Ester's Memorial

On a rainy day in September, the sloping field near the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin is deserted, except for the 2,711 concrete slabs that form the Holocaust memorial designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman. Visitors line up at top of the staircase leading to the underground Room of Testimonies, Room of Families and the dark Room of Names, where only a few linger. "This room is almost never crowded because many visitors find it difficult to deal with the emotions conveyed here, so they prefer to pass through," says the Holocaust Memorial's visitor coordinator Aljesh Muhlbauer. "But those who do stay experience very strong emotions". One of these visitors is Christoph Kohlweih from Cologne. The 46-year-old sits on a marble bench near a wall. At times the only visitor in the room, he is absorbing some of the 800 short biographies read out over the loudspeakers. "I went straight here, where I was able to visualize the biographies, which made me very sad. Over and over, I heard that people were killed by a commando unit of the German army, so I realized there must have been many killing squads and that many soldiers must have known about it." One of the names is Ester Mowschowitz. The loudspeaker tells us that she was born in 1904 in Lida, Poland. For full story please subscribe to The Jerusalem Report click here to subscribe.