Platform 17 is no regular train station platform. Today, it stands as a Holocaust memorial just outside Berlin.
The first deportation train departed from Platform 17 on October 18, 1941. By the end of World War II, more than 50,000 members of the German Jewish population from the Berlin area were deported to ghettos, labor, and concentration camps. Most were sent against their will to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Few survived the ordeal.
The platform and tracks were abandoned after the war. It was well into the 1990s before the platform was turned into an official memorial in remembrance of the victims.
The platform contains 186 steel plates, each contains the date of transport, point of departure, destination, and the number of deportees.
A concrete monument by Polish sculpturer Karol Broniatowski displays silhouettes of the victims and was unveiled in 1991. In 1998, Platform 17 was officially turned into a memorial by Deutsche Bahn.
Know Before You Go
The memorial is located on Platform 17 in Grunewald Station. The S7 takes you to Grunewald. Once you are at the station you cannot miss the memorial. Simply walk to the underpass and look for the sign "Gleis 17."