ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Memory Void - Fallen Leaves: Haunting and Powerful Exhibit at the Jewish Museum in Berlin

Updated on March 10, 2013

First opening to the public in 2001, the Jewish Museum in Berlin is one of the largest in Europe. It contains two thousand years of Jewish history as well as the history of the Jews in Germany. there is no end of interactive and engaging displays in the museum with which you can learn about Jewish history and culture. There are even stations where you can learn a little Hebrew. Of course, a very important aspect of Jewish history is the Holocaust. Despite the popular stereotype that they ignore the matter altogether, Germans are actually very open about the events of the Second World War. They consider it their duty to continue talking about it and running programs to assist those who still live with the lingering impact of internment in the concentration camps. For them, remembering and taking responsibility for the actions of those before them is key to avoiding something similar happening again in the future. Us in North America could certainly take a leaf out of their book as far as concerns the atrocities committed by the first European settlers and continued violence and oppression of the Native population through the centuries.

Not to digress, let's get to the most haunting display in the Jewish Museum, the Fallen Leaves Memory Void. The display appears in one of several empty spaces throughout the museum created by architect Daniel Liebeskind to symbolize the continued absence of the Jews in German society and culture as a direct result of the Holocaust. Countless doctors, artists, professors and religious leaders were either killed or driven out of Germany as a result. It is still considered to be a great intellectual and cultural loss that will simply never be restored.

You can almost feel just how empty the Memory Void actually is

Scattered over the floor of the Memory Void are 10,000 steel faces. The concept comes from Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman who designed the display to not only represent the Jews who perished in the Holocaust, but also to stand for all who have fallen victim to war and violence. This is the only empty space "voided" area in the Jewish Museum where guests are able to enter. Guests are free to walk over the faces and explore the room. The constant clink and clang this causes represents the voices of the dead and, in effect, prevents them from being forgotten. In my opinion, Kadishmanm in a very real sense created ghosts with art.

The voices of the dead will never be silenced as long as visitors keep coming to listen to their haunting shrieks and wails.
The voices of the dead will never be silenced as long as visitors keep coming to listen to their haunting shrieks and wails.

Here is a view of the Memory Void from above. Guests of the Jewish Museum will find it difficult to get a good look outside from the windows. From this vantage point, you can really get a sense for the scale of the display and the profound sense of tragedy and loss it was designed to convey.

May their voices forever echo against the walls of the Memory Void.
May their voices forever echo against the walls of the Memory Void.

If you ever find yourself in Berlin I wholeheartedly recommend a visit to the Jewish Museum. These photos do very little justice to the true power of this exhibit. Experiencing it for yourself is one of those terribly but at the same time oh so wonderfully true moments in life.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)