Monday, 29 June 2015
Dark Monument to Dark Times
I can't decide if this is a cleverly original memorial, or is in rather bad taste.
It's located in the grounds of a former mental hospital in Buch, north Berlin. It is a memorial to the victims of operation T4, which the Nazis created to get rid of the mentally ill, physically disabled, sexually degenerate, and racially 'undesirable' members of German society. This sickening program took place with the coercion of doctors and nurses to identify and either forcibly sterilize or euthanize their victims.
Operation T4 went on to use vans with the interior connected to the exhaust in order to 'gas' the unfortunates: a pre-cursor to the gas chambers and the holocaust.
The hospital in Buch where this memorial now stands was a transit camp for Berlin patients who would be moved on to euthanasia centres elsewhere. As you can see, it is a giant stone pillow with the names of individuals, presumably children, who would be suffocated by it.
It is all very well to not play down or forget the horrors of the Nazi regime, but perhaps the design of this memorial is a bit disconcerting for the current patients at Berlin-Buch hospital who might wonder if they are going to make it through the night.