All across Europe you will find Jewish Museums and I have now been to quite a few. I went to the Berlin museum at the urging of hostel roommates who could not stop raving about the uniqueness and the time I should spend there. Well, I went and ended up walking around for four hours.
First, it must be said, this is not a holocaust museum. Yes, it is a part of it because it is a part of Jewish history but for the most part there is more detail on the full history of the Jewish religion and life then of the war.
Secondly, the architecture of the museum is some of the most unique I have seen in the world. It is described as “a warped (or exploded) Star of David”. The most powerful thing about this was where you could look out a window into the middle of the building. In the middle there is the Void, there is simply nothing upon first look. I read that it is a empty place to signify the missing people of Europe who have been killed or gone missing in tragedy and war. Reaching the bottom of the building I entered into this space and this is what I found.
It is an art installation to signify the innocent who have been killed or gone missing in times of war and conflict. A very powerful idea, especially if you look at the individual disk faces. 10, 000 of them fill the floor.
In regards to the holocaust, the bottom floor is filled with axis’ detailing different parts of the holocaust. They show this by using personal items and stories that have been everywhere from concentration camps, to neighbours who saved their Jewish friends belongings, and even children who escaped Europe but lost their parents or grandparents. It is a very powerful place and even more powerful is the room they have that is meant to show how Jewish people felt during this time. It is a dark and cold void of a space, two stories tall and utterly empty with no windows, little air and no light. Entering the room I felt truly and utterly alone and spent a moment thinking of those who suffered.
Now just for a bit of humour, in the permanent exhibit there was examples of Kippah’s and this was definitely the best of the lot!
I would recommend this museum to everyone. If you are in Berlin, Go! It is the most powerful museum I have ever been to and they are opening a new wing so you could spend a whole day there if truly interested.
P.s. sorry for the quality guys, it was one of those I forgot my camera so I used my old ipod :s