The Boston Holocaust Memorial is a bit odd, in that it is a towering glass structure that appears to rise out of the middle of the city’s bureaucratic heart. Composed of six glass towers, the stones and glass panels are etched with various quotes from both eminent figures and the soldiers who liberated various camps (not Auschwitz, though, as that was liberated by the Red Army) on experiences in the camps. There appears to be disagreement on the interpretation of the Memorial: some say the six towers represent the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, while others claim that they represent the six camps that made up the Nazi genocide machine. I lean to the latter interpretation, as the quotes and etchings speak of the murder of civilians, including the other groups persecuted by the Nazis (Roma, Slavs, Catholics, Communists, mentally and physically disabled) and are meant to evoke a sense of solidarity with humanity. The Memorial is moving in the way it appeals to reason rather than emotion: the quotes make you question how individuals could view their fellow humans with such contempt and how mass murder and genocide can be rationalized.
This is an impressive memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The massive glass structures are etched with the names of victims who died in the various concentration camps all over Europe at the time of the terrifying reign of Hitler. Going through this memorial is a deeply moving experience that leaves you feeling quite melancholic. It is a powerful testament to where we have been, where we are, and where we are going as a society.
The New England Holocaust Memorial was built to foster memory of and reflection of the Holocaust (Shoah). The effort was begun by a group of survivors of Nazi concentration camps who have found new homes and new lives in the Boston area. Dedicated in October, 1995, over 3000 individuals and organizations from across the community joined in sponsoring the project.
The Freedom Trail location, in downtown Boston, is near Faneuil Hall and many other treasures of America's history. The site offers a unique opportunity for reflection on the meaning of freedom and oppression and on the importance of a society's respect for human rights.
The design utilizes uniquely powerful symbols of the Holocaust. The Memorial features six luminous glass towers, each 54 feet high. The towers are lit internally to gleam at night. They are set on a black granite path, each one over a dark chamber which carries the name of one of the principal Nazi death camps. Smoke rises from charred embers at the bottom of these chambers. Six million numbers are etched in glass in an orderly pattern, suggesting the infamous tattooed numbers and ghostly ledgers of the Nazi bureaucracy. Evocative and rich in metaphor, the six towers recall the six main death camps, the six million Jews who died, or a menorah of memorial candles.
The New England Holocaust Memorial came to life thanks to a group of concentration camps survivors who now live in the Boston area. The Memorial is comprised of six glass towers, each 54 feet high, from which smoke rises day and night. The towers of course recall the six main death camps and, thanks to the six million numbers etched in the glass, it also commemorates the tragic destiny of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust.
The Memorial is located just a short walk away from Faneuil Hall, between Congress and Union St. It is truly worth taking a few minutes to walk through the towers and read the inscriptions on the walls. A very moving experience...
"Oh God, no... No, no, no, no...," I'm muttering as I approach the monument. Help me, I don't know if I can do this. When most people see a headline that says something like, "2,000 Dead," they pause for a moment and then carry on with their lives. But numbers of people killed has always affected me differently from most. My mind races through innumerable faces, imagines families destroyed forever, children, mothers, nice people dying senselessly, what they looked like, what they wore, what they did for a living, their happy moments, their sad moments, their last good meal, their birthdays, how much they were loved by others. Tears can come to my eyes and my knees will buckle. That's the feeling I have as I approach the six glass towers of the New England Holocaust Memorial.
Suddenly, absolute horror grips me when I see that there are numbers engraved on the towers. Six million etched numbers represent the numbers tatooed on the arms of Jewish prisoners held in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
It gets worse and I curse out loud. Smoke gently drifts up from grates underneath through the towers--representing the gas chambers that killed and the furnaces that burned the bodies. I don't need to read anything here--I know the history of the Holocaust, I understand the symbolism. I can't bring myself to walk through the monument because my soul would be forever smashed trying to envision six million lives gone forever.
Erected in 1995, over 3000 individuals and organizations joined in sponsoring this project. The six 54-foot glass towers, which are illuminated at night and set on a black granite pathway, was designed by South African-born architect Stanley Saitowitz.
It's the etched numbers that are most heartbreaking to me. This monument should serve not only to remind us of those gone but also make us think every single time we see a number dead because of war, genocide, or tragedy. If you ever get a chance to visit this, don't just see etched numbers--please, please see the people they represent.
The Holocaust Memorial, as you might expect, is one of the most moving places that you will visit in Boston.
Dedicated in 1995, the memorial is a unique sensory experience. And, it is especially evocative and chilling at night, when little lights in the base of the six towers twinkle like smouldering fires.
The memorial consists of six large glass towers, each inscribed with hundreds of thousands of numbers, ultimately representing the six million Jewish people killed in the Holocaust. The towers also have brief quotations from Holocaust survivors etched on the glass, and between each tower there is additional information on the details of the Holocaust - including reference to the non-Jewish victims of the Nazis.
The design is extremely unsettling, as you might expect, with 'smoke' blowing from each tower also. The simple, stark pieces of testimony are cumulatively very powerful as you journey symbolically from 1933-1945 and end with the quotation from Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoeller, himself a victim of the camps after being an early sympathiser of Hitler's in the late 1920s, about the necessity to speak out at all time about injustice and worse.
A slightly surreal memorial found in the middle of Downtown among memorials to long-gone politicians and some of Boston's more regal civic buildings. Erected in 1995, these six glass columns represent the six major Nazi death camps, and smouldering coals let loose plumes of steam within the columns.
This is truely a sight that one must see if one has never been to Boston before. Six glass towers etched with six million numbers, represent the six million who died during the Holocaust. The glass towers represent the main concentration camps. There are recollections from survivors also etched into the granite and glass and steam rises from grates located near the towers as well giving the memorial an even more haunting effect. This is a definate must see.
The Holocaust Memorial in downtown Boston is not all too famous, but it lies right on the edge of the Freedom Trail where it is truly hard to miss. It is marked by six tall glass towers representing the six major Nazi concentration camps. On the glass in the towers millions of tiny numbers are etched, each number representing a victim of the holocaust. At the bottom of each tower is a steel grate with steam rising from a lighted pit.
At one end of the monument is a time capsule while the other end has two large granite slabs with quotes about the holocaust.
Near the Government Center/City Hall and Faneuil Hall, you'll find this moving tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. Two granite monoliths face each other in a straight line connected by a cement path. The path runs under six tall glass towers each of which represents a concentration camp (Belzec, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor, Majdanek, Treblinka, and Chelmno). As you walk underneath each tower, you'll notice its height and names etched into the glass. The names are the victims of the camps and the sheer numbers are staggering. There are also quotes on the glass and underneath there is a metal grate with hot air coming up from below. Underneath the grates, you can get down and peer through and see stones with small lights (possibly representing death and hope). It is indeed, a moving tribute and worth a visit.
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