Friday, July 10, 2009

Garden of Exile in Jewish Museum Berlin

Jewish Museum Berlin
has another corridor called the Axis of Exile. A brief description that German Jews had to emigrate outside Europe (from the Americas to Shanghai) as European countries were reluctant to accept them is followed by a square garden outside the museum building where a grid of tall rectangular concrete pillars stand upright against the ground. On top of these pillars thrive olive leaves which are beyond your reach. The pebbled ground is difficult to walk on, but you'll soon realize that it is difficult to keep your balance as you walk around (although what you see is all orderly).

It turns out that the ground surface of the garden is actually a slope. The right angle formed by the pillars and the ground deceives you into a wrong sense of gravity. And it is not that difficult for someone like me who needs to live abroad (though the reason for it is much, much less tragic in my case) to understand what this garden all means.

A view of the Garden of Exile from above.

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