The Mid Collective + TRIP

Berlin Part 3 ... remembering the holocaust

Oldest Jewish cemetary of Berlin that had been distroyed by the Nazis in 1943...

The cemetery was built in 1672 by Jews who had found refuge in Berlin after being chased from Vienna. The famous German-Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn was buried here in 1786.

After the cemetery's destruction during the Nazi era, gravestones were kept at a different cemetery for years.

Philosopher and scholar Moses Mendelssohn arrived in Berlin in 1743, and urged Jews to integrate into secular society. Mendelssohn was involved in the founding of the Juedische Freischule (Jewish Free School), that combined religious learning with a general education. Today, the private Jewish High School located at Grosse Hamburger Strasse 27 is open to both Jews and non-Jews alike, and is in the same building the Free School occupied from 1906 to 1942. Mendelssohn was laid to rest in Berlin in Vestpocket Park, which was used as the Jewish cemetery from 1672 to 1827.

The so-called “Stumbling Blocks” (Stolpersteine) are part of a project of the Cologne based artist Gunter Demnig, who was born in Berlin in 1947.

The project consists of pavement memorials, remembering victims of the Nazi Regime, on the pavement outside their last “Residence of choice” in Germany.

Up to the end of 2006, around 9,000 blocks had been laid in 190 different Towns and Cities in Germany.

The Holocaust memorial...
In May 2005, on the 60th anniversary of the fall of the Nazi regime and the end of World War II, the city of Berlin dedicated their Holocaust Memorial, designed to commemorate the murder of six million Jews at the hands of Hitler and his forces.

Eisenman's design is quite unique and has drawn both praise and criticism. Occupying about 205,000 square feet (19,000 square meters) of space near the Brandenburg Gate and just a short distance from where the ruins of Hitler's bunker is buried, the Berlin Holocaust Memorial is made up of 2,711 gray stone slabs that bear no markings, such as names or dates.

The slabs undulate in a wave-like pattern. Each is a five-sided monolith, individually unique in shape and size. Some are only ankle high while others tower over visitors. The paths that are shaped between the slabs undulate as well. Eisenman hoped to create a feeling of groundlessness and instability; a sense of disorientation. Most will agree that he succeeded.

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