Stelenfeld and Place of Information
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in the middle of Berlin is Germany’s central Holocaust memorial, a place of remembrance and commemoration for the up to six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It was officially opened on 10 May 2005. The monument consists of the Field of Stelae designed by Peter Eisenman and the underground Information Centre. Admission is free.
Field of Stelae and architect Peter Eisenman
Stelenfeld size: 19,073 m²
Number of steles: 2,710 (made of concrete)
Area of the exhibition rooms: 800 m²
Total construction costs: EUR 27.6 million (federal funds)
Dimensions of a stele: 0.95 m wide, 2.38 m long, heights from 0 to 4.7 m, inclination from 0.5 ° to 2 °
811 steles with heights of 0.2 to 2 meters, 916 steles with heights of 2 to 3.5 meters and 872 steles with heights of 3.5 to 4.7 meters. 112 parallel built-in steles (construction height 0.2 meters) are located in the fringe areas of the Field of Stelae and in the public walkway.
Weight of a 4.7m tall stele: About 16 t
Average weight of a stele: About 8 tons
Trees: 41 (including pines, lime trees, antler trees) transition to the zoo
The steles stand on a gently but irregularly lowered site of about 19,000 m². You can immerse yourself in this fully walkable structure from all four sides, the wave-like shape of which is perceived differently from each location.
Exhibition in Information Centre under the Field of Stelae
The exhibition in the Information Centredocuments the persecution and extermination of the Jews of Europe and the historical sites of the crimes. It is visited by nearly half a million guests a year.
Opening hours Information Centre
April-Sept: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm
Oct-March: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm
Last admission 45 minutes before closing time
Holidays and closing days
Always closed on Mondays (except 8.03., 5.04., 24.5., and 27.12.), 24.-26. Dec. and 31 Dec. closed from 4 p.m.
There may be waiting times. The length depends on the day’s events. You can find out about the waiting times on site.
History of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
In August 1988, the journalist Lea Rosh proposes at a panel discussion to erect a “memorial as a visible commitment to action” on the former Gestapo premises in Berlin-Kreuzberg. In January 1989 Lea Rosh, together with historian Eberhard Jäckel, published the first call of the citizens’ initiative “Perspektive Berlin” for the erection of a Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The project has the support of Willy Brandt and Günter Grass, among others.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the “Förderkreis zur Errichtung eines Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas” (Supporting Circle for the Erection of a Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe), which had emerged from the Citizens’ Initiative, proposes a new site north of the former Reich Chancellery in the former Minister Gardens.
The Federal Government under Chancellor Helmut Kohl supports the initiative to erect a memorial and agrees to provide a partial area of the site of the former ministerial gardens.
528 works are submitted to an open artistic competition for the monument, which is organised by the Berlin Senate Department for Building and Housing. After examining all the work, the jury, chaired by Walter Jens, recommends awarding two first prizes to Simon Ungers (Köln/New York) and to Christine Jackob-Marks, Hella Rolfes, Hans Scheib and Reinhard Stangl (Berlin).
Chancellor Helmut Kohl opposes the referrals of the laurees to carry out the work of Jackob-Marks, Rolfes, Scheib and Stangl. The project is plunged into a serious crisis.
After holding a three-stage colloquium at which international experts discussed the project and its location, some of which were extremely controversial, the organizers agreed to stick to the concept of the monument to the murdered Jews of Europe and to the planned site in the former ministerial gardens. They decide to launch a new, more close competition procedure and to set up a five-member Finding Commission. 25 architects and sculptors, some of them internationally renowned, are invited to this process.
The Finding Commission recommends the designs of Peter Eisenman/Richard Serra (New York) and Gesine Weinmiller (Berlin). The suppliers adopt this recommendation and propose in addition the designs of Jochen Gerz (Paris) and Daniel Libeskind (New York).
January / February 1998
In the intense public debate about the project and the works on display, Eisenman/Serra’s design shings out as the favorite. At the suggestion of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the design of Eisenman/Serra will be revised.
The revised design (“Eisenman II”) will be submitted by Peter Eisenman after the sculptor Richard Serra has pulled out of the project. Because of the upcoming Bundestag election campaign, no further decisions are made.
In its coalition agreement, the newly elected federal government of the SPD and Greens decides to have the decision on the memorial taken by the German Bundestag.
December 1998 / January 1999
The new Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Michael Naumann, argues for a combination of the memorial with a library and a research centre, the “House of Remembrance”, and, together with the architect Peter Eisenman, presents a re-modified design (“Eisenman III”).
June 25th, 1999
After several hearings and exhibitions, the German Bundestag decides to erect a memorial to the murdered Jews according to the design of a Field of Stelae by Peter Eisenman (“Eisenman II”) on the designated site. It is to be supplemented by an Information Centre about the victims to be honoured and the authentic sites of remembrance. A foundation is set up for the implementation of the Bundestag decision.
January 27th, 2000
The symbolic construction begins on the monument site.
The Board of Trustees of the newly founded “Foundation Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe” elects the political scientist professor Sibylle Quack as Managing Director under the chairmanship of Bundestag President Wolfgang Thierse. At the same time, a working group from the ranks of the Board of Trustees is set up to develop a basic concept for the Information Centre (its members include Prof. Dr. Eberhard Jäckel, Dr. Andreas Nachama, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Rürup and the Managing Director, Prof. Dr. Sibylle Quack).
The Board of Trustees commissions the architect Peter Eisenman with a feasibility study for an underground Information Centre.
On the basis of the cost estimate provided by the architect and the foundation, the German Bundestag approves the sum of 25.3 million euros for the construction of the monument (Field of Stelae and Information Centre) as well as 2.3 million euros for the construction of the exhibition and the initial equipment of the Information Centre.
As a result of a narrower selection process, the foundation commissions the Berlin exhibition designer Dagmar von Wilcken with a design concept for the Information Centre.
The first test steles are set up on the building site.
The foundation organizes an international symposium on the memorial and Information Centre with historians, museum educators, art historians and architectural theorists.
From November 2002
Construction preparation measures on the building site.
After completion of all major tenders and evaluation of the offers, the contracts for the major part of the construction volume are being awarded, including the steles, the shell of the Information Centre and the paving work.
Construction of the memorial begins in spring of 2003. At the same time, an information page is set up at the construction fence of the construction site.
Completion of concrete work for the floorboard of the Information Centre.
October / November 2003
After the assembly of the first steles, the public discussion about the use of products of the company “Degussa” in the production of the steles leads to a decision of the Board of Trustees to examine the use of these products as well as possible alternatives. After submitting a detailed test report, the Board of Trustees decided in November to continue the construction of the monument with the products of the company “Degussa”.
The foundation’s youth website “Children and adolescents as victims of Nazi persecution” goes online.
After the departure of professor Sibylle Quack, Dr. Hans-Erhard Haverkampf takes over as Managing Director.
Concreting the ceiling of the Information Centre.
July 12th, 2004
On the occasion of the completion of the coffered ceiling of the underground Information Centre and the assembly of half of the 2,711 steles, the topping-out ceremony is celebrated in the presence of the architect.
Start of assembling the prefabricated concrete parts for the Information Centre.
From October 2004
High phase of the interior work and start of the exhibition installations in the Information Centre.
December 15th, 2004
Public act of assembling the last of 2,711 stelae of the Field of Stelae.
Ceremonial opening of the memorial with 1,200 guests from Germany and abroad; The event is broadcasted live on ARD, ZDF and Phoenix.
Handing over the monument to the public; By the end of 2005, about 350,000 guests will have visited the Information Centre.
After Dr. Hans-Erhard Haverkampf retires in July 2005, the Board of Trustees appointed Uwe Neumärker as Managing Director. In 2009, he became director of the foundation.
Publications on the memorial
»I believe in love …« – In Memory of Sabina van der Linden-Wolanski
A film about the self-assertion, grief and doubts of a young person in the face of violence and murder, but also about the power of a successful new beginning as a businesswoman at the other end of the world …
Exactly 15 years ago, on 10 May 2005, Sabina van der Linden-Wolanski spoke as guest of honour at the opening of the Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin. At that time she said the words: “I am the voice of the six million…”
She was the only one of her family to survive the Holocaust in eastern Poland. After the end of the war, she emigrated to Australia in 1950 via silesia and Paris, now in Poland. The fate of her family is part of the exhibition in the Information Center of the Holocaust memorial. The memoirs of Holocaust survivors Sabina van der Linden-Wolanski, published by the Foundation in 2010 under the title »Destined to live”, were published in May 2015 as an audiobook, read by Dagmar Manzel, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
A film by Hamze Bytyçi
A production by RomaTrial e.V. and the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Script: Hamze Bytyçi, Jana Gebhard, Leonie Kock, Uwe Neumärker
Drawing: Ines Kramarić
Narrative: Dagmar Manzel
Animations and editing: Asja Trost
Music: Daniel Kahn & Daniel Weltlinger
Sound recordings: Andreas Fertig
Sound design: Nils Plambeck
Offers for visitors
Frequently Asked Questions
Entrance is cost-free, but we of course welcome donations. There is a donation box at the exit of the Information Centre. Donations are used for maintenance of the Information Centre. It is also possible to send a donation by bank transfer.
No, admission is free. There is no ticket and reservation system for visiting the exhibition.
We recommend about one hour for a tour of the exhibition. If you use an audio guide for the tour, you will require about 90 minutes.
In planning your visit, please take into account the waiting time for entry. We give precedence to registered groups that have reserved a time for the Information Centre, so this may require you to wait. Please appreciate that this is necessary.
Yes. For your own safety, you will pass through a security check zone when you enter the Information Centre. Dangerous objects should be deposited at the entrance for the duration of your visit to the exhibition. In order to avoid a long wait, it is best not to have much baggage.
Yes. In the Information Centre there is a free cloakroom.
Due to the safety regulations and due to space constraints, it is not possible to carry and store bags larger than conventional hand luggage (dimensions approx. 55x40x20 cm).
Tour groups are kindly asked to consult the visitor service about the amount of luggage carried before visiting: firstname.lastname@example.org,Tel.: +49 (0)30-26 39 43 36.
Luggage lockers are located near the monument at Potsdamer Platz and Friedrichstraße stations, or at the main railway station.
No. Suitcases and small bags may not be taken to the exhibition due to security checks. Lockers are available nearby at Friedrichstraße station and Potsdamer Platz.
Yes, you may take photographs, but without using a flash.
Out of consideration for other visitors, we ask you to turn off your cell phone during your visit to the exhibition.
External travel guides, tour guides and teachers are asked to kindly refrain from conducting any tour through the Information Centre. Our visitor consultants are available for questions during a tour of the exhibition and will be happy to assist you.
Coaches can stop at the marked parking spaces in Hannah-Arendt-Straße to get in and out of the area. To park the coaches, please also use the designated parking spaces in the street of 17 June (both sides of the street between the Brandenburg Gate and the Soviet Memorial).
If you lose or find something, please contact the reception desk in the Information Centre.: Tel.: +49 (0) 30-200 766 0.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Foundation supports teachers in preparing for the visit with a school class. The pedagogical program includes various guided tours as well as workshops lasting several hours, specially designed for students. We offer teachersmaterials for the preparation and follow-up of the visit with a school class.
We recommend visiting the exhibition in the Information Centre for students from 14 years.
For bookings, please use our booking requestor contact our visitor service: Tel.: +49 (0) 30-26 39 43 36
For families with young children, a changing table is available in the disabled toilet. Strollers can be borrowed from the reception for the duration of the visit.
People with pushchairs can use the elevator to get to the Information Centre.
Please contact a visitor supervisor at the entrance stairs.
We recommend a visit for young people from 14 years of age.
All exhibition texts in the Information Centre are presented in German and English.
Audio guides can be borrowed to provide translations of the exhibition texts in the following languages: French, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish. (see audio translation)
A free public guided tour in English is held every Saturday at 3 p.m. Group accompaniments can be booked in the following languages: German, English, French, Hebrew, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Spanish and many other languages on request. (see group tour)
The leaflet for the memorial is available in 21 languages.
The Field of Stelae can be traversed by wheelchair. It has 13 marked axes of entry whose slope angle is 8% maximum. They are marked with specially grooved paving stones and floor pictograms (wheelchair symbol) on the border to the public sidewalk.
The Information Centre is accessible to wheelchair users and has no barriers of any kind. In order to use the elevator, please contact our visitor consultant in the entrance area an the stairway. Wheelchairs can be borrowed at the reception desk in the Information Centre for the elderly or persons with impaired mobility for the entire duration of their visit.
For safety reasons, only a maximum of 6 wheelchair users can visit the exhibition at the same time. We ask for your understanding. For questions contact our visitor service: email@example.com, Tel.: +49 (0) 30-26 39 43 36
- There are no on-site parking spaces available.
- The nearest bus and train stops are: Behrenstraße/Wilhelmstraße, S+U Brandenburger Tor, Ebertstraße.
- Access to the stelenfeld is infinitely and thresholdless. The minimum width between the Memorial is 93 cm. There are inclinations (20% at 5 m; 6% at 100 m). The Memorial can be seen sitting and standing. There are seats available.
- The exhibition »Information Centre« is either accessible by stairs (37 steps of 14.5 cm) or by a lift. The cabin size is 100 cm x 160 cm. The lift can only be used with staff support. In this respect, you have to contact the staff at the stair entrance.
- Doors and passageways in the exhibition are at least 90 cm wide. All rooms in the exhibition that can be used for the guest are accessible on the ground floor.
- The sales counter with cash desk area in the foyer is 110 cm or 75 cm high at the highest or lowest point.
- There is another possibility of communication while sitting.
- Exhibits in the exhibition can be seen and read while sitting or standing.
- Aids offered: Wheelchair, Rollator, Walking aids
WC for people with disabilities
- The movement areas next to the toilet are 90 cm x 70 cm on the left and right, in front of the toilet or washbasin 150 cm x 150 cm.
- There are handles, foldable on both sides.
- The washbasin can be driven under. The mirror can be seen while sitting and standing.
- There is an alarm cord at a height of 5 cm.
- There is an inductive hearing aid (neck ring loops) at the information counter in the »Information Centre«.
- Neck ring loops can be borrowed when visiting the exhibition area in the Information Centre as well as during a guided tour in the Field of Stelae at the reception.
- The exhibits in the exhibition are depicted in pictures and in writing.
- Information about the exhibits in sign language is available in the exhibition area »Information Centre« (videos in German Sign Language and International Sign).
- There is a visually perceptible alarm in the building.
- In the elevator, the confirmation of an emergency call is acoustically. Alternatively, stairs are available. The lift is operated and accompanied by the staff.
- Assistance dogs may be brought.
- There are no carousel or rotary doors.
- Rooms and corridors are brightly lit.
- There are usually no obstacles, e.g. objects protruding into the way / space.
- Information is available in Braille or Prism font.
- There is no consistent guidance system with soil indicators.
- In the elevator, the confirmation of an emergency call is acoustically.
- Staircases are not visually or tactilely contrasted. Handrails are available.
- The exhibits are generally well illuminated. The information about the exhibits is visually high-contrast.
- Tools offered: audio guides, tactile building plan.
- The lift is operated and accompanied by the staff.
- The destination of the path is usually in sight or there are signposts at a constantly visible distance.
- Guided tours are offered for guests with cognitive impairments. Pre-registration is required. The guided tours are given in Easy Language. There are also guided tours for school classes, including non-native speakers (»simple German«).
- Some exhibits are photo-realistically prepared.
- Informationand offers for visitors in light language as well as a guided tour of the exhibition in lightlanguage and a leaflet on the monument in light language are available.
(1) Visiting the Field of Stelae is at your own risk all year round.
(2) The Field of Stelae may in principle only be crossed on foot and slowly. For people with reduced mobility and wheelchair users, 13 marked corridors are particularly suitable.
(3) It is not permitted to:
- make noise
- jump from stele to stele,
- the carrying of dogs and other pets,
- the carrying and storage of bicycles and similar equipment,
- smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages.
(4) All instructions of the designated security personnel shall be followed.
Additional: Photographs, film and television recordings for commercial purposes require the prior written consent of the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.