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Obj. ID: 42761
Modern Jewish Art
  Holocaust Monument in Skokie, Illinois, USA

© Samuel D. Gruber, Photographer: Gruber, Samuel D., 2021

Who is Commemorated?

Ghetto fighters, the underground resistance, the U.S. Armed Forces who helped defeat the scourge of Nazism and the six million Jews and all other victims who perished at the hands of the Nazis.

Description

A bronze figurative sculpture depicts four individuals during the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The group consists of a Jewish resistance fighter (identified by his bandolier), a mother holding a dead child, and a small boy with kippah who clings to an older bearded man dressed in more traditional garb. The feet of the figures rest on ruins of the Ghetto including scattered bricks and other building rubble, and a damaged Torah scroll. At the bottom of the statues amidst this depiction of ruin is inscribed: "Thou shallt not kill." The bronze group is set on a black marble base with inscriptions in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish on all sides. A separate free-standing bronze plaque with information about the history of the memorial is set next to the monument. 

Inscriptions

The accompanying plaque reads:

The monument has been erected
as a lasting memorial to all
victims of Nazism and will remain
in perpetuity as a reminder what
hate can do to mankind, if decent
people are not vigilant to forestall
such a calamity in the future

The inscription is followed by the names of the board members. trustees, artist, sculptor, and contractor.

Inscriptions on the stone base include:

Inscriptions in Hebrew and English on the north side:

זכור
In memory of
The Six Million Jews
And all other victims
Who perished
At the hands of the Nazis
1933-1945
Dedicated by the
Holocaust Monument Committee
שארית הפליטה
תשמ''ז / 1987

Translation: the survivor community/ 1987

Inscriptions in Yiddish and English on the west side read:

געדענק אונדזערע קדושים

Translation: Remember our martyrs

 

Remember the Martyrs
Annihilated
Auschwitz                   Dachau
Bergen Belsen             Majdanek
Buchenwald                Treblinka
And all Other Concentration Camps

Inscription in English on the east side reads:

In honor of
the Ghetto fighters
the underground resistance
and the U.S. Armed Forces
who helped defeat
the scourge of Nazism.

Inscriptions in Hebrew and English on the south side cite the Biblical verse Lamentations 1:12 and read:

הביטו וראו
אם יש מכאוב כמכאבי
אשר עולל לי
איבה א יז

Behold and see
If there be any pain
Like unto my pain
Which is done unto me
Lamentations 1:12

Commissioned by

Sheerit Hapleitah of Metropolitan Chicago (on behalf of the survivor community)

Summary and Remarks

26 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Holocaust Monument in Skokie | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Public park
{"9":"Any memorial erected or installed in a present-day public park, including Jewish cemeteries or other sites now operated as public space."}
Date
1987
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
United States of America (USA) | Illinois | Skokie, IL
| Village Green Park, 5213 Oakton St.
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Material/Technique
bronze
marble
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Approximately 4 meters (13 feet) tall
Height
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Type of grave
Unknown
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
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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
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Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
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Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

The monument was dedicated May 3, 1987. Skokie was selected as the site for the Monument because when the monument was installed, Village officials estimated that 7,000 of Skokie`s 69,000 inhabitants were Holocaust survivors. The Monument is installed on the Village Green, a plaza located between Skokie Village Hall (5127 Oakton Street) and the Skokie Public Library (5215 Oakton Street). The other sculpture on the Village Green is placed there as art, without historical or commemorative purpose.

The monument gained immediate attention because on the night after its dedication it was vandalized. Local political, civic, and religious leaders then used the occasion to further denounce antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Bibliography

Gruber, Samuel D. “Skokie Holocaust Monument: A Return to "Realism" in Holocaust Remembrance,” Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art and Monuments, February 18, 2022 , https://samgrubersjewishartmonuments.blogspot.com/2022/02/skokie-holocaust-monument-return-to.html (accessed February 20, 2022)

Holocaust Monument - Skokie, IL - The Holocaust on Waymarking.com,” Waymarking, https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMC19M_Holocaust_Monument_Skokie_IL (accessed January 4, 2022)

Recktenwald, William and Cheryl Devall,“Vandals deface new holocaust memorial” Chicago Tribune, June 2, 1987, https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1987-06-02-8702100514-story.html (accessed January 4, 2022)
Short Name
Full Name
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Page
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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
Documenter
Samuel D. Gruber | 12.2021
Author of description
Samuel D. Gruber | 12.2021
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.