Monday, November 17, 2008

Adventures in Berlin: the Holocaust Memorial

Kelly and I visited the Memorial to the Murdered European Jews two times, on our own and then the following day with the Fat Tire bike tour. Both times we found ourselves really frustrated by the hordes of teenagers who showed zero respect for the monument or the millions of Holocaust victims it memorializes.

This is not an amusement park. This is not a novelty. It is not appropriate to laugh loudly, play hide-and-seek, or chase each other on your bicycles.


At least they had enough decency to look sheepish when Kelly admonished them.

I know I'm sounding like an old crank here, but it's because I remember what it was like to be fifteen that I felt so justified in deploring their behavior. If this monument had existed when I was fifteen and I visited it on a school trip, I would have walked through it on my own, in silence, feeling both sad and hopeful that the atrocities of which this monument is a reminder will never be repeated.

3 comments:

meg said...

Wow, what a shame those kids robbed you of a peaceful, contemplative experience there. I hope you were able to tune them out some of the time...

visceral said...

that's wonderful, that you got to see that.

this guy has some pretty interesting stuff to say about the holocaust: http://thisisby.us/index.php/content/history_has_taught_us_nothing

Kate said...

I can't lie--I might have been one of the obnoxious kids back in the day.