Trust me, no one has been wanting to see an update on this site as much as I have. Even though my actions don’t speak as loudly as my words, you have to believe me when I say that it has been hectic three weeks of March. A lot of things claimed my attention that I had no choice but to neglect this blog, but I suppose I could summarise all the madness in one word.
I found myself unexpectedly hanging out with a group of Germans and even got myself jokingly offered a PhD programme in Berlin on Statistics (for reasons that I can’t fathom), which I obviously rejected because I am not an academic person like that.
Which is why you may or may not have noticed that I have sneakily slipped in and changed the Header of this blog and left it there without giving any explanation. So now that I finally managed to squeeze in some time to breathe and write, let me introduce you to the Header for March, the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
The Holocaust Memorial is one of my absolute favourite memorials, although the word ‘favourite’ may not be very appropriate for something that carries such morbid meanings. I mean this whole thing is actually called Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
At first glance, the whole 4.7-acre site looks like a cemetery with different sized stones. There are a total of 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in grid pattern on a sloping ground. It was massive, and just from the colours and structure of the slabs, you could tell right away that there were many sad stories that inspired this all. Seeing it from afar could leave you in a sort of unpleasant kind of awe. But wandering through it was a different sensation altogether.
I am not particularly claustrophobic. I am generally fine in enclosed spaces, but the moment I stepped into the maze of grids in between the concrete slabs, I felt like the whole world was closing in on me. There was a suffocating confusion, and I immediately felt lost.
I could only last for a few minutes before getting desperate for a way out through all this static and silent chaos. The moment I got out, I fully understood that this was probably one of the things that Peter Eisenman, the architect, must have wanted people to experience. The feeling of those Jews being trapped in all this turmoil, where perhaps the only way out was death.
The sun may be shining in Berlin and the sky may be magnificently blue at the Bradenburg Gate just one block north of this Memorial.
But once you get here, take a moment to remember, no matter how beautiful the sky is, that thousands have died during this terrible moment in history.