After that little happy retail experience at Ampelmann, we made the walk to the Holocaust Memorial to the Jews. Spread across an undulating expanse as large as a park, are two thousand seven hundred and eleven, uniformly shaped slabs or or “stelae” of varying height. Concrete gray in colour, this very abstract looking memorial certainly makes interesting photos.
We wandered aimlessly through its structures, bumping into other visitors doing the same, feeling like you are in a maze and yet you are not. I felt the significance of the memorial. The silence of this large expanse. And the solemn feeling of what it represents.
We also tried to understand the designer, Peter Eisenman’s, intent. However, it felt like there was something missing. Some focal point that you expect. Looking like a cemetery, it is an open plain in a large open square. I do not know if we missed something but I did not see a plaque with words about the memorial. I read that there is an underground attachment with names of all the Jews of the Holocaust but we did not come across this.
I guess maybe the memorial needs no explanation and anyone who visits it must surely know its symbolism. Walking back out, one thing was for certain, it certainly felt somber and somehow illogical. Harking perhaps to that time in history when logic reason and compassion were overtaken and lost in ideology. I pray and hope that we never go down that path again.