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Holocaust Memorial, Berlin

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Contact: +49 30 2639 4311
Open Hours: Field of Stelae: Daily 24 hrs; Information Center: Apr-Sep: Tu-Su 10a-8p, Oct-Mar: Tu-Su 10a-7p, last admission 45 min before closing
Sixty years after World War II, the city of Berlin unveiled its monument to the Jewish victims of the crimes of the Third Reich. An international symbol of German atrocities, this controversial Holocaust memorial, located next to the Brandenburger Tor and near the buried remains of Hitler's undergeround bunker, was more than 15 years in the making. Designed by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman, the memorial's grid of 2711 gray concrete slabs covers a vast area in the heart of Berlin. The slabs, or stelae, stand at varied heights of up to 4.5 meters (15 feet), creating the sense of a stark concrete forest, through which visitors can wander on uneven cobblestone pathways. The memorial has sparked fierce discussion and controversy. Critcs argue that the abstract design and the failure to acknowledge the Third Reich's other, non-Jewish victims might alienate visitors to the multi-million dollar project. Regardless, this memorial definitely deserves a visit. An underground visitor center (Ort der Information) offers background information. Admission is free of charge.