A somber yet striking memorial stretching over a 4.7-acre (1.9-hectare) plot in the center of Berlin, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die Ermordeten Juden Europas) was opened in 2005 to remember and honor the some 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Taking the time to walk through the memorial is essential, and visiting on a private or small-group Berlin walking tour means your guide will be able to offer insight into its significance. You should explore the underground Information Centre, where the moving exhibitions include the Room of Names, the Room of Dimensions, and the Room of Families. For a deeper understanding of Berlin’s World War II and Cold War history, combine a visit with a stop at the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate, or the Jewish Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entrance to the memorial and information center is free.
- Be mindful that the memorial is a place of remembrance, so avoid loud or disrespectful behavior and don’t allow children to play around the pillars.
- The memorial is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Holocaust Memorial is located on Cora-Berliner-Strasse 1 in central Berlin, just south of the Brandenburg Gate and on the eastern edge of the Tiergarten Park. You can walk there from the Reichstag building and Potsdamer Platz, or take the U-Bahn to the Franzosische Strasse or Mohrenstrasse stations.
When to Get There
The memorial is open 24/7, although you’ll need to visit during the day to see the information center. To avoid the crowds and experience the memorial at its quietest, opt for an early morning or nighttime visit.
The Meaning Behind the Memorial
The memorial features 2,711 concrete pillars of varying heights forming a grid-like structure that can be approached and viewed from all angles. The unsettling combination of the undulating ground and ever-changing horizon line create an intentionally uneasy and confusing atmosphere. Architect Peter Eisenman designed it to be a place of contemplation, remembrance, and warning.