The blue glass stained windows provide a really interesting feeling inside, and is illuminated at night. It definitely doesn't look like your traditional catholic church, and perhaps that is what caught my eye. Despite my desire for traditional elements in a church, I really liked this one. The name is in Kaiserwilhemgedächtniskirche, which technically is hyphenated (like Kaiser-Wilhem-Gedächtsnis-Kirche) but I like sticking it all together because it shows how Germans like to just stick together words sometimes.
|the modern tower that was built around the church tower ruins|
|the new church, with concrete and pre-fab elements|
|the inside of the new church|
Once on the tour, our guide began to walk us through Libeskind's masterpiece. The sharp contrast of black and white is meant to put you back in time -- to a time where you would start at the beginning. You even start underground in the basement, which is representative of the Nazizeit, the time when the Nazi's had control. This is also the darkest time in history.
The dark showcases and shortening ceiling help to give you the feeling that there is no way out. At the end of this axis is the Holocaust Tower, which is a room that completely closes you off from the rest of the museum and is meant to memorialize the 6 million people who died. There is only one place where the light really comes in, except it is so high up that there is no way that you'd be able to get to it; and so the escape is fleeting. This area is described as a 'voided void,' the emptiness of emptiness. You can also hear muffled sounds from outside through the open window; yet you can never reach them.
We moved on to this Corridor of Life, which leads up from the basement and the axes to the other exhibits. There are 18 steps on the first landing, which are symbolic of life in Judaism. The stairs continue into a wall, which means that you don't know you future yet. As you turn around and look at what you've already traversed, you are looking at your past.
In the whole museum there are 6 voids, one of which is the Memory Void. The Memory Void is the one void that you can actually go in and experience, and was probably my favorite part of the museum. This is a combination between art and architecture and has 10,000 faces on the ground carved out of iron. At first you're not sure what to do; but then you start walking. The faces have this pained expression, as if they are screaming. At first it is silent, but once you start walking, you begin to hear their screams. It is representative of all the innocent victims of the war, those that have no voice. By having this Memory Void, you have the power to give them back their voice, and the void is filled with their voices.
There was a concert in the Berlin Phiharmonie and they had special rates for students an hour before the show. It wasn't in the main hall, instead it was in the smaller one, but that was okay; it was still really great to be able to see something like that for so cheap. They had several acts with different variations of maybe about 8 people. We were all tired and kinda falling asleep, but it actually was really good and the musicians were incredibly talented. Well worth it!
Tomorrow is the last day in Berlin -- gotta make the most of it!