The Last Goodbye.
It was grey and rainy when I arrived in Berlin, the capital of Germany, yet, paradoxically, it is known as the least German of all German cities. My tiny Trabi car, which was once an object of desire in East Germany, made its way down alleys along the former Berlin wall and boarder, heading deep into Berlin’s intrigueing past.
This melting pot of a city boasts a vast array of interesting historical places to visit, from the Brandenburg Gate, to the remains of the Berlin Wall, the world class DDR Museum, the famous Jewish Museum and many more notable attractions.
The destination that drew me in on that day was chosen as a fitting memorial to human suffering. Standing in front of me was 2,711 dark concrete slabs, in varying heights and arranged in a grid pattern in an uneven wave field that covers an area of 19,000 m2.
Walking through this maze creates such a sense of getting lost and desolation that it felt as if I was running out of air and sinking deeper and deeper into a black ocean.
The Holocaust Memorial, also known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, is a monument to the genocide of 6 million Jewish people during WWII, code named - the Final Solution and led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. Below the Memorial, there is a permanent exhibition providing information about the murder victims. Names and stories are projected onto the VDO walls vividly evoke some of the unspeakable horror that was the Holocaust. One of the installations pointed out that it would take a total of 6 years, 7 months and 27 days to read the names of all the known victims.
A hand-written note from a 5-year-old boy to his father had a particular impact on me. Even though it was a while ago what it said on that piece of paper is still fresh in my memory: “Daddy, soon we will be killed. I love you. Goodbye...”