Last weekend private residences across Berlin opened their doors as part of “Denk Mal Am Ort” – which roughly translates to “Memorial at a Place” or “Think on the Spot.” The initiative began in Berlin in 2016 as a way to remember people persecuted by the Nazis through the places where they once lived. Surviving family members revisit their relatives’ former homes in order to share memories and connect with their past.
One of the participants is 73-year-old Merilyn Moos, whose parents fled to Britain from Berlin in 1933. Her parents were unwilling to talk about their traumatic past, and she spent decades trying to piece together her family history. “I think I always deeply felt that there was something utterly wrong…something crushing about my family,” says Moos. “I sometimes describe it…like I was living with ghosts.” While painful, she also expresses her need to return to Berlin, “connecting a broken circle.”
The composition in this piece is Ernest Bloch’s “Prayer,” played by Gabriella Strümpel. The house of Gabriella’s mother was part of the 2018 Denk Mal Am Ort program.
Photos by Sylvia Cunningham