It is a place symbolizing the deportation of the Jews and other persecuted peoples to concentration or death camps. It is a place for memory and awareness, a multifunctional center for conferences, seminars and exhibitions so that past atrocities will never find refuge in oblivion. Most importantly, it is a venue for dialogue and interchange among cultures, teaching the new generations to overcome linguistic, cultural and social barriers so that the extremes of brutality witnessed in the twentieth century—the Shoah being the absolute nadir of human barbarity—can never happen again.
The space of the Memorial is part of a vast subterranean train yard of twenty–four parallel tracks originally used for mail wagons. It is laid out on two levels: the ground floor and mezzanine (approx. 6,000 sqm) and the sublevel (approx. 1,000 sqm). Between late 1943 and early 1945, twenty RSHA trains, composed of livestock cars packed with thousands of prisoners, left from these tracks.