When I land in Berlin, I take an Express Bus to the Brandenburg Gate and walk about 15 minutes to the hotel where I'm staying. (I must admit, as far as bus rides go, getting dropped off that the Brandenburg is is high cotton.)
Last year, I took a better route and passed an odd, interesting display, but didn't know what it was. Near the end of my visit I found out. It's called the Holocaust Memorial, also known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This year, I detoured my trip to the hotel and went to visit, even though I was wheeling my luggage. I want back later in the afternoon after I checked in and showered. It's only about five minutes away.
The memorial is a huge field of stone slabs, all of different shapes, heights and sizes, built on an uneven base, giving everything an undulating effect. Some are very tall and deep, and as you walk through them, it all surrounds you. It's fascinating and very moving. There's also a museum under ground. I read the description of the grounds, which go back of course a long time, but most intriguing is that during the 30s and 40s, it was where the residence of the president of the Reich lived, which was Von Ribbentrop, it said. The building was heavily bombed during WWII. It's hard not to look at the Memorial and know its location and not think Poetic Justice, so there.
Though at such a cost.
This doesn't give a proper sense of the place, but it's a start.
I've noted before that as problematic as the history of Germany is, I give them a huge amount of credit for coming to terms with him and facing it head on. It is impressive, among other things, to have this here, and so extensive.
The memorial began life as a citizen's initiative, and was approved by the Parliament in 1999. Construction began in 2003 and completed two years later. There are 2711 concrete blocks.
Here's another view.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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