A field of concrete slabs rise up from the ground.
An orderly array of stones in straight lines.
Space to walk between them.
Entering the array, the concrete slabs are low to the ground.
Distant light from surrounding streets illuminates Berlin blocks at night.
This field of blocks appears empty of people.
Who would venture into Berlin’s shadowy spaces on a freezing cold night in March?
Night walking along the cobbled paths,
deeper into the field of concrete slabs,
the ground undulates,
Berlin dips and rises.
Concrete slabs rise higher and higher until Berlin blocks are far taller than human eyes.
Tall slabs in the interior create walls
Peripheral vision limited to perpendicular straight lines.
Walled in, yet open spaces to move,
left or right,
forward or backward.
Light from outside this field of stones channels within.
Deep within Berlin blocks is a warmth not felt outside these walls of stone.
Sudden realization, others are within this field of Berlin blocks.
Sense of foreboding.
Night walking alone, cornered by stone slabs, feels risky late into a Friday night.
I am in a dark space,
deep in a field of concrete slabs,
Around the next corner will there be an attack?
Sound of footsteps in the distance,
a woman screams.
Compelled I walk toward her sounds.
Am I a savior?
Her screams cease.
Several women laughing.
A change of direction.
Out of the darkness and into the light.
To my left, the opposite side of the field from where I entered, a silhouette in the channel is visible in a backdrop of light about 80 meters away.
Another soul night walking through this array of Berlin blocks.
My eyes rise above the height of concrete slabs surrounding me.
Once again Berlin’s blocks are visible in more directions than two straight channeled lines.
In the open air, wind chills my body.
The array of Berlin’s blocks in night light warms my mind.
Two policemen patrol nearby on the sidewalk across the street.
A cold slab of concrete, one of 2,711 slabs in the memorial park, is the perfect height to sit and reflect,
about a journey into the dark interior of Berlin’s blocks and out again into the light.
‘Night Walking through Berlin Blocks’ is a description of my walk through The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe March 8, 2013 on a dry and windy winter night when the temperature was slightly below freezing as I journeyed alone in Berlin from Potsdamer Platz to Alexanderplatz .