University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

Berlin Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Memorialization

After a 12-year competition that featured hundreds of entries, the design for the Berlin Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe by Richard Serra and Peter Eisenman was chosen. It features 2500 granite stones, a “Field of Steles”, within sight of the Bundestag (the German Parliament), the Brandenburg Gate, and other major sites in the city.In addition to the steles, the memorial also includes an underground Information Center with a four-room exhibition on the Holocaust. The building of the monument has been controversial; countries rarely build monuments to their own crimes, especially in the capital on prime land where it will be a continual subject of discourse. The memorial was inaugurated in 2005, and during its first five years over 8 million people have visited the site.

 

Entrance Gate
Model of Peter Eisenman's winning design
Entrance
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Cutaway of Peter Eisenman's design showing interior study center

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Site of Berlin-Denkmal Project

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Berlin-Denkmal site - July 2002
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Berlin-Denkmal Site July 2002. (Plan for night lighting)

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Image of night scene at monument
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View of Tiergarten from Denkmal site

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Berlin-Denkmal 4.1 acre site
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View from Denkmal site toward Reichstag with glass dome
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Model of interior space
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Model of underground study and memorial center
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Interior Museum Space
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Projections on interior floor will imitate ground level monument

Below. Photos of the Berlin Memorial taken by Professor Marty Kalb, Art Department, Ohio Wesleyan University.

BarracksViews from Tiergarten toward Under der Linden

Registration BarracksView from Tiergarten toward Under der Linden. Note scale of monuments in relation to people

BarracksRows of more than 2500 granite blocks creates the idea of cemetery in the very center of Berlin.

Registration BarracksAs the ground becomes a valley, the visitor loses the vista of the city, a metaphor for how th eGermans under Nazism lost their way.

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The height of some of the monuments recalles some of the architecture of Nazi Germany.

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Shadows create the effect of multiples

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Walking visior suggests scale .

The photos below show varying views of the Berlin Denkmal from various perspectives. The site is 4.1 acres in size, making the blocks appears as a sea of objects. At a certain point near the center, the viewer loses a view of the city, a metaphor for hos the Germans lost their way in attitudes towards the Jews of Europe.

Interior is a Museum that contains a chronological history of the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust, and letters of victimsĀ  on the floor projected through light boxes. The boxes on the floor mirror the monument above.