An Italian tourist seriously injured his head on Sunday morning after climbing on one of the concrete blocks that comprise the Berlin Holocaust Memorial and falling from it, the Associated Press has reported.
The circumstances regarding the injury remain unclear but media in Berlin said the man had underestimated the height of the concrete slab he was climbing – in an unlit part of the memorial – and fell, hitting his head. The 21-year-old was rushed to the hospital, according to AP.
The Holocaust Memorial near the Brandenburg Gate and the German parliament at the adjacent Reichstag building, was inaugurated in 2005 and consists of 2,700 concrete blocks. Although accessible to the public, visitors are asked to behave respectfully at the site and not run or jump from one concrete block to another, AP reported – although inappropriate behavior has been reported in the past.
Earlier this this month, Berlin Police had apologize for the conduct of two officers at the monument. They were photographed doing push-ups on a concrete blocks.
The monument, which is also right next to the US embassy has in the past been vandalized by neo-Nazis, and in 2014 a man was caught launching fireworks and urinating from one of the blocks.
Uwe Neumärker, director of the memorial, told German news outlet BZ in response to the police incident that “I am all the more stunned. The Holocaust and the crimes of [the] National Socialist [Party] should be a focus of the training of civil servants."
Germany documented 2,032 antisemitic incidents in 2019, according to government figures, the highest tally since 2001 and a 13% increase over 2018.