nervousmotion artworks blog

Berlin Holocaust Memorial.

[photo by Amelia Bidwell]

I’m pretty envious that my good friend Amelia got to go to Berlin, it’s one of those places I’ve always wanted to visit – I even threatened to move there for a while (not having been to a place before doesn’t stop me from making that sort of threat. I’m currently threatening to move to Buenos Aires).  While I was living vicariously through her Flickr set I was especially envious to see that she had visited the Holocaust Memorial Maze. I am, you see, something of a Holocaust dork.

The Berlin Holocaust Memorial Maze was the most interesting of the Holocaust Memorials that I read about back when I took a class on Art & The Holocaust back in the fall of my senior year at Hampshire. Most of the theory behind memorials is even more astoundingly boring than the monuments themselves, but I liked the idea of the maze.  It’s very interesting to see the reactions specifically of the German people in regards to the Shoah as the nation contained both victims and perpetrators.  How do you embody that in a piece of art? How do you pay homage to the suffering and destruction of a people that your nation caused? The designer of the maze says that he didn’t want to create a place that was filled with an overwhelming sense of loss – perhaps this is because that loss is still too much to bear for the people who will see the Memorial and be reminded that they or their families were on the other side of that particular coin.  After all, 60 years is only too early to erect a memorial for a pain that you took part in inflicting.


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