Amid bustling Berlin, stillness in the Holocaust Memorial





Descend beyond the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe's concrete slabs and you'll find informative, harrowing exhibits.

We were on our way to see the Brandenburg Gate when they came unexpectedly into view across the street — rows of muted gray concrete slabs of varying heights, their rise and fall taking up an entire city block.

The sight stopped us in our tracks.

"That must be the Holocaust Memorial," I said.

"It can't possibly be anything else," said Jon, my husband.

As a Jew, I always have mixed feelings when visiting such places. I am repelled by the horror they represent yet drawn to them for the recognition they offer. What the Germans refer to as a "culture of remembrance" — which acknowledges the crimes of the Nazis and commemorates their victims in more than 100 sites throughout the country — is one reason I've come to Berlin.

Overall tourism to Berlin is up 10% this year, with 8 million tourists; visits by Israelis are up even more, by 32%....


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