Berlin, Plötzensee

It was January 2nd. 2019, when I visited the Plötzensee Memorial. This cold, cloudy winter day provided me with the right mood for this memorable visit.
When I entered the memorial, an oppressive silence surrounded me. From time to time, I could hear some voices from the nearby prison. Besides, it was unnaturally quiet.

Memorial inscription at the Ploetzensee Memorial near Berlin
Ploetzensee Memorial, Berlin (c)

The place seemed very unspectacular: two small, simple houses were to be seen. I entered the first one. It was the execution barrack. It's dark in the building and a strange atmosphere comes over me. I stand in front of the beam with the hooks on which the condemned were hung. I remembered what I knew about the "Plötzenseer Blood Nights": from September 7. - 12.1943  250 people were executed - practically like on the assembly line.

And the stories about the resistance fighters of July 20, 1944 - the assassination attempt against Hitler. Several of them were executed here. These executions were severely brutal: the delinquents were hung on piano sides. They died in an incredibly slow and painful way.

Flowers and a memorial letter to the victims of Ploetzensee
Ploetzensee Memorial, Berlin (c)

There is an exhibition in the neighboring building. It documents the inhumanity of the National Socialist justice system.
The place itself seemed completely unreal to me. Unimaginable suffering took place here. At that time, I was the only visitor to the memorial site. Therefore, this ghostly atmosphere was intensified by the unbelievable "screaming" silence.

It was extremely difficult for me to stay in this place: to read the stories of the people which are documented in the exhibition on Nazi justice system. Finally, I took the photos of the execution barrack.

That was the moment when I was overwhelmed by a feeling that could be described as a form of claustrophobia. I didn't know this feeling until that moment: frightening, oppressive, heavy and cramped.

As soon as I had my photos, I left the memorial - as quickly as I could!

And hurried back towards reality.

Last but not least my picture "Plötzensee": my attempt of an artistic interpretation of the incomprehensible.

The picture "Ploetzensee" by Rober Strasser/
"Plötzensee" (c)

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