After years of delay, Germany finally dedicated its official Holocaust Memorial this week: a large field of tilted concrete slabs, located near the Brandenburg Gate. The memorial has been dogged by controversy since it was proposed, in 1988. First came a lengthy debate over the lack of Jewish symbols in New York architect Peter Eisenman’s design. Then protests were lodged over the use of an anti-graffiti coating made by Degussa, which owns the company that made the Zyklon B poison gas used in Nazi death camps. But Jewish leaders this week joined in the dedication. “Today we open a memorial that recalls Nazi Germany’s worst, most terrible crime,” said Wolfgang Thierse, president of the German parliament—“the attempt to exterminate an entire people.”
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