Obj. ID: 52090
Modern Jewish Art Bergen Belsen Monument in the Père Lechaise Cemetery in Paris, France (1994)
No official name
Who is Commemorated?
Inmates and victims of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp
The monument is in section 77 of the cemetery, set up against the cemetery perimeter wall, in an area of other collective monuments.
The memorial represents the railway tracks leading to the gates of the camp. Between the ‘railway tracks’ are footprints in various sizes representing all age groups arriving at the camp.
The monument consists of two curved concrete walls that meet at a central obelisk—a short inscription in French on each wall. Two low stone block walls topped with steel railroad tracks, each set at an angle to the obelisk, meet there, creating a false perspective suggesting a longer stretch of railway track. At the front of each wall is a bronze plaque with the names of other concentration and death camps. In between the walls with track, is a concrete pavement filled with footprints, suggesting either those who have walked into the gates of the camp with a transport or the absences of those who died there.
The majority of victims of this camp were Jewish, but the monument provides only a general tribute to all the victims, not a specific one.
Ils ont souffert et espere
toi combats pour to liberte
On brisa leurs corps
jamais leurs esprits
Translation: Bergen Belsen / 1943-1945 / They suffered and hoped for your fight for freedom / Their bodies were broken, never their minds
[The names of other concentration and death camps are on two bronze plaques]
[To be determined]
The dedication of the 77th division (section) of Père Lachaise Cemetery to the memory of deportees to concentration camps began in June 1946. The installation of memorial monuments has continued since then.
The monument was inaugurated on March 23, 1994. The freestone and concrete monument was designed by architect Guillaume d'Astorg and recalls another monument at Bergen-Belsen.
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)
Winchell, James. "Holocaust Memorials in France: A Walking Tour for the Body-at-Risk," in Contemporary French Civilization, ed. Bernard Quinn, (Dossier – Documentation, Fall 1996.), https://www.academia.edu/9447446/_Holocaust_Memorials_in_France_A_Walking_Tour_for_the_Body_at_Risk_in_Contemporary_French_Civilization_Bernard_Quinn_ed_Fall_1996 (accessed September 20, 2023)
“Monument aux victimes de BERGEN-BELSEN,” Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Amis et Passionnés du Père Lachaise (APPL), https://www.appl-lachaise.net/monument-aux-victimes-de-bergen-belsen/ (accessed September 20, 2023)