Thursday 22nd of February 2018 06:20:17 PM


Berlin and the Jewish attracctions

Recommended for adults (with grown-ups)

In the following article we will discuss Berlin’s land marks and monuments relating to the Jewish people – so that we always remember and never forget.

“It is not what they built. It is what they knocked down.
It is not the houses. It is the spaces in between the houses.
It is not the streets that exist. It is the streets that no longer exist.
It is not your memories which haunt you.
It is not what you have written down.
It is what you have forgotten, what you must forget.
What you must go on forgetting all your life”

James Fenton “A German Requiem”

Holocaust Memorial – Peter Eisenman Holocaust monument, is probable the most famous and most toured in Berlin. It was inaugurated in 2005 and it is located on the southern side of the Brandenburger Tor and the Reichstag, where Hitler’s offices were. It consists of a 19,000 square meter site, covered with 2,711 concrete slabs, one for each page of the Talmud arranged in a grid pattern (a bit like a cemetery) on a sloping field. Walking around the monument you get a feeling a bewilderment and unpleasantness. The height of the slabs is not even, which comes to symbolize the women, children and babies that were murdered during the Holocaust.

Steglitz mirror wall – a mirror monument that stands in the middle of the Hermann Ehlers Platz, made of polished iron. When looking from a far, the monument does not seem out of the ordinary, but as you come closer, you realize that it has over 1700 names of Jewish victims that were murdered during the Holocaust.
The list is compiled of names, addresses, prayers and even pictures of Jews that lived in Berlin and were sent to the death camps.

Memorial coach – located on the Lützowstrasse, in the Moabit Tiergarten quarter, very close to where the old liberal synagogue once stood. The synagogue was destroyed during the Kristallnacht pogrom, and was later used as a gathering point for Jews on their way to Auschwitz. The latest “shipment” of Jews left on April 1945, This goes to show that the eradication of the Jews continued till the very end of the war. The monument is made out of 3 parts :
:The coach The coach is “decorated” with shaded figures, that their faces and bodies are a blur.
A bronze board - Lied in front of the coach and has the dates of the transports and the number of the passengers carved into it
The flames’ wall - Built in 1985, 35 boards that have the names of the synagogues that were vandalized and destroyed during the Kristallnacht pogrom.

Platform 17 - during the war, in the outskirts of the Grunevald neighborhood, operated a train that transported Jews to the death camps. Now, in place of the train station, stands a monument to commemorate the memory of those that were murdered by the Nazi’s. the monument is a wall that has foot prints carved into it, and from both sides of the monument (where the railway used to be) you can see the dates and the number of Jews that were transported.

Synagogue’s benches - located in the Kreuzberg quarter. This monument was built on the ruins of the great liberal synagogue that was on Axel Springer 50.
The synagogue, that had concerts halls, was first vandalize during the Kristallnacht pogrom, and later was bombarded by the Allied forces. The monument is made out of concrete chunks, shaped as benches that are exactly where the synagogue’s genuine benches’ used to be. The monument was built by Zvi Hecker, Michael Ullmann and Eyal Weizman
The monument not noticeable from the street, and you need to know exactly where it is in order to see it. On the wall, at the entrance, you can see pictures that explain the story and history of the synagogue.

The abandoned room – located in the Kapellplatz, in the old Jewish quarter. In the middle of a lovely and quiet park, stands a table and two chairs, one of which is upside down. It gives the feeling of a room that was left in haste. On the sides of this monument, lies a quote of the German poet Nelly Sachs (a Jewish refugee that fled to in Sweden during the war) who won a noble price for it in 1988. ______________________