With every visit the building still leaves a small scar in your skin. The creation of architect Daniel Libeskind, with it’s sharp corners and asymmetrical windows, seems to want to depict the carved soul of Jews. It’s an imposing building, adjacent to the classic Berliner Museum, in the middle of a rather dull residential area.
The only drawback is the entrance. Unworthy, a bit confusing as well, how you first have to enter the Berliner Museum before you reach the Judisches Museum and its two intersecting tunnels by descending a staircase.
But that’s where the magic starts: the two tunnels are not entirely consistent in height and darken your mood. An impression that is being reinforced when you enter the Holocaust Turm. Disorientation and solitude engulf you. But in contrast to the train carriages to the concentration camps, here it’s easy to escape those feelings again.
Outside is the Garten des Exils, with 49 concrete columns that are slightly twisted. It’s a kind of a labyrinth with a tree on each column. 48 for the founding year of the Israeli state (1948) and one for Berlin.
And by then you haven’t even seen the permanent exhibition. For that purpose Libeskind created a third axis, a stairs that takes you up to the two exhibition floors. You can’t leave the oppressive feeling behind there if you see the series of persecutions of Jews. It’s a contradictory feeling, because the architecture is jaw-dropping and impressive at the same time. Are you allowed to like this place?