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Blow Up the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe.

The Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe is located in Berlin's central government district, one of the city's most popular tourist destinations. A short walk north is Brandenburg Gate, and beyond that the Reichstag. To the west is Tiergarten, Berlin's largest park. To the east is a group of stores and restaurants catering to tourists, nicknamed "the Holocaust beach" by the German press. Nearby are three more memorials: the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism; the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism; and the Memorial and Information Centre for the Victims of the Nazi Euthanasia Programme.

The main memorial was designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman. It consists of 2,711 stelaerectangular, undifferentiated concrete slabs of monotonous gray with a smooth finisharrayed in a grid across a sloping field. As visitors descend into the site, the stelae rise above them and their perspective becomes disoriented, fragmented; they can hear voices, sounds, laughter, but cannot locate the source; they pass blindly through the grid's intersections, unsure what they will find around the corner. In its quieter, more contemplative moments, which are rare, it insinuates the atmosphere of a de Chirico painting. Eisenman insists that the design, including the number of stelae, has no manifest symbolism, "no goal, no end, no working one's way in or out."

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Author:Cocotas, Alex
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Apr 21, 2017
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