24 Mar Memorial to the murdered jews
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, a memorial that has been the subject of controversial public discussions several times already. Be it whether the sense and purpose can be justified in relation to the incredibly high building costs. Whether the design, architecture gets to the heart of the matter itself or if the running costs and emerging renovation costs are too exorbitant, divides critics’ opinions. One of the most prominent critics, Henryk M. Broder, has said about the monument: “We could have really helped many survivors (of the Holocaust) who are living on the breadline in Poland, the Czech Republic and elsewhere today with the funds spent.” With which he does in fact have a point…
… but what is really the use of discussing it now, it’s here, it’s been built and now we have to or can live with it. And quite a few people are doing so, as the monument between the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz is one of the most frequented monuments in Berlin. Even I have to admit that when my path takes me in that direction, I always like to venture a step into it. Perhaps it’s the extraordinary acoustics in the middle of the monument or the fascinatingly accurate and well-thought out arrangement of the stelae (slabs).
One factor, which is currently leading to major discussions again as a result of the vast expense, is the damage to almost 2,000 of the slabs that are crumbling due to the huge temperature differences between the light and shade. I think this aspect is anything but unsightly though, quite the opposite, I think it’s a beautiful and fitting point that symbolises transience, time. How could the world ever live in peace if the question of guilt relating to offenders and victims hangs in the air forever and ever? When I imagine the future, be it in a hundred, two hundred or a thousand years, the next generations should be allowed to forgive and not have to be burdened with atrocities that happened many generations ago. Regardless of your religion, your ethnic origin, the world, people, should be allowed to live together as one global nation one day… in peace!