Brian opened his class this week with an overview of the culminating theme for the course: How have the Germans memorialized what happened during the Holocaust? How well do the memorials we will visit achieve this goal? Where should the focus lie, on the perpetrators or the victims? How can a memorial on some level recreate the experience or ask those interacting with it to physically engage? What is the role of text/information vs. individual stories in attempting to convey something of the horror? Where is the line between a memorial as a museum versus a piece of art? As the actual events recede in history and time, what is the best and appropriate way for ensuing generations to make sense of what happened? Brian also asks students to think about how well the US is doing in memorializing what happened to enslaved and indigenous people.
To that end, we visited the following memorials for our afternoon trip.
The Holocaust Memorial (Or, more accurately: The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe), that occupies several city blocks in the center of the city.
At the Roma Sinti Memorial, The flower on the triangle is changed daily:
Brian explaining to Kieran:
Memorials are everywhere and in unexpected places, as with this memorial that I came upon this morning on a walk in our neighborhood:
Back "home" and dinner out with Andy and Jessica: