Who is Commemorated?
South Carolina Holocaust survivors, liberators, and those who perished.
The Monument is in Columbia's Memorial Park in downtown Columbia on four acres of land. The property is bordered by Hampton, Gadsden, Washington, and Wayne Streets and is one block south of Finlay Park. The park contains several other public memorial monuments.
The monument stands on a pavement made of irregularly shaped gray granite stones, laid in the shape of a Magen David. The upright monument consists of three joined parts. In the center, raised on two light gray granite steps, is a rectangular darker gray granite stele-type slab of which the top is cut in the shape of an off-kilter Magen David within which the word ZACHOR in Hebrew, and the English “Remember” are inscribed. On the front of this part of the monument, near the center, is a short dedicatory inscription: "In Sacred Memory of 6,000,000," Beneath this is an inscribed map of Europe showing the location of major camps and killing sites. On the other side of this stele are engraved representational images recalling the concentration camps.
The central stele is flanked by two large rectangular black granite slabs that sit directly on the pavement. On one face of these is a inscribed a timeline of the Holocaust. and on the other are listed names of Holocaust liberators and survivors of South Carolina.
Four simple gray granite benches without backs encircle the monument. Each of these is inscribed with a quote from a survivor or liberator, with one from Jadzia Stern, who began this monument project.
Central panel, front
Inside Magen David:
In the center, above map:
Front, Left Panel:
During the Holocaust, 1933 - 45, six million European Jews were
murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. Millions
more of the innocent suffered persecution and death
as victims of the State-sponsored Nazi Tyranny.
1920 League of Nations meets in Geneva.
Nazi Party meets in Munich.
1925 Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf is published.
1927 Jewish cemeteries in Germany are desecrated
1928 Nazis win 12 Reichstag seats.
1932 Nazis establish the faith movement of German
Christians- Nationalistic, anti Catholic, anti
Semitic, and Anti-Marxist. Nazis win 230
1933 Concentration camp is established at Dachau.
Hitler is appointed Chancellor.
German Government institutes boycott of Jewish
lawyers, doctors, and merchants.
Jews and other non-Aryans are banned from
jobs in law and civil service, as well as jobs
in music, art, broadcasting, theater, and farming.
Quota for Jews are begun in education. The
Gestapo is established. Nazi Party is declared
the only legal political party.
1934 Anne Frank's family moves from Frankfort to
Amsterdam. Hitler assumes presidential power,
orders buildup of armed forces. Nazis begin
persecution of homosexuals.
1935 Nuremberg laws are enacted, depriving Jews
1936 Nazis reoccupy the Rhineland. A 25-percent
tax is placed on all Jewish assets.
1937 Buchenwald concentration camp is established.
1938 German-Austrian Anschluss is created.
Czechoslovakia is divided. England, France
and Italy appease Hitler. Anti-Jewish pogrom
Kristallnacht is carried out in Germany
and Austria. Nazis expropriate Jewish property.
1939 At the Evian Conference, 29 nations refuse to
take in additional Jewish refugees. British
"White Paper" limits Jewish refugees into
Palestine. World War II begins, Nazis and
Soviets invade Poland. Jews are forced to
wear the yellow star. Nazis establish Jewish
ghettos in Poland. 6,000 Jehovah's Witnesses
are held in concentration camps. Nazis
deport German Romanies (Gypsies).
Front, right panel:
1940 Denmark, Norway, Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium
France and Romania fall. Auschwitz concentration
camp is established. German bombers blitz
England. Berlin-Rome- Tokyo Axis is formed
Warsaw ghetto is established.
1941 Nazis invade Soviet Union. Nazis plan "Final
Solution To The Jewish Problem." Mass
murder of 33,000 Jews take place at Babi Yar.
United States enters World War II.
1942 Wannsee Conference is held to ensure
interagency cooperation in the extermination
of the Jews. Anne Frank's family goes into
hiding in Amsterdam. Death camps are
established in the Polish villages of Belzec,
Sobibor, and Treblinka. Gassings begin at
Auschwitz and Maidanek in Poland.
1943 Greek Jews are deported to Auschwitz.
Jews revolt in Warsaw ghetto and in
Treblinka and Sobibor. United Nations
War Crimes Commission is created.
1944 Anne Frank's family is arrested. Hungarian
Jews are deported to Auschwitz. Soviet
troops advance. Death marches begin.
Lodz, the last ghetto, is liquidated.
Jewish sonderkommando revolt at
Auschwitz. Allies invade Normandy
on D-Day, June 6. Allied troops enter Rome,
Paris and Brussels. The Battle of the Bulge
begins December 16. Nazis force American
POWS and Jews into slave labor.
1945 Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz-Birkenau
and Maidanek. Anne Frank dies of Typhus
shortly before the British liberate Bergen-
Belsen. American troops liberate Dachau.
Hitler commits suicide in Berlin. Germany
signs unconditional surrender. Japan
surrenders. War-crimes trials begin
in Nuremberg. Anti-Jewish riots erupt in
1946 Jewish leaders are tortured and murdered
near Krakow and Lodz. Pogrom erupts in
Kielce, Poland, with 42 killed. Anti-Semitism
continues. 100,000 Polish Jews leave their
This map depicts the location of the
Death and Concentration Camps
where the Nazi Germans implemented
their "Final Solution,"
the murder of 6,000,000 Jews.
Rear, Left Panel:
I have never felt able to describe my emotional reactions when I
first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality
and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency...
I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give
first-hand evidence of things if ever, in the future, there develops
a tendency to charge these allegations merely to 'propaganda.'
—General Dwight D. Eisenhower,
Supreme Commander of the Allied
Forces in Europe, 1945
South Carolina Liberators
(list of two columns with 44 names)
Rear, Center (beneath images):
May God Remember them for good
with all the righteous of the world.
— The Jewish Prayer Book
Rear, Right Panel
I believe in the sun, even when it does not shine,
I believe in love, even when it is not shown.
I believe in God, even when he does not speak.
— Inscribed on a wall by a Holocaust victim
South Carolina Holocaust Survivors
(Three Columns with 87 names)
Columbia Holocaust Memorial Committee (Lilly Filler, chair)
H | Holocaust | Concentration camp
H | Holocaust | Concentration camp | Barbed wire
H | Holocaust | Killing sites, map of
H | Holocaust | Concentration camp | Prisoner
H | Holocaust | Concentration camp | Chimney
T | Train
H | Human Figure
H | Human Figure | Human head
H | Holocaust | Concentration camp | Crematorium/oven
The Columbia Holocaust Memorial Monument was unveiled and dedicated on June 6, 2001, the 57th anniversary of D-Day. The Monument memorializes South Carolina Holocaust survivors, liberators, and those who perished. It stated purpose is to educate all South Carolinians visiting the memorial about the Holocaust.
The HMM began at the urging of Jadzia Stern, and then the project was revived and expanded by her daughter Lilly Filler, who created a broad coalition of supporters beyond the Columbia Jewish community, including the University of South Carolina, U.S. Army Fort Jackson, and the City of Columbia. The committee raised $150,000 for the monument’s design and construction, and the dedication took place only 363 days after Filler convened the first committee meeting. It was attended by several hundred people.
Hyman Irwin was chosen to design the monument and to create a design that fulfilled three goals: to remember the six million; one was to honor the survivors and the liberators; and one was to educate South Carolinians about the Holocaust.
The committee engaged Belinda Gergel and Selden Smith to develop a timeline of events from 1932 until 1946 and this historical information is inscribed on the monument.
The memorial was just the beginning. Filler used the remaining $75,000 to establish the Columbia Holocaust Education Commission (CHEC) to promote Holocaust education in the city of Columbia, and through the state. More than 20 years later, the Commission continues its work with grants to South Carolina educators and also places its travelling exhibit, “Holocaust Remembered,” in schools and community spaces every year.
“Columbia Holocaust Memorial Monument,” Columbia Holocaust Education Commission, https://www.columbiaholocausteducation.org/ (accessed October 18, 2022)
Stroud, Mike, “The Columbia (S.C.) Holocaust Memorial,” Historical Marker Database, https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=44184 (accessed October 18, 2022)
Wooley, Kiki, “Lilly Stern Filler, M.D.“ Business Monthly Columbia, March 23, 2020, https://www.columbiabusinessmonthly.com/2020/03/23/300779/lilly-stern-filler-m-d- (accessed October 18, 2022)