Obj. ID: 46176
Modern Jewish Art Holocaust Memorial at Temple Sinai, Sumter, SC, USA, 1984
To the main object: Temple Sinai, Sumter, SC, USA
Who is Commemorated?
Millions of victims of the Holocaust
The monument is now set in a gravel circular area to the side of the synagogue. Side by side black and white upright granite slabs are set on a then unadorned base, set within a larger circular area filled with gravel and bordered with low bushes. A curved bench is set to the side. The slabs inscribed with the names of major concentration camps, biblical quotations, quotes from 20th century Rabbis, and Jewish liturgy. The black slab is placed slightly in front of the white slab.
A rectangular bronze plaque on a base at low to the ground is set near the monument.
On left (black granite slab)
THE VOICE OF THY BROTHERS
BLOOD CRIETH UNTO ME [Genesis 4:10]
SOME ARE GUILTY
ALL ARE RESPONSIBLE [Heschel, 1963]
On left (white granite slab)
HA SHOAH – זכור
ONLY SILENCE SPEAKS LOUDLY
ENOUGH FOR THE MILLIONS WHO
WERE MARCHED IN THE ABYSS [Stern, 1975]
NOT BY MIGHT NOT BY POWER
BUT BY MY SPIRIT SAITH THE
LORD OF HOSTS [Zechariah 4:1]
THEY SHALL NOT HURT NOR
DESTROY IN ALL MY HOLY
MOUNTAIN [Isaiah 11:9]
CHOOSE LIFE AND LIVE [Deuteronomy 30:19]
On bronze plaque:
“WHAT MEAN THESE STONES?” [Joshua 4:21]
A MEMORIAL ERECTED BY THE PEOPLE OF SUMTER AND
DEDICATED TO THE NEED OF CONSTRANT VIGILANCE AGAINST
HUMANITY’S TERRIBLE POTENTIAL FOR SELF-DESTRUCTION
The Sumter Ministerial Association
The cement base is 8 feet (243.84 cm) long and 3.5 (106.68 cm) feet wide. Each stone panel is 4 feet (121.92 cm) long, 8.25 inches (20.955 cm) wide, and 6 feet (182.88) high.
The base of the concrete slab for each bench is 6 feet (182.88) long and 45 inches (114.3) wide.
The Sumter Ministerial Association, an organization of local Christian clergy, sponsored the construction of a local Holocaust memorial in 1984. It was originally placed near the City-County Office building but was relocated to the grounds of Temple Sinai in 2018. Local churches and individuals raised $12,000 to construct the memorial.
Reverend Sam Poston, pastor of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church and president of the Sumter Ministerial Association said, “That’s why we’re calling it the People’s Holocaust Memorial of Sumter…Those 11 million Holocaust victims were people just like us.”
The wording of one side of the monument explicitly says “Holocaust,” and lists the names of major death camps). The monument does not explicitly mention Jews or Jewish victims but does include the Hebrew word “Zachor” (זכור) (Remember).
Rabbi Abraham Joshuah Heschel, "Religion and Race" BlackPast , https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/1963-rabbi-abraham-joshua-heschel-religion-and-race/ (accessed December 20, 2022)
Stern, Chaim, The New Union Prayer Book (CCAR Press, 1975), 173.
"Temple Sinai Reform Jewish Congregation," Congregation website, https://www.templesinaisumter.org/about-temple-sinai (accessed December 20, 2022)
“Sumter County Museum Opens Jewish History Center,” City of Sumter, South Carolina's website, https://www.sumtersc.gov/news/sumter-county-museum-opens-jewish-history-center (accessed December 20, 2022)