This apartment house in central Berlin was destroyed by aerial bombardment in February, 1945. In 1990, French artist Christian Boltanski and his students did research on the site, found that all the former residents were Jews, and constructed a memorial space dedicated to "absence." The signs indicate the names of the residents and approximate place where they lived in the building, their dates of birth and death, and occupations, which went across class lines.
Plaques indicate the approximate space occupied by Jewish and non-Jewish residents, testifying to a diversity that was lost with Nazi decrees against the Jews and removal of the Jewish population from Berlin.
Christian Boltanski, was born in Paris France in 1944. With no formal art training he began to paint as a teenager in 1958. Much of his work reflects on the absences associated with the aftermath of the Holocaust. Boltanski works in the medium of photography, film and is known as an installation artist. He uses clothes and nondescript photographs to create the effect of absences, and has been important in establishing new ways of representing the Holocaust.