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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Holocaust memorial

Close to the Brandenburg Gate is the Holocaust memorial. It covers an area the size of 3 football pitches and took 17 years of planning and then another 6 years of designing and building. It has created a great deal of controversy being criticised for the location, size and cost. It is made up of 2711 dark, grey blocks of different sizes. There is no particular entry point so visitors wander amongst the blocks at random. The ground is not level so as you walk through you are suddenly aware of the blocks towering above you and a feeling of being lost(well that was how I felt). The designer said he had created a 'place of hope' but I had no feeling of hope.

Afterwards I read that there was an underground information centre at one of the corners which apparently was very good but none of us saw a sign guiding us in that direction. My personal feeling about this memorial was one of disappointment.

On the other hand I was very impressed with the Jewish Museum  and no photo I took could do the architecture justice. The building is shaped like a bolt of lighning and represents a deconstructed  Star of David.
( Photograph from Wikipedia)

It too has rectangular concrete blocks outside but these ones are hollow and planted with weeping willow  trees. 


Half way up the stairs from the first floor you look down onto the memory void. The space below is filled with thousands of iron masks which visitors can walk across creating a loud and eerie clanking sound. To me this  was a much more powerful reminder of the Holocaust


  1. I wonder if the memorial was meant to give a feeling of hope or one of despair.

  2. The blocks memorial is strange - I think I would have to be the there to experience the atmosphere.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: not sure this is the place to write this - but the travel delay was a minor headache, but two hours on a sunday when I could have been at home was a bit of a pain - work travel always seems to take too much time away from family time!

  3. Very impressive place. Must feel a bit harrowing!

  4. I've heard about this and seen some other pictures of it but I have to agree it looks a bleak place but then winter is bleak so probably addes to it.

  5. I have heard about the monument and the opinions are diverse, my daughter was impressed by it, but I can imagine your opinion about it. Those places are always quite depressing, you want to see it but it makes you so sad.
    Thanks for sharing.


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