Some more Holocaust related memorials

5 12 2007

The Missing House: A work by Christian Boltanski, from 1990, located on Grosse Hamburger Strasse, across the street from the Jewish School, not very far from the New Synagogue on Oranienburger Strasse. The missing building was destroyed in WW2. Some of its former residents were Jews. Boltanski constructed there “a memorial space dedicated to absence”. The signs on the walls indicate the names, dates of birth and death and profession of the former residents.

The Missing House.

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"Places of Remembrance" in the Bavarian Quarter

3 12 2007

The memorial “Places of Remembrance”, created by the artist Renata Stih and the art historian Frieder Schnock, consists of 80 street signs, presenting anti-Jewish laws and regulations under Nazi rule. One side of each such sign shows a picture, the other a piece of anti-Jewish legislation.

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The Sachsenhausen concentration camp

1 12 2007

The Sachsenhausen concentration camp is located some 35 kilometers from Berlin, in Oranienburg. You get there by taking the S1 from Berlin to Oranienburg central station, and from there taking bus line 804 directly to the place.

Entrance from outside. Entrance from the inside.

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House of the Wannsee Conference

27 11 2007

The Villa Marlier on Am Großen Wannsee 56-58, the place where the conference dealing with the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem” was held back on 20 January 1942, is nowadays a memorial and educational center.

Villa Marlier on Am Großen Wannsee

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Grünewald Train Station – Gleis 17

25 11 2007

The Grünewald S-Bahn station is a train station on the S7 line going to Potsdam. This station was the place where the deportations occurred. More than 50,000 of Berlin’s Jews were deported from here to extermination camps.

Gleis 17 Gleis 17 sign

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Remembering the Holocaust

23 11 2007

The next few posts will deal with a subject close to my heart, and one of the things that first attracted me to this magnificent city. That is, the memory of the Holocaust. I have already mentioned here before I have personal interest in this subject, being what is known as “third generation to the Holocaust”, and obsessed about the issue.

My particular obsession is focused on learning from history, making sure such things never happen to anyone, anywhere. One of the aspects of learning from history is the issue of dealing with the memory. Being a descendant of victims is not an easy thing. There’s a lot of unremitting pain involved, a lot of distress, a lot of very tangible loss, still very much alive. But I always thought that being a descendant of the perpetrators is even harder.
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Topography of Terror: construction finally started, again

15 11 2007

Some two weeks ago, the German government finally announced the beginning of the construction of an exhibition center at the site which used to house once the Gestapo, SS and Reich Security Offices in Berlin (located on the Prinz Albrecht Terrain at Niederkirchnerstrasse 8), to complete the memorial known as the “Topography of Terror”.

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Berlin Must Sees: Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

3 11 2007

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is a protestant church, located at the Breitscheidplatz, one end of the famous Kurfürstendamm boulevard, in the center of former West Berlin. The church was damaged in the war, and left in ruins as a monument to peace and reconciliation.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

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Communist Era: more memory sites and museums

12 10 2007

In the website of the city of Berlin you can find a lot of very useful information about sites and museums, dedicated to the commemoration of the wall, its victims, and the GDR (German Democratic Republic, as East Germany called itself) period and works.

Among the memorial sites for the victims of the Berlin Wall you can find the Memorial for Günter Litfin, the first person to be shot and killed attempting to flee to West Berlin. The memorial is located on Kieler str. 2, and you can get there by taking the U6 to Reinickendorfer Strasse station, or by bus line 147.

There is also a memorial for Peter Fechter, an East German teenager who was shot at the crossing and left there to bleed to death. The place was marked with a wooden cross, which was replaced in 1999 by a stele created by Karl Biedermann and donated by Axel-Springer-Verlag. The spot where Peter Fechter died is marked on the ground by basalt rock.

Other memorials include the Parliament of Trees against War and Violence, and the White Crosses memorial site. For further information, including a map, look here.

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