Jewish Museum Berlin #3: Garden of Exile
I visited the Jewish Museum the last time I was in Berlin. In the previous posts I focused on the architecture and the personal belongings of people exhibited in the Axis of Exile and the Axis of Holocaust. The Axis of Exile leads to the Garden of Exile, which attempts “to completely disorient the visitor. It represents a shipwreck of history” (Daniel Libeskind, 1999).
The Axis of Exile leads outside to daylight and the Garden of Exile. A heavy door must be opened before the crucial step into the garden can be taken. Forty-nine concrete stelae rise out of the square plot. The whole garden is on a 12° gradient and disorients visitors, giving them a sense of the total instability and lack of orientation experienced by those driven out of Germany. Russian willow oak grows on top of the pillars symbolizing hope.
Wandering through this garden, you get quite dizzy and desoriented because of the instability. When I was there, the plants on top of the pillars were not yet grown, as you can see in the picture above. Below are some impressions of visitors exploring the garden.
Visit the Jewish Museum Berlin, where I got most of the information from.