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NORTHERN GERMANY


Ignatz Bubis called the memorial “unnecessary.” Schraff er said that the controversy has largely been


unfounded. “T e memorial is only six years old, so it is the beginning of


a long-term debate,” he said. “But today people who come here are so open-minded.


People are touched by what they see. Most people have never seen a picture of the memorial. When they see it, they have no idea what it is.” Schraff er said most people who come to the memorial are


drawn more by curiosity than anything else. Underneath the memorial, a visitor center acts as a small Holocaust museum and provides fi rsthand accounts from some of the lives that ended at the hands of the Nazis in concentration camps. A chilling quote greets visitors at the entrance: “It


happened, therefore it can happen again; this is the core of what we have to say,” said Primo Levi, a Jewish chemist. Schraff er said the biggest thing anyone can take away from is


the memorial their own interpretations, thoughts and


beliefs. “We try to not just give information,” he said. “We want


to make people think. It’s more complicated than just giving numbers. Sometimes people are unsatisfi ed, but at least they are thinking.” While the Neue Synagogue, Jewish Museum and Holocaust


Memorial are the most visited attractions in Berlin, Jewish culture is everywhere, even beneath one’s feet. An ongoing project by Berlin artist Gunter Demnig called


“Stumbling Blocks” is popping up all over the city. Brass plates with engravings of the names of people, usually Jewish, who were taken from their homes in Berlin during World War II are being placed in sidewalks throughout Berlin near their former homes. Like the memorial to the Jewish victims of fascism, these


reminders in the sidewalk are oſt en spots for fl owers and memorabilia. While the city of Berlin continues to grow, the abundant monuments, museums and memorials will never let the city forget its past.


Top: Two golden name plates in front of the former homes of Holocaust victims. Middle: The tables and chairs are a sculpture representing how Jews living in Germany had to leave so quickly. Bottom: Markers outside the Alter Judischer Friedaff, the site of a Jewish cemetary that was destroyed.


20| ALPINE LIVING 2011


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