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Berlin Holocaust Memorial

On the way to dinner last night, my friend Martin Oettinger offered to stop the car as we passed Berlin’s Holocaust memorial. I knew nothing about the memorial. I stepped into it fresh.

From the outside, it is unimpressive: a city block of plain slabs, laid out in a grid, a few feet high and slightly uneven. Oh, headstones, mortuary slabs, graves. Got it.

But, as you walk through it, you find that the paths deepen so that the slabs loom. They are uniform yet different. Endless yet quite finite. Banal yet overwhelming. Your poor little brain tries to make sense of it both perceptually and symbolically, struggling to find meaning in the sameness and the difference.

It’s quite moving.

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