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© Vladimir Levin, Photographer: Levin, Vladimir, 2023

Memorial Name

Holocaust Memorial Park

Who is Commemorated?

The six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, the five million other victims of the Holocaust, the heroes of the ghettos and the Jewish armed resistance, partisans and allied soldiers, the survivors of the Holocaust, the Righteous Among the Nations, and "all those who wage battle for freedom and human dignity."

Additionally, fourteen victims of the Holocaust are commemorated individually: Tuvya Bielski, Anne Frank, Mordecai Gebirtig, Yitzhak Katzenelson, Janusz Korczak, Yitzhak Nissenbaum, Emmanuel Ringelblum, Roza Robota, Abraham Sutzkever, Hannah Szenes, Mordecai Tennenbaum–Tamaroff, Raoul Wallenberg, Michael Ber Weissmandel, and Shmuel Artur Zygelbojm.

In addition, there are stones dedicated to the memory of the disabled community (stone 39), the homosexual community (stone 154), "the Gypsy, Roma, and Sinti community" (stone 66), the Yehovah's Witnesses (stone 124), the political prisoners and äsocials," (stone 235), the blockade of Leningrad (stone 229), and a gratitude monument to the people of Albania (stone 191).

Description:

The memorial park consists of a central monument with 241 granite stones spread out on either side of it. Most of these stones are now inscribed with dedicatory, commemorative, and didactic inscriptions that have been added over several years. Taken together the inscriptions offer an expansive presentation of Holocaust victims, places, experiences, meditations, and biographies.

Seen from a distance, the memorial’s central monument—a truncated tower of granite, exposed steel, and a bronze “flame” resembles a lighthouse. A closer view reveals it as a dilapidated smokestack reminiscent of a concentration camp crematorium. A single word—“Remember” in English, Hebrew, and Russian—encircles the top of this “chimney.” The outer part of the “chimney “ is sculpted to simulate brick. The bricks disappear about a third of the way up, and one sees that inside the structural steel and wound within the steel beams is barbed wire.

The smokestack stands on three circular tiers of granite engraved with the names of countries whose people were persecuted during the Holocaust. A twenty-one-foot-long granite slab extending towards Sheepshead Bay is inscribed with a brief history of the Holocaust. The “chimney” is flanked by two evergreens representing the lives of the survivors and the hope for future generations.           

The areas to either side of the central monument are defined as “learning rooms,” and are defined by low perimeter shrubs. The small granite markers are set on a crushed gravel surface in these two areas. The shapes of the markers and their rough and broken edges are intended to evoke traditional Jewish grave markers and to represent the shattered lives of Holocaust survivors. Each marker is different in form and size.

Some stones bear inscriptions highlighting significant historic events and places, and the stories of the persecuted peoples affected during the Holocaust, while other symbolic markers bear quotations from men and women who witnessed those events firsthand. Yet more tablets carry the names of individuals or families who died in the holocaust. Provision has been made for the addition of inscriptions to cover up to eighty percent of the markers, according to a program coordinated by NYC Parks and the Holocaust Memorial Committee.

Inscriptions

At the base of the central monument (counterclockwise)

POLAND, CZECHOSLOVAKIA, RUMANIA, RUSSIA
HUNGARY, YUGOSLAVIA, GREECE, LATVIA, FRANCE, HOLLAND, LITHUANIA, GERMANY
DENMARK, NORWAY, ESTONIA, BULGARIA, ITALY, BELGIUM, AUSTRIA

On the granite slab facing the bay

BELARUS, MOLDOVA

THE HOLOCAUST WAS THE SYSTEMATIC, BUREAUCRATIC
ANNIHILATION OF SIX MILLION JEWS BY THE NAZI
REGIME OF THE THIRD REICH AND ITS COLLABORATORS.
DURING WORLD WAR II, THE GERMAN THIRD REICH, A
VAST EMPIRE OF MURDER, PILLAGE, AND EXPLOITATION
ATTACKED VIRTUALLY EVERY COUNTRY IN EUROPE. THE
TOLL IN LIVES WAS ENORMOUS. IN 1933, APPROXIMATELY
NINE MILLION JEWS LIVED IN THE 21 COUNTRIES OF
EUROPE THAT WOULD BE OCCUPIED BY GERMANY
DURING THE WAR. BY 1945, TWO OUT OF EVERY THREE
EUROPEAN JEWS HAD BEEN KILLED INCLUDING 1.5
MILLION JEWISH CHILDREN. IN EASTERN EUROPE, THE
JEWISH DEATH TOLL WAS NINETY PERCENT. 

AS THE NAZI TYRANNY UNDER ADOLF HITLER SPREAD
ACROSS EUROPE FROM 1933 TO 1945, MILLIONS OF
INNOCENT NON-JEWISH PEOPLE WERE PERSECUTED
AND MURDERED AS WELL. CAUGHT UP IN THE NAZI
SLAUGHTER WERE MORE THAN 200,000 GYPSIES (ROMA
AND SINTI) AND ABOUT 200,000 MENTALLY OR
PHYSICALLY DISABLED PERSONS. MORE THAN THREE
MILLION SOVIET PRISONERS OF WAR WERE KILLED
BECAUSE OF THEIR NATIONALITY. POLES AS WELL AS
OTHER SLAVS WERE TARGETED FOR SLAVE LABOR,
AND AS A RESULT TENS OF THOUSANDS PERISHED.
HOMOSEXUALS AND OTHERS DEEMED ANTI-SOCIAL
WERE PERSECUTED AND OFTEN MURDERED. IN ADDITION
THOUSANDS OF POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS DISSIDENTS
SUCH AS COMMUNISTS, SOCIALISTS, TRADE UNIONISTS
AND JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WERE PERSECUTED FOR
THEIR BELIEFS AND BEHAVIOR. MANY OF THESE
INDIVIDUALS DIED AS A RESULT OF MALTREATMENT. 

THE CONCENTRATION CAMP IS THE MOST ENDURING
SYMBOL OF THE HOLOCAUST. THE FIRST CAMPS
OPENED SOON AFTER THE NAZIS TOOK POWER IN
JANUARY 1933, AND CONTINUED TO OPERATE UNTIL
MAY 8, 1945, WHEN WORLD WAR II AND THE NAZI
REGIME ENDED. 

DURING THE WAR, GHETTOS, TRANSIT CAMPS, AND
FORCED-LABOR CAMPS, WERE CREATED BY THE
GERMANS AND THEIR COLLABORATORS TO IMPRISON
JEWS, GYPSIES, AND OTHER VICTIMS OF RACIAL AND
ETHNIC HATRED, AS WELL AS POLITICAL OPPONENTS
AND RESISTANCE FIGHTERS. FOLLOWING THE
INVASION OF POLAND, THREE MILLION POLISH JEWS
WERE FORCED INTO GHETTOS. 

AFTER HITLER LAUNCHED AN ATTACK ON THE SOVIET
UNION IN JUNE 1941, THE METHODICAL MURDER
PROCESS BEGAN WITH THE MACHINE-GUNNING OF
JEWS BY FOUR EINSATZGRUPPEN SQUADS. BETWEEN
1942 AND 1944, THE GERMANS MOVED TO ELIMINATE
THE GHETTOS IN OCCUPIED POLAND AND ELSEWHERE,
DEPORTING GHETTO RESIDENTS TO “EXTERMINATION
CAMPS,” DEATH CENTERS EQUIPPED WITH GASSING
FACILITIES, IN POLAND. AFTER THE MEETING OF
SENIOR GERMAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN LATE
JANUARY 1942 AT WANNSEE, A BERLIN SUBURB, THE
DECISION TO IMPLEMENT “ THE FINAL SOLUTION OF
THE JEWISH QUESTION” BECAME FORMAL STATE
POLICY; ALL EUROPEAN JEWS WERE MARKED FOR
DEATH. 

SIX KILLING SITES WERE CHOSEN IN POLAND
BECAUSE OF THEIR PROXIMITY TO RAILWAY LINES
AND THEIR LOCATION IN SEMI-RURAL AREAS:
CHELMNO, BELZEC, SOBIBOR, TREBLINKA,
MAJDANEK, AND AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU. CHELMNO
WAS THE FIRST CAMP IN WHICH MASS EXECUTIONS
WERE CARRIED OUT BY GAS. BETWEEN DECEMBER
1941 AND JULY 1944, MORE THAN 320,000 PEOPLE WERE
KILLED AT CHELMNO. THE DEATH TOLLS FOR THE
OTHER KILLING CENTERS: BELZEC – 600,000; SOBIBOR
-200,000; TREBLINKA – 850,000; MAJDANEK – 275,000;
AND AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU – 1,250,000. 

THE LARGEST SINGLE MASS DEPORTATION DURING
THE HOLOCAUST OCCURRED BETWEEN MAY 14 AND
JULY 8, 1944, WHEN 437,402 HUNGARIAN JEWS WERE
DEPORTED TO AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU IN 147
TRANSPORTS, CONSISTING OF HUNDREDS OF SEALED
FREIGHT CARS. IN THAT DEATH CENTER, AFTER AN
EXPERIMENTAL GASSING IN SEPTEMBER 1941, MASS
MURDER HAD BECOME A DAILY ROUTINE. NINE OUT
OF TEN PEOPLE KILLED AT AUSCHWITZ WERE JEWS. 

 

THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED
TO THE ETERNAL MEMORY OF THE SIX MILLION
JEWISH MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN
METHODICALLY MURDERED BY THE NAZIS AND
THEIR COLLABORATORS DURING THE HOLOCAUST;

 TO THE FIVE MILLION OTHER INNOCENT HUMAN
BEINGS WHO WERE ALSO MURDERED UNDER
GERMAN RULE DURING WORLD WAR II; 

TO THE HEROES OF THE GHETTOS AND THE JEWISH
ARMED RESISTANCE; 

TO THE PARTISANS AND ALLIED SOLDIERS WHO
FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM; 

TO THOSE WHO SURVIVED THE HORRORS AND
DEGRADATION OF THE NAZIS; 

TO THE FEW RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS WHO
RISKED THEIR LIVES TO SHIELD THOSE TARGETED
FOR DEATH; 

AND TO ALL THOSE WHO WAGE BATTLE FOR FREE-
DOM AND HUMAN DIGNITY.

 

HUMANITY MUST LEARN, UNDERSTAND, AND
REMEMBER SO THAT IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. 

REMEMBER! 

Commissioned by

The City of New York

The Borough of Brooklyn, City of New York

The Holocaust Memorial Committee

///ID/49093/

Name/Title
Holocaust Memorial Park in Brooklyn, New York | Unknown
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1986, 1997
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A640317