THE MUSEUM OF FAMILY HISTORY presents
World Holocaust Memorials
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA
A small number of Holocaust survivors formed a
committee in 1984 with the intention of creating a permanent memorial to
the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. A private non-profit
organization was formed a year later, and a site was found for the
memorial in Miami Beach on Meridian and Dade Avenues.
|The wall inscription reads:
"Meet the horrible truth and be shattered."--
|The hand is surrounded by a reflecting lily pond, a "garden of meditation" dedicated to those who perished in the Holocaust. The large plaza that compose the garden is made of Jerusalem stone and is lined with stone columns and vines of white bougainvilleas and palm trees in the background.|
|A row of pillars composed of Jerusalem stone line the semicircular path that stand adjacent to the reflecting pond. Inscribed upon the black granite panels that make up the opposing wall are filled with A brief history in word and photograph of the Holocaust is inscribed on the black panels that oppose the columns. Also on these panels begin the naming of victims of the Holocaust. These lists of the many thousands of names continue as we move forward in our visit to this precious memorial.|
|The visitor must pass through a darkish tunnel that is only partially illuminated by slats of sunlight. One can hear in the background the haunting voices of Israeli children singing songs from the Holocaust. Inscribed into the sides of both walls are the names of many of the concentration camps that existed in Europe during World War II.|
As one makes their way through the "lonely tunnel" to the bright outdoors, the voices, the singing of the children gets louder. The visitor sees a sculpture of someone who is suffering, mouth agape with outstretched hand.
Surrounding the large hand that reaches for the sky in the middle of the rotunda, we can notice many sculptures of those who suffered during the Holocaust, both man, woman and child, suffering; a mother holds a crying child, two men, emaciated, face each other. On the bottom of the large, outstretched hand cast in bronze, with a number tattooed on the arm from Auschwitz, are sculptures of people trying to help each other in what is perhaps one last attempt at freedom or life. This figures must deliver to each of us a sense not only of the terror of the time, but also the compassion that must have existed between those who were in great despair, each fighting for their very survival.
Inscribed upon fifty more granite slabs are the names of individuals, families, or communities that were lost during the Holocaust.
Memorial website: www.holocaustmmb.org
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