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Man badly hurt falling off slab at Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial

Local media reports casualty is an Italian tourist who underestimated height as he jumped down into unlit part of installation

Illustrative: A man jumps between columns as part of the 2711 concrete slabs of the Holocaust Memorial on the international Holocaust remembrance day in Berlin, Germany, January 27, 2011. (Markus Schreiber/AP)
Illustrative: A man jumps between columns as part of the 2711 concrete slabs of the Holocaust Memorial on the international Holocaust remembrance day in Berlin, Germany, January 27, 2011. (Markus Schreiber/AP)

BERLIN — A young man was severely injured Sunday when he fell off a slab that’s part of the German capital’s memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

The 21-year-old tourist, whose name was not released in line with German privacy rules, fell several meters (yards) early Sunday and was taken to the hospital with head injuries, the German news agency dpa reported.

Police were still investigating the cause of the accident, dpa reported. Local Berlin media said the young man was an Italian tourist who had underestimated the height when jumping off the slab, which was in an unlit part of the memorial.

The memorial, a field of 2,700 gray concrete slabs near the Brandenburg Gate that opened in 2005, is open around the clock. Visitors are supposed to refrain from activities such as running and jumping from one slab to another.

Earlier this month, Berlin’s police chief apologized for an incident in which officers were pictured practicing push-ups on part of the memorial.

Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik said the service would examine the incident internally.

“The colleagues’ behavior disrespects what this memorial stands for and also offends the memory of those who were murdered,” Slowik said.

In July 2019, US performer Pink defended a photo she posted of her children running at the memorial.

The Jewish pop singer, whose real name is Alecia Beth Moore, had shared photos on Instagram from a trip to the German capital. One of the images in a post captured “Berlin, I love you” showed her two young children running among the large stone blocks that make up the vast memorial.

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