Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe (Berlin, Germany)

Nestled in the city next to the Tiergarten, you’ll find this immersive and overwhelming Holocaust memorial called the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe. The memorial was constructed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold in 2003-2004 and officially opened to the public in 2005 on the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.

When we got there, our tour guide explained to us that it was designed so that when you walk far enough into the memorial, the sounds from outside are silenced and you begin to feel confused and lost, and all-around uneasy. This is obviously to invoke the feelings of the Jewish people who perished during the Holocaust. There are a handful of other interpretations, one being that  it’s meant to look like a graveyard (creepy, and correct) and represent the people who were thrown into unmarked graves by the Nazis. (You can read more about the various interpretations here.)

It’s eerie and unsettling and accomplishes everything that the designers were going for. And it’s right next to the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate, so if you’re around, go and experience this for yourself.

Looking down one of the aisles towards the center of the memorial (where the cement slabs are tallest, left) and a semi-awkward photo of yours truly around the same area (right).

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