If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And For The Other 4 Million?

Not to be missed in Berlin is the poorly named Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It is so poorly named that most people call it the Holocaust memorial. The memorial was built in what was formerly the Death Strip between the inner and outer walls of the Berlin Wall. Prior to that Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels home was located here.

Intentionally or not, it works as a memorial (at least for me). From the perimeter its not much but when you walk into it...
the blocks tower above you. They are slightly tilted. Every way you look you see more and more of the same. It's powerful.
You may notice the lack of graffiti on the memorial. The two main reasons are: 24-hour police and anti-graffiti coating. During the building of the memorial it came out that the company supplying the anti-graffiti coating was related to the chemical company that supplied Zyklon B to the gas chambers used by the Nazis. After a huge uproar, the company noted that every German company that was around during WWII (like BMW or Volkswagen) could be tied to the death and destruction of the time but, as a good will gesture the company supplied the coating to the memorial for free.

On the other hand, here is the even more poorly named Memorial to the Homosexuals Persecuted under the National Socialist Regime. It is a bit tucked away in the nearby Tiergarten park. It is large block of concrete with one hole in it. If you look in the hole, there is a continuous loop of video showing two guys making out.This memorial doesn't really work for me. Apparently, it didn't work for lesbians either. After their complaints it was decided that the tape will be changed at the end of the year to show two women kissing. That is certain to make the memorial more popular. (I think the plan is to change it every so often after that.)

Still to be built is a memorial for the Sinti and Roma (Gypsies). That'll still leave the Poles, the Russians, the Disabled and every other targeted group. Frankly, I find it a little offensive that every group needs their own memorial. Why not just a memorial for all the people killed and persecuted by the Nazis?

No comments: