Recalling the Pessimism of War: 'Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe'

Culture Tourism

Read Time: 4 min 17 sec

Translation by OCAKKUCUK, Abdullah


During its time, world history has experienced two major global wars that caused enormous suffering and which affected more than one country, state, and society. Although two big world wars that started in 1914 and 1939 were not in the recent past by 2020, these events are the foundations of the world order. Unfortunately, due to the biological and physiological structure of human beings, we have the ability to forget what happened in time, even though there were great events in the past. For this reason, to keep the memories of big events or people alive, countless monuments have been built throughout the world during its history.

(Peter Eisenman,

Monuments about wars were built in many cities of Europe in order not to make people forget about the difficult days after the Second World War. But the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (German: Denkmal für die Ermordeten Juden Europas) or the Holocaust Memorial (German: Holocaust-Mahnmal), which was built in Berlin on May 2, 2005, strikes a striking reality with its design and its distinctive appearance.

(Instagram: @carlottamagli)

The monument was dedicated to about five and a half million Jews who were systematically killed in the genocide during Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler. The mausoleum, designed by US architect Peter Eisenman and UK-based engineering firm Buro Happold, consists of 2,711 concrete blocks spread over an area of 19,000 square meters. These reinforced concrete blocks are also called stela (sewn, consisting of a monolithic stone that is tall in height), as they are monolithic masses rising perpendicular to it. In addition, there is a museum beneath the monument area with photos, information-documents, and data pertaining to genocide events.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is important in terms of putting a symbol of responsibility in the heart of Berlin, the capital of Germany for the crimes committed, and those who lost their lives. Keeping the bad and painful memories alive for people from all corners of Europe fulfills its purpose The worst and saddest part is the fact that human being takes never a lesson from the past and the wars still in the present. Although mass killings no longer live, human rights abuses and murders are still not extinct. In this respect, the importance of these stimulating places, which show how wars and massacres will affect people, is increasing day by day.


Peter Eisenman, the designer of the monumental tomb, leaves the person alone with his connotation with this abstract monument. Every individual can interpret this place with his or her own thoughts. While it creates a great cemetery call for some, it is a disturbing and confusing environment for others, symbolizing the disconnection of the so-called regular system with humanity. It will be one of the greatest achievements in the name of humanity that every person who steps into Berlin and even in Europe must see this monument, which shows its strength with its openness to every interpretation and to be aware of what was experienced in the past.


 © Cover photo by Rosa Costa (Instagram: @rosa_m_costa)

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