A Bunch of Concrete Blocks
February 29, 2012 § 8 Comments
I’m sure they could have picked a more… elegant name, as I always think of the TV show American Horror Story, and how the tour guide of the haunted house tour said “muuuuurder house”. Anyhow, it is what it is: the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. 2,700 concrete blocks covering an entire street block in a uniformed grid pattern, the result is a stunning world of geometry. Each side of the blocks reflect the sunlight from a different angle, so every single shape and contrast can be seen vividly. For me, it’s a visual wonderland. Seriously, where else can you see a 19,000 square meters of geometric pattern?
I thought all the blocks were on the same ground level, with some taller and some shorter. But I was wrong. The blocks on the outer edge were shorter, at knee level, the atmosphere was rather opened and airy. However, as I walked further inside, I noticed the ground sunk in dramatically. So one moment I was walking among knee height concrete blocks, the next moment I was standing inside a concrete jungle. It was a very different world. Looking at these tall grey concrete blocks from such a narrow space, I felt that I was so small in this world. Suddenly the atmosphere became heavy, and the sadness of the murdered Jews caught up on me. That was when I look at these concrete as death or gravestones.
All these concrete slabs look like l they just lied there peacefully, but it was the inside that took my breath away. I felt the pain and the sorrow. There weren’t any imposing sculptures or engraving but this memorial was so powerful and haunting.