In the winter of 2009, I travel to Berlin to be part of Germany Close Up, a strategic initiative, co-created by the General Consul in New York and the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and now administered by action Reconciliation Service for Peace in cooperation with the New Synagogue Berlin, to “encourage German-Jewish-North American dialogue as well as to strengthen the involvement of the North American Jewish community in transatlantic relations” (germanycloseup.de). For nine days, our group tours modern and historical sites throughout the capitol city, including a visit to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The memorial consists of 2,711 concrete slabs, or stelae, that bare no markings such as name or date. The stelae are cold and smooth to the touch and their size inconsistent; some tower above the head...

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