In Berlin, Michelle Obama and daughters visit Holocaust memorial

First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha visited the Holocaust memorial in Berlin amid tight security.

Obama and her daughters spent about a half-hour on the morning of June 19 visiting the sea of 2,711 steles that comprise the memorial, according to Uwe Neumaerker, its director. They were guarded by helicopters hovering over the area, which was cleared of visitors, so the memorial “was totally silent and they were alone,” Neumaerker said by phone following the visit. He said Obama and her daughters had a chance to wander among the tall, tomb-like concrete slabs.

“They were impressed that we Germans have such a memorial in the center of our city,” Neumaerker said, adding that the first lady “really has an aura.”

American-Jewish architect Peter Eisenman designed the memorial, which was opened to the public in May 2005 on the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.