Boston Holocaust Memorial
Few events in history incite more emotion than the Holocaust. The Holocaust took the lives of over six million jews and countless other minorities and ethnicities. It is an historical event that we have come to remember frequently and will continue to acknowledge in the future. There are many sites that pay tribute to these horrid events across the globe, One is located across from the Boston city hall steps.
Designed by Stanley Saitowitz and built in 1995, The memorial displays six enormous 54 foot glass towers.There is a walk way the travels under all six of the towers for visitors to walk through and admire. The towers consist of thousands of numbers that represent the six million jews that lost their lives during the holocaust. on the inside of the glass, there are many quotes from holocaust survivors inscribed on the walls. Each tower consist of 24 panels of glass with two of the panels containing quotes while the other 22 have the 7 digit number inscribed on them. Steam Rises from under the towers and billowing out of the top, which Saitowitz described as, “Like human breath as it passes through the glass chimneys to heaven”. The number six has many meanings that relate to the Holocaust. The Six towers in this case stand for 6 of the concentration camps that exterminated so many people,CHELMNO. TREBLINKA. MAJDANEK. SOBIBOR. AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU. BELZEC. All six towers are placed over pits filled with black concrete and each pit has an glowing light at the bottom. Each end of the memorial has a large stone, one at the end of the walk way has a very moving quote from pastor Martin Niemoller reading,
“They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.Then they came for the Catholics,and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
This quote has come to remind many people why we have such a memorial and why we remember these events. It is hard to believe that anyone could be aware of the brutal events in the concentration camps, and if they did know, how could they not do anything? it shows us that we should always speak up for those who cannot speak for them selves. The quote also reminds us that it was not just the jews that received these unfair punishment but communist, trade unionists and catholics as well and of course countless other groups including the handicapped. This memorial is about remembrance and we must always remember it so that we do not repeat it.
the location of the memorial seemed a bit strange to me but I think being near the freedom trail is a good way of making the point that we must fight for everyones freedoms. it is located in carmen park which is named after william carmen for his role in creating the holocaust memorial. A collaboration of government and non-profits maintain operations and the Boston National Historic Park maintains it.