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Obj. ID: 30800
Memorials
  Holocaust Memorial and monument to the destroyed Neolog Synagogue in Bratislava, Slovakia, 1996

© Samuel D. Gruber, Photographer: Gruber, Samuel D., 2005

Memorial Name:

No official name

Who is Commemorated?

105,000 Holocaust victims from Slovakia

Description:

At the far side of the square, set against the adjacent elevated highway as a backdrop to the memorial complex, is a large black granite wall etched with a silhouette of the destroyed synagogue.

In the center of the square is a bronze abstract sculptural monument that sits on a black granite platform with the inscribed exhortation “remember” in Hebrew (zachor) and Slovak (pamätaj). From the base, the sculpture rises like scaffolding with designs running up the vertical beam, from which hang large bronze frames that surround relief panels impressed with hand prints and the ghostly profiles of human figures. Above these, a large Magen David sits like a crown.

Inscriptions

Hebrew

זכור

Slovak

Pamätaj

Translation: Remember

Commissioned by

Slovak Republic

Summary and Remarks
Remarks

21 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Holocaust Memorial and monument to the destroyed Neolog Synagogue in Bratislava | Unknown
Object Detail
Date
1996
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Slovakia | Bratislava
| Rybné Square
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Material / Technique
Bronze
Granite
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

The memorial complex was created in 1996 in the Old Town center of Bratislava by the Slovak Republic, on the site of the former Neolog Synagogue which was torn down in the Soviet period (not by the Nazis or their Slovak allies) to make way for a highway. After the fall of the communist government in 1989 young people painted a big picture of the former synagogue on the pavement of the square with the words “ Here stood a synagogue.” The site became an informal memorial recalling the crimes of fascist and communist regimes.

According to historian Maros Borsky, “The location was not selected accidentally. The Holocaust memorial was composed as a place of public remembrance, where two layers of history intertwine: the memory of the tragic event and the memory of the former Rybné Square synagogue, still remembered by many Bratislavians, and which can be often found on historical photos hanging in Bratislava cafés.”

The land on which the former synagogue stood is now owned by the Bratislava Municipality, which leases the site for an annual symbolical fee to the Museum of Jewish Culture, which maintains the memorial.

The monument is a striking piece of sculpture, and its placement, and the adjacent wall-size engraved image of the Great Synagogue, are very effective ways to enliven an otherwise near-dead space - a former plaza now cut through by a highway. However, there is no information or explanatory text near the monument to explain its purpose or more about the history it purports to recall.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Central and Eastern Europe, fourth edition (Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2007)., 187.

Gruber, Samuel D. “Slovakia: What’s Wrong with the Bratislava Holocaust Memorial?” Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art & Monuments, June 17, 2009. , http://samgrubersjewishartmonuments.blogspot.com/2009/06/slovakia-whats-wrong-with-bratislava.html (accessed December 23, 2021)

“Holocaust Memorial Bratislava,” The Information Portal to European Sites of Remembrance, https://www.memorialmuseums.org/eng/denkmaeler/view/1500/Holocaust-Memorial-Bratislava (accessed May 7, 2023)

http://www.jewishbratislava.sk/holocaust-memorial/

Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
Samuel Gruber | 2023
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
Adam Frisch | 2023
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed: