The monument purposefully reminds us of a massive grave site, a sort of huge collection of graves and dark headstones, all different sizes, as if its designers wanted to say that everyone was murdered – men, women, and children.
The location of the memorial site, right at the center of Belin and near the Reichstag Gate, makes sure that no one can ignore it. Many people are not aware that under the memorial is an information center underground dedicated to conserving the Holocaust victims, with multimedia presentation about the subject.
The designer of the Holocaust Memorial, the official name being “The Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe,” and spans over 19,000 square meters, is the Jewish American architect Peter Eisenman. He designed it as a field, with 2,711 horizontal headstones, an older style of headstones, in columns and rows, creating mazes between the spaces, where one can stay and contemplate. Eisenman refused to explain the odd number of headstones, and said the number had no meaning.
But the most embarrassing moment brought up was that that the company for the coating of the pillars, Degusa, was found to have held a subsidiary company during World War II that produced that same Zyklon B type gas, used for the mass murders of Jews. The executives of this company were even tried for their part in the war.