The first trains that left Grunewald Station were passenger cars but, Deutsche Reichsbahn soon changed this. By 1942, Jews were being sent away in cattle cars. And the people on the trains were charged for the transport. For each kilometer, adults were charged 4 pfennings and 2 pfennings for children above four.
From October 1941 to February 1945, the Grunewald Station was one of the significant deportation sites in Berlin. In the beginning, they were being sent to, mainly, ghettos in cities like Warsaw and Litzmannstadt, the Jewish ghetto in Lodz. From 1942, the trains started going straight into Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. This happened until 1945 when the focus of the war changed.
To keep the memory of those who were deported alive, there were plans to build a memorial at the Grunewald Station. The monument was inaugurated in January 1998 and is composed of 186 steel objects that are arranged in chronological order next to the edge of the platform. Each of these objects mentions the date of transport, point of departure, destination and the number of deportees. For me, it’s interesting to see how the vegetation was left to grow between the rails and turn itself into a part of the Platform 17 Memorial. It helps create this feeling that no trains are ever going to depart from the platform.
I visited the memorial back in February 2018 when I was looking for locations where the Netflix series Dark was filmed. If you visit the Platform 17 Memorial, you should take a look at what we wrote about Dark and explore the area a little bit more.