The Commemoration Hall is an installation that evokes a set of associations with the Jewish world that once was, the moral responsibility that belongs to the Western world, the determinism of Nazi Germany, and the humanism that Judaism bequeathed to Western civilization.
The installation rises to the ceiling of the museum—9 meters high. The floor is designed of black tiles that suggest the East European Jewish shtetl. Six stones are laid atop the stones, casting shadows onto a white wall on the western side of the site. The southern wall, made of black steel, faces a synagogue that has a stained-glass window on which the commandment “You Shall Not Murder” is inscribed. A section of the eastern wall is left undressed as a symbol of the destruction of the Temple. Inscriptions from various places in Europe, left behind by Jews in their last moments, are copied onto the bare section. Light that penetrates through narrow cracks bathes the site in a contemplative atmosphere.
The site was designed by the artist Roda Reilinger (1919–2003).