There isn’t a lot that needs to be said about this monument; although it tends to be one that lots of people overlook. The bronze sculpture Der verlassene Raum by the artist Karl Biedermann was commissioned in 1988 in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the Pogromnacht (Night of Broken Glass) – which saw Jewish homes, business and synagogues throughout Germany destroyed by SA Stormtroopers.
Near the Tiergarten, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe overwhelms you with its size and scale. Its concrete slabs tower over you erasing your path and your existence as you lose yourself to the labyrinth. In contrast, this small memorial on Koppenplatz accomplishes the opposite somehow. The slightly oversized table and chairs, one pushed back, one overturned, impress you with the immediacy of the situation. The residents have just left, probably to one of the nearby assembly points in the neighborhood.
The floor is ringed with the words of Nelly Sachs, the Berlin born, Nobel Prize winning poet. They read: …oh the houses of death / invitingly appointed / for the host who was once a guest / Oh you fingers, / laying the threshold / like a knife between life and death / Oh you chimney stacks, / Oh you fingers, / And the body of Israel going up in smoke!