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Obj. ID: 43344
Modern Jewish Art
  Auschwitz-Birkenau Holocaust monument in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France

© Samuel D. Gruber, Photographer: Gruber, Samuel D., 2018

Who is Commemorated?

Victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp

Description

The monument is in section 97 of the cemetery in an area of other collective monuments. It is a large rectangular block of volcanic stone from which a wraithlike figure with an oversized head and no recognizable features appears to emerge. Most of the stone is left rough; only the emerging figure is smooth. The monument form recalls prehistoric carvings (albeit on a large scale) and rock installations. A bronze plaque at the base dedicates the memorial to victims of Auchwitz and Birkenau.

A further inscription, applied in a bronze script, incorporates two lines from the poem Légion (poème sur l’Affiche rouge) by Paul Eliard, that celebrated the resistance group of foreign fighters known as the Manouchian Group, who were among the few resisters who used direct violence against the Nazis and were this denounced and hunted by both German and their French government collaborators. 

Inscription

A bronze plaque at the base:

1941-1945
Auschwitz-Birkenau
Camp Nazi d’Extermination

Victimes des persécutions antisemites
De l’occupant Allemand et du Gouvernement
Collaborateur de Vichy
76000 Juifs de France hommes, femmes,
Et enfants furent déportés a Auschwitz.
La plupart périrent dans les chambres a gaz.

Victimes de la répression policière
3000 résistants et patriotes connurent
a Auschwitz la souffrance et la morte.

Un peu de terre et de cendres d’Auschwitz
Perpétuent ici, le souvenir de leur martyre.

Translation: 1941-1945 / Auschwitz-Birkenau / Nazi Extermination Camp /Victims of anti-Semitic persecution / of the German occupier and the / Vichy Government collaborator / 76,000 Jews from France, men, women, and children were deported to Auschwitz. / Most perished in the gas chambers. / Victims of police repression / 3000 resistance fighters and patriots experienced / at Auschwitz suffering and death. / A bit of earth and ashes from Auschwitz / Perpetuate here, the memory of their martyrdom. 

A further inscription:

Lorsqu'on ne tuera plus ils seront bien vengés
Le seul vœu de justice a pour écho la vie

Translation: When we stop killing they will be well avenged / The only wish for justice echoes life [two lines from a poem by Paul Eliard Légion (poème sur l’Affiche rouge)]

Commissioned by

Amical d’Auschwitz

4 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Auschwitz-Birkenau monument in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Date
1949
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Salmon, Françoise (sculptor)
(Unknown)
{"4133":"French sculptor, 1917-2014"}
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
France | Ile-de-France région | Paris
| Père Lachaise Cemetery
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
Volcanic stone, Bronze
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
Iconographical Subject
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
Languages of inscription
Type of grave
Unknown
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
Summary and Remarks
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

The dedication of the 97th division (section) of Père Lachaise Cemetery to the memory of deportees began in June 1946. The Amical d’Auschwitz arranged to have an urn of ashes brought back from the camp to Père Lechaise. The monument was erected three years later, designed by Françoise Solomon, who as a student at the National School of Fine Arts, joined the Resistance. She was arrested and deported to Auschwitz and Ravensbrück. Her memorial was unusual, though at that the time their few models to follow. Salmon carved a large rectangular block of volcanic stone from which a wraithlike figure with an oversized head appears to emerge.

The monument began a process of erecting memorials to deportees and then to other groups of victims that continues today. These monuments have been erected by camp survivors, political organizations, and other associations.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Monuments à la mémoire des déporté(e)s victimes des camps de concentration et d'extermination nazis, (Paris: Musée de la Résistance nationale, 2005)

Nord, Philip. After the Deportation: Memory Battles in Postwar France (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020)
Short Name
Full Name
Volume
Page
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
Samuel D. Gruber | 2022
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.