Berlin Holocaust memorial architect says it could not be built today
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Berlin Holocaust memorial architect says it could not be built today

Michelle Obama Holocaust, Malia Obama Holocaust

First lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia visiting the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, June 19, 2013. (Marco Priske / Stiftung Denkmal)

(JTA) — The American architect who designed the Berlin Holocaust memorial said that such a memorial could not be built today due to rising anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

Peter Eisenman said in an interview published last week in the German weekly Die Zeit that the current atmosphere of hate in Germany and the United States would not have allowed him to build such a memorial.

“The social climate has changed. Much of what was long considered to be acceptable is now being questioned,” Eisenman said.

The $14.5 million national Holocaust memorial opened in 2005 after years of debate and discussion about its design and who it was geared toward.

Created at the initiative of a non-Jewish activist, the memorial includes the above-ground, abstract monument designed by Eisenman — 2,711 tombstone-like slabs of stone of varying heights that occupy an entire city block — and a subterranean exhibit that tells the story of the systematic murder by the Nazis of 6 million Jews.