Remembrance in Berlin

The memory of World War II and the Holocaust must live on through generations so that we never forget. Through stories, museums, monuments, and memorials, remembrance can live on and educate those born after the conflict. In Germany, remembrance takes on a much more important meaning. The citizens of Germany not only need to be reminded of the atrocities that took place but of the responsibility they must uphold for their ancestors’ actions. Apart from the abundance of museums throughout Berlin, there are many reminders of the war and of the Holocaust.

In the middle of Berlin’s government district, there lies a Jewish memorial. As I walked through it, I was reminded of a maze. The memorial is meant to be slightly overwhelming in order to capture the feelings of loss and confusion that so many Jewish families felt as they were taken from their homes or pulled into the streets to be shot.

Throughout the city, there are also stumbling stones placed at residences, offices, and university buildings. Each bronze stone represents a victim of the Holocaust, stating their name and where they ended up during the war. One is supposed to pore water over the stone they’ve stumbled upon and polish it. This is an act of pure remembrance and shows one’s respect for the dead. From memorials to painted pieces of the Berlin Wall to stumbling stones, Germany makes sure that the atrocities of their past are remembered, never to be forgotten, never to fade into history.