 2005 on the 60th anniversary of the ending of World War II in Europe, and opened to the public May 12, 2005.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, Germany
Pictures of Life
Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under National Socialism
Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under National Socialism is located in park directly across Scheidemannstrasse from German Parliament, Reichstag, in direction of Brandenburg Tor.
I came across a blog post by an American visitor in Berlin from January 2013. The author seemed to experience the same kind of National Socialism overload I had on this trip to Berlin after seeing the German History Museum and finding myself by chance in the Memorials to the Murdered.
I was simply out walking and taking in Berlin’s sights when I initially found myself in the Jewish and Sinti/Roma memorials. They were not my planned destinations.
Berlin is not so somber when you hang out at the nightclubs and pubs, seek out music, sports and entertainment and enjoy the people. I did some of that on this trip.
The Memorials and some of the public exhibits around the city are reminders of cracks in the societal fabric Germany faced in its past.
Not that Germany is a lonely country in systematic murder. We can’t forget our own American history.
The U.S. government supported the systematic extermination of indigenous American Indians throughout the last half of the 19th century. In California the Indian wars ended with the Modoc War just 60 years before the years of Hitler and National Socialism murdered so many in Europe.
Back in the U.S.A., this week has been a media frenzy of “10 Years Later” stories in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War.
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
– John Lennon