The thing about the Holocaust Memorial (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe) in Berlin is that, from the outside, it doesn’t look nearly as terrifying as it is on the inside.
I’m a person who doesn’t like to be alone when I’m somewhere I don’t know. But part of the visit to this memorial was one of the things you never do on a school trip - go in alone.
And maybe it was only for a few seconds, but after a while, when we all really spread out, I couldn’t see anyone. I could hear people shouting and different languages around me and the cars in the streets put all I could see where the bare black blocks and rain that was stuck to them. I felt abandoned in those few seconds, unable to find anyone I knew and not knowing whether they were all waiting for the last people to leave and whether I would be able to find someone who spoke my language or who I knew before I got completely lost and unable to deal with it all.
Then I found a friend and it was all over.
But those little moments are the most terrifying. Standing on the uneven ground wondering what was around the next corner and whether the person you’d bump into would be a help, or whether it would make it even worse.
I suppose I should just consider myself lucky that I only had to live through a few minutes of that terror.