Holocaust Memorial + Topography of Terror

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial) in Berlin is quite an interesting space. It is nearly five acres of sloping ground, covered with large, concrete, vertical slabs, some of which are shorter than a foot, and others of which are more than 15 feet tall. Walking, through, inside, and around the memorial leaves you feeling a bit disoriented, which I imagine is partly the point. The play of light and shadows is interesting, even more so with the sloping ground, and slabs that vary in height. The memorial is also an amazing location for children to play tag.

Today (and yesterday too, in passing) I visited the Topography of Terror, an outdoor museum in Berlin that contains the longest surviving stretch of the outer Berlin Wall; outer meaning that it was visible from West Berlin, not just East Berlin. There were dozens or hundreds of reproduced photographs, and more than enough information about the Gestapo, SS, and Nazi Party, but at times I had trouble putting all the pieces together. There were small-scale models indicating which building or landmark was where, and at the time I knew that I was surrounded by what once was the headquarters of this institution or that, but I never did quite figure out what was what. But it was enough to know that it was the decision-making epicenter of the Nazi Party.