A Bunch of Concrete Blocks

February 29, 2012 § 8 Comments

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin. Dec 23, 2011.

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?

2700 blocks of concrete created an amazing world of geometry. Berlin. Dec 23, 2011.

Concrete jungle. Berlin. Dec 23, 2011.

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.

Visitors taking pictures among the blocks. Berlin. Dec 23, 2011.


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