I waffled between thinking it was appropriately abstract and inappropriately non-specific. There’s nothing Jewish about it. I still haven’t settled on whether that’s ok or not. It’s half maze, half graveyard. The rectangular slabs are gray, cold, and smooth. But not straight. They tilt and shiver in the fog like headstones in an old cemetery. Formed from concrete, but anything but. Maybe to remind us of the sheer, incomprehensible number. Six million. It has to be abstracted. The slabs are tallest in the center. There, you get the vague feeling of being chased. Or at least of being watched.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe serves as a sobering reminder that there is cruelty and apathy inside each one of us and what can happen when neighbors turn on each other, when facts are disregarded, when governments present powerless people an oh-so-convenient scapegoat, and when loud people with big promises abuse their place in front of a microphone. Each new generation has to be vigilant. Or the earth will fill with memorials.
Lastly, to the couples making out and the parents letting their kids play hide and seek between the slabs, you are so unbelievably tacky.