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Holocaust Journey

Part 2 Dissertation 2011
Katie Martindale-Toole
Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Remembrance is a vital human characteristic that forms a connection with the past,
allowing identity to be constructed and anchored through memory and in turn nurturing
a vision of a future. In recent years the boundaries between museums, monuments and
memorials have been removed, and their roles have shifted as a direct response to
society relationship with the media.

The dissertation topic, Holocaust Journey, explores the social need to remember,
confront and learn about the devastation inflicted by the Nazi party during the War. In recent years there has been a surge in Holocaust architecture across the world,
particularly within areas where the devastation took place. Many have argued that this is an act of guilt, a gesture to ease their conscience. This dissertation explores in detail the Jewish Museum, Berlin by Daniel Libeskind alongside several other Holocaust museums, monuments and memorials. The Jewish Museum in Berlin by Libeskind has
continually been blighted by public/political debate, yet the public hyperbole has propelled the institute beyond traditional museological notions. Libeskind’s explores architectural form as a means of conveying the Holocaust journey, yet many argued that it was impossible to educate through architecture alone.

The museum was initially opened as an empty shell due to public demand, and almost three years later was finally filled with 3,000 artefact's. Within the dissertation’s
conclusion Libeskind’s architectural theory of form is explored and its ability to narrate a journey, convey an emotion or evolve through nature. In contrast, the relationship between artefact and form is explored and whether or not the architectural symbolism becomes lost amongst the exhibitions? It would suggest that the museums narrative is
based solely on the absence of history, the missing individuals who would have given
meaning to the artefact's. The architecture forms an extension to the journey and the
artefact's, structure and information all read as one.

In relation to the subject nature, primary research was essential in establishing a clear, focused direction - site visits, interviews, and museum installation recordings. Books, journals and documentaries have provided specific information and quotations to support the primary research gathered.

Katie Martindale-Toole

Stephen Bowe
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