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October 20, 1995 - Image 101

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-10-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

. 4

TI0ONAML EN
NAW
JEW
NIIESRH

Formerly B'nai B'rith Women

cordially invites you
to attend the

Don in a city that was the capital
and nerve center of Nazi Ger-
many.
For instance, a plaque at
Leyetzowstrasse in the city's spa-
cious public park, the Tiergarten,
marks the site which was once a
gathering area for Jews being
transported to the camps.
Also in the Tiergarten is a
marker at the bridge at Putlizs-
trasse, in remembrance of de-
portation trains which left from
this very site.
Berlin's memorials also include
more extensive exhibits, which
also have special drama because
of their location. "Topography of
Terror," for example, is a well-de-
tailed and unnerving documen-
tation of the working so the
Gestapo. The exhibit is set up on
the grounds of what was once the
headquarters of the Gestapo —
and that fact makes it even more
unnerving.
On the day I visited, I found
a carefully documented exhibit
in a modest one-story building it
was all neatly and carefully dis-
played — photos of rigidly up-
right Gestapo officials; documents
showing the plans, the lists, the
checked-off forms for rounding
up Jews, photos of military
marches and of Hitler looking tri-
umphant, and full scale, heart-
rending photos of Jews being
rounded up and deported.
The exhibit was crowded with
visitors, who were looking at all
this attentively. The displays
were set up on a ground floor and
a lower level, which gave the feel-
ing of descending into more and
more confined surrounding. Al-
though the exhibit itself was in
German, a well-detailed guide
book in English explained every
display and photo clearly.
This was indeed a "Typogra-
phy of Terror," made even more
frightening because these plans
for genocide were mapped out in
mundane offices on the very site
where we, the visitors, now stood.
Equally powerful and unnerv-
ing was another on-site exhibit
which I visited several days lat-
er, the Wannesee Conference
House at Zehlendorf. "You must
visit it!" urged Peter Meyer, the
concierge at my hotel, the Berlin
Intercontinental. Like other
Berliners I met during my visit,
he was impressively well in-
formed about Jewish sites in
Berlin. He often meets Jewish
guests, he said, and was eager to
have me send him all my articles.
It was on that site, on January
20, 1942, that the details of the
final solution, the mass murder
of European Jews, were careful-
ly coordinated.
Seeing these memorial sites,
a sobering experience, also en-
riched my visit Berlin. Not only
was each one a way to respect
Jewish history, but also a re-
minder that in Berlin, the past
is not evaded. It is confronted
and remembered. El

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