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Eisenman's Berlin holocaust memorial finally opens

The long-delayed national Holocaust memorial by Peter Eisenman finally opened in Germany yesterday.

The massive project - a field of closely set concrete slabs in the heart of Berlin - attempts to reflect the helplessness of the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis.

An undulating field of more than 2,700 blocks, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is on a site resonant with both the terror of German history and the vibrancy of today's reunited Berlin.

Adolf Hitler's bunker once lay nearby and for 28 years the site was in the no-man's-land of the Berlin Wall built by the rulers of communist East Germany to its population from leaving during the Cold War.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Eisenman said he wouldn't mind seeing skateboarders, children playing hide and seek or even graffiti among the slabs.

Asked if it would demean the project's meaning if someone scratched Nazi symbols on it, he was non-committal. 'Maybe it would. Maybe it wouldn't,' the controversial figure said. 'Maybe it would add to it.'

by Ed Dorrell

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