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Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin

Photo © Google Earth. View all images in our Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Photo Gallery.
Photo © mightymightymatze.
Photo © Jaime Silva.
Photo © Axel.
Photo © Andreas H.
Photo © Jaime Silva.
Photo © Andreas H.
Photo © Jaime Silva.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas) is a large and unusual Holocaust memorial unveiled in May 2005 in central Berlin.

History

The idea of a central memorial to the Jews murdered by the Nazis was first proposed in 1988, when German Jewish journalist Lea Rosh founded a group to support its construction and to collect donations. But a year later, the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was busy with the tasks of rebuilding and reunifying the two Berlins and the two states.

The idea was proposed again a few years later, and a resolution was passed by the Bundestag in 1998 to erect the memorial. This time, its completion was delayed by bureaucratic hassles, disagreements over concept and design, and opposition from many Germans.

In June 1995, the plan of Christine Jackob-Marks (a large sloping concrete surface with the names of the victims chiseled in) was declared the winner, but Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl rejected it.

A plan by Peter Eisenman, a New York architect, emerged as the winner of the next competition in November 1997. In June 1998, the Bundestag decided in favor of Eisenman's plan, modified by attaching a museum, which Eisenman would also design.

Construction of the memorial began in April 2003. In October 2003, it was discovered that the German company Degussa provided some materials for the memorial and construction was halted - because a daughter company of Degussa had produced the Zyklon B poison used to murder people in the Nazi gas chambers. After some discussion, construction was resumed one month later, with continued involvement of Degussa.

On December 15, 2004, the memorial was finished. It was dedicated on May 10, 2005, as part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of V-E Day. It opened to the public on May 12, 2005.

What to See

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is located near the Reichstag and the underground bunker where Hitler committed suicide. The designer has said, "I want it to be a part of ordinary, daily life. People who have walked by say it's very unassuming... I like to think that people will use it for shortcuts, as an everyday experience, not as a holy place."

The memorial consists of about 2,700 concrete slabs ("steles") arranged in a grid pattern covering 19,000 square meters. The steles are 2.38m long, 0.95m wide and vary in height from 0.2m to 4.8m. The ground slopes unevenly. Visitors are encourage to walk between the steles; the memorial can be entered from all sides and offers no prescribed path.

An attached underground "place of information" holds the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims, obtained from the Jerusalem museum Yad Vashem. The cost of the memorial's construction has been estimated at €25 million.


Quick Facts on the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Site Information
Names:Berlin Holocaust Memorial; Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas; Holocaust Mahnmal; Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe; Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin
City:Berlin
Country:Germany
Categories:Monuments
Faiths:Judaism
Styles:Modern
Dates:2005
Status:monument
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Berlin, Germany
Coordinates:52.513910° N, 13.378623° E  (view on Google Maps)
Website:www.holocaust-mahnmal.de
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Below is a location map and aerial view of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Personal visit (March 5, 2008).
  2. Foundation for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – official site
  3. Berlin opens Holocaust memorial – BBC News, May 10, 2005
  4. Germany ‘faces up to its history’ – MSNBC, May 10, 2005
  5. Germany unveils haunting memorial to murdered Jews – Reuters, May 10, 2005
  6. Berlin Holocaust memorial opening – CNN, May 10, 2005
  7. Berlin to dedicate Holocaust memorial – Jerusalem Post, May 9, 2005

More Information

Article Info

Title:Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:06/23/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/germany/berlin-holocaust-memorial/germany/berlin-holocaust-memorial
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