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An Architectural work of art that is popular with tourists visiting Berlin is the Holocaust Memorial. Opened in May 2005, it consists of 2,711 gray stone slabs 2.38 meters long, by 0.95 meters wide, laid out over a 19,000 square meter site. Each of the slabs are of a different height ranging from 0.2 to 4.8 meters.

Created by the American architect Peter Eisenman, the slabs undulate in a wave-like pattern across the site, in a deliberate aim to disorientate the visitor. Eisenman never intended this to be a religious site, but wished it to form part of the daily life of Berliners. There is no set path through the site and visitors are encouraged just to wonder around and experience the effect.

Construction began in April 2003 but about 6 months later it was halted when it was realised that one of the suppliers, the German company Degussa, had close contacts with a company that had supplied the “Zyklon B” poison used in the Nazi gas chambers. A month later after much discussion, construction was resumed with Degussa continuing to be involved. Completed in December 2004, it was officially opened May 10, 2005, and opened to the public 2 days later.

The memorial itself does not display any plaques, inscriptions, or religious symbols, which has caused some controversy, so to satisfy those who like to see a more traditional display, an underground Visitor Centre was created that contains information regarding the design and construction of the memorial, plus stories about some of the people who suffered at the hands of the Nazi party. It is possible to visit the memorial itself at any time, with the Visitor Center open from 10 am until 8 pm.

Holocaust Memorial 1 Holocaust Memorial 2 Holocaust Memorial 3

Holocaust Memorial