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To emerge from darkness…

March 9, 2009

This past January me and my beautiful bride-to-be had to take a trip to Berlin.  In between getting all our affairs in order to apply to get married we did a bit of sightseeing.  One of the places we decided to go to was the Brandenburg Gate and while walking there we stumbled upon the Jewish Holocaust Memorial.  It was a very moving experience for me so I decided to share it here.

Sitting modestly just a short walk from the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin there is the Jewish Holocaust Memorial.  On the surface all I see is a multitude of concrete slabs, seemingly quite shallow, stretching across an entire city block.  The whole structure invites me in and promises a leisurely experience, all the concrete slabs look about as high as park benches.  We entire and are suddenly confronted with a reality completely contrary to that which we perceived.  The ground undulates irregularly and dives deep into the depths of this monolith forest.  Before we know it the slabs that looked so short from the outside tower over our heads.  The only sense of direction we are able to keep comes from what we can still see of the city in the distance at the ends of the isles and rows.  The city seems so distant and unobtainable from within these wide open yet constricting corridors.  We become lost in a maze where the solution is easy yet seems so daunting.  As we work our way to the other side of the memorial the ground begins to raise and the towers of concrete become less ominous.  Finally back out in the daylight we regain our perspective.  We look back over the memorial and notice someone has put one lone flowers on some of the slabs, a subtle gesture, the flowers are almost unnoticeable.  Such a simple image is a wonderful way to emerge.

For me this was a very effective memorial.  The simplicity of it made it incredibly powerful.  Walking through it I could imagine what it was for the victims of the Holocaust, stuck in a world of darkness where the exit is clear yet unobtainable.  Where a gradual descent into the depths of hell on earth came along suddenly and unexpected.  Inside the rows and isles one cannot help but look inwards into yourself as the outside world is erased.  We literally stumbled upon this massive and unassuming structure while walking around taking pictures but I have to say this was one of the most powerful subjects I have ever shot.  Not only did I get some excellent shots, I got an insight I into a past reality that should not be forgotten.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Camilla permalink
    March 9, 2009 9:48 am

    Really cool photos! 🙂

  2. March 9, 2009 6:29 pm

    thanks. i’m glad you like them.

  3. March 9, 2009 10:58 pm

    heyyah!

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