Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

From Academic Kids

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Holocaust-Memorial (Spring 2004)
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The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as Holocaust memorial for short, is a memorial in Berlin a block to the south of the Brandenburg Gate. It was designed by New York architect Peter Eisenman and commemorates the Jewish victims of the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany.



2711 concrete slabs ("steles") are arranged in a grid pattern on the 19000 square meter site. The steles are 2.38m long, 0.95m wide and vary in height from 0.2m to 4.8m. The blocks are covered with an anti-grafitti substance made by Degussa, the same company that produced the Zyklon B poison used in the Holocaust. They are on a sloping field, designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere.

An attached underground "place of information" will hold the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims, obtained from the Israeli museum Yad Vashem.

The cost of construction has been projected as 25 million Euros.


The German organization of Roma and Sinti has criticized that the monument singles out the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, without mentioning the murdered Roma and Sinti, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, or communists.

The "place of information" has been criticized as breaking with the tradition of having informational museums attached directly to the various German Holocaust sites.

Many disability support groups have criticised the fact that the memorial is not wheelchair accessible.


German journalist Lea Rosh was the driving force behind the memorial. In 1998, she founded a group to support its construction and to collect donations. With rising support, the Bundestag passed a resolution in favor of the project, and in May 1994 a competition for its design began. In June 1995, the plan of Christine Jackob-Marks (a large sloping concrete surface with the names of the victims chiseled in) was declared the winner, but Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl rejected it. Peter Eisenman's plan emerged as the winner of the next competition in November 1997. In June 1998, a large majority of the Bundestag decided in favor of Eisenman's plan, modified by attaching a museum. Eisenman designed the underground "place of information". Construction of the memorial started in April 2003.

In October 2003, it was discovered that the German company Degussa provided some materials for the memorial. Construction was halted, because a daughter company of Degussa had produced the Zyklon B poison used to murder people in the Nazi gas chambers. After some discussion, construction was resumed one month later, with continued involvement of Degussa.

On December 15th 2004 the memorial was finished. It was dedicated on May 10th, 2005 as part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of V-E Day and opened to the public on May 12th, 2005.


External links

eo:Memorejo por la murditaj judoj de Eŭropo fr:Mémorial de l'Holocauste nl:Holocaust-Mahnmal


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