Jewish Museum in Berlin
The map shown in the photo above is near the entrance to the Berlin Jewish Museum exhibits. It shows the three intersecting corridors and the two empty towers of the building. The photo at the top of the page shows an aerial view of the Jewish Museum on the left.
The photo below shows the "axis of the Holocaust" where it intersects with the "axis of exile." The "axis of exile" represents the deportation of the German Jews which first began in 1940. The "axis of Exile" leads outside to the garden of 49 stone columns, which you see on the left side of the map in the photo above. Notice that there is no exit from the garden.
The "axis of Continuity" leads to the exhibition space. Together, the three corridors represent the three important elements of the Jewish experience, according to the museum designer.
There are no windows in the museum building, but narrow slits in the sides of the building allow in some light, which illuminate two of the corridors, as shown in the photograph above. The whole building is designed to be scary, like a house of horrors. There are no guided tours and visitors may walk about freely, although there are attendants on duty, ready to answer any questions.
One of the towers is the Holocaust Tower, reached from the corridor called "the axis of the Holocaust." The tower is a dimly lit, completely empty space with no windows. The metal door to this tower is very heavy and an attendant stands outside, ready to assist visitors with opening the door, as it would be easy for someone to panic while inside.
The other tower is called the Memory Void; it represents the void left in Germany by the Jews who are gone. In 1933, when the Nazis came to power, there were 502,773 Jews in Germany, or 0.76% of the population, according to the Jewish Museum. In 2008, there were approximately 200,000 Jews in Germany.
Wikipedia estimates the total number of people in Germany in 1939 at 69,623,000 and the total number of deaths during World War II at a minimum of 6,533,000, including soldiers and civilians.
Wikipedia estimates the number of German Jewish deaths during World War II at 160,000. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, there were approximately 170,000 German Jews killed during the Holocaust.
For details about the murdered German Jews, go to this page of the USHMM web site:
The Memory Void tower is empty except for the "Fallen Leaves" which represent the Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. The tower is shown in the three photographs below.
This page was updated on September 20, 2009