Track 17 (Gleis 17 in German) at the Grunewald S-Bahn station in Berlin is a memorial site that honors the Jewish citizens who were deported by Deutsche Reichsbahn during the Nazi era. Deutsche Reichsbahn was the company that preceeded Deutsche Bahn, the current national railway company. Over 50,000 Jews from Berlin and surrounding areas were deported from Track 17 at the Grunewald station between 1941 and 1945, destined for various concentration camps east of Germany.
For years after the war, the railway companies in East and West Germany avoided the topic of the deportation their predecessors had been involved with. But research easily showed that without the Deutsche Reichsbahn, the mass deportation would not have been possible. When the two companies merged after the reunification of Germany, Deutsche Bahn set up the memorial site in 1998 to commemorate the victims.
The memorial is made up of 186 cast steel bars embedded in the gravel along the track, all referring to the number of transports that left Berlin. Inscribed on them are the dates of the transports, the number of deportees and the train's route. There are also sculptures, plaques and trees that were brought in from Auschwitz to honor the victims. Trains no longer run from this memorial track.
To reach the Track 17 memorial, take the S-bahn line S7 to the Grunewald station. On Friday and Saturday nights, the S5 line replaces the S7 line.