New England Holocaust Memorial
Inspired by Holocaust survivors in the Boston area, the New England Holocaust Memorial is an outdoor memorial in Boston’s Camden Park that was constructed “to foster reflection on the impact of bigotry and the outcomes of evil during World War II and to this day” (“The New England”).
Backstory and Context
Made of granite and glass, the memorial is made of 6 luminous towers, memorial candles, and a black granite pathway. The 6 towers are extremely significant in their representation of the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust, the 6 main death camps, and the 6 years of Hitler’s “Final Solution” (1939-1945). Inscribed on the pathway in both Hebrew and English is the word “Remember,” to honor all those lost during the Holocaust and to never the mass murder of those 6 million Jews. Along the pathway, visitors can see a chronology of the Holocaust as they move along the towers. Each tower is made of 22 individual panels of glass and the walls of each tower are engraved with 7 digit numbers, representing the numbers tattooed on the arms of those in the concentration camps, which total up to 2, 280, 960 different numbers. The inside of the walls are inscribed with quotes fro witnesses of this horrific event.
The New England Holocaust Memorial first began with Stephen Ross, a Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned at the age of 9 and lost both of his parents and 6 siblings to the concentration camps. Despite being severely beaten and ill, Ross survived 10 different concentration camps in his 5-year imprisonment. He was liberated at the age of 14 when U.S. troops freed those at Dachau. At 16, Ross came to the U.S. under the U.S. committee for Orphaned Children. Although illiterate when he first immigrated, Ross went on to read and eventually earn three different college degrees before working for the city of Boston for over 40 years offering guidance and services to inner city families and youth.
Wanting to honor those who perished and suffered during the Holocaust, and especially in memory to his family, Ross formed a committee and created a proposal for the memorial. The New England Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on October 22, 1995 with several city officials and other prominent members, including Elie Weisel, present. Designer Stanley Saitowitz won the memorial design competition out of 520 entries and his design won 2 prestigious awards: The American Institute of Architects’ 1998 Henry Bacon Medal for Memorial Architecture and The Boston Society of Architects 1997 Harleston Parker Award.