Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Holocaust Memorials

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas)is located on Cora-Berliner-Straße. Designed by Peter Eisenman, it features 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid-like formation. Each slab is several meters long and 3 feet wide. Adjacent to the memorial is an information center, which contains a timeline of the Final Solution, as well as the names of millions of victims of the holocaust. There’s also a visitors center, which displays many important moments and memories from the Holocaust. The memorial was opened in May 2005.

The debates over whether to have such a memorial and what form it should take extend back to the late 1980s, when a small group of private German citizens, led by television journalist Lea Rosh and historian Eberhard Jäckel, first began pressing for Germany to honor the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Rosh soon emerged as the driving force behind the memorial. In 1989, she founded a group to support its construction and to collect donations. With growing support, the Bundestag (German federal parliament) passed a resolution in favour of the project. On 25 June 1999, the Bundestag decided to build the memorial designed by Peter Eisenman. A federal foundation (Foundation for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe) was consequently founded to run it.

Three years after the official opening of the memorial, half of the blocks made from compacting concrete started to crack. While some interpret this defect as an intentional symbolization of the immortality and durability of the Jewish community, the memorials’ foundation deny this. Some analyze the lack of individual names on the monument as an illustration of the unimaginable number of murdered Jews in the Holocaust. In this way, the memorial illustrates that the number of Jewish individuals murdered in the Holocaust was so colossal that is impossible to physically visualize