The selection of a design for the Berlin Memorial to Europe’s murdered Jews was a contentious one. After September 11th, the memorial for those who died in the World Trade Center was compared by some to holocaust memorials before it, and by one reporter specifically to the Berlin Memorial. How did it come to pass that the memorial at ground zero would evoke Berlin’s Memorial to Europe’s murdered Jews? In this thought-provoking lecture, Dr. James Young traces a history of the memorial, from the earliest holocaust memorials in France to the Vietnam War Memorial and beyond, focusing on Germany’s holocaust memorials and the 9/11 memorial specifically as physical sites in which society constructs meaning. James Young is a Professor of English and the Chair of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He received his Ph.D from UC Santa Cruz. In 1997, Professor Young was appointed to be the chair of the Berlin Senate’s commission for the German’s national holocaust memorial. He has also worked in consultation with the governments of Argentina and the U.S. for the memorial for the disappeared and the World Trade Center memorial, respectively.
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Berlin’s Holocaust Problem and Mine