The Holocaust Memorial is a very moving place to visit. I had been there before, and it left an impression but only because I knew what it was meant to signify.
It was only on this trip where I went inside to view the information center that I realised just how little the space above me outside, with 2711 stelae in place, actually told me about why they are there.
On my first trip to Berlin four years ago I was with a friend and she was being a very good guide, making me do stuff like get on the plane in the first place, visit the zoo (she’s starting to sound like my carer), and go to all of the major tourist spots. She is the one that said we’re going to this memorial, and so we did. It means that I visited it knowing what it was.
Seeing it with fresh eyes on this trip made me realise that if I was just a tourist who happened to want to visit and walk around Berlin, and one day I stumbled across this vast area – I would have no idea what the point of it was. My first thoughts would probably be that it was an art installation before a memorial. I may then see that it is titled ‘Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe’, but that information is vague in itself. No time period. No mention of them being murdered by Germany. It could as easily have been under Voldemort’s regime, Hitler certainly seemed to be placed in the ‘You know who’ or ‘He who must not be named’ mystery that surrounds that fictional villain.
Is he now just a character that is mentioned in a scary story to tell the children at night before they go to bed?
It’s scary to think that the introduction of the Nuremberg Laws and the genocide that followed happened less than 80 years ago.
It’s scarier to think it could happen again.
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
- Focal length: 24mm
- ISO: 100
- Shutter speed: 1/200s