Obj. ID: 46178
Comparative Material & Miscellaneous Neuengamme Monument at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France, 1949
To the main object: Jewish tombstones at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France
Who is Commemorated?
Victims of the Neuengamme concentration camp
The monument is in section 97 of the cemetery in an area of other collective monuments.
The monument consists of a vertical block off white granite carved to represent a kneeling woman resting her arms on a smoothed stone block. The figure of the woman is a familiar motif from funerary monuments and memorials commemorating the First World War. In 2022, the website of the Amicale describes the kneeling figure as having “a collected face, the image of courage and willpower, symbolizes the spirit that has dominated brute force." The carved figure kneels on a square stone base which in turn sits upon another slightly larger flat square stone.
On the top third of the front-facing surface of the monument is a carved a low relief design of two seated prisoners, slumped on the ground with knees up and heads bowed forward. A separate rectangular stone plaque with a dedicatory inscription, rests upon the bottom base, and is attached vertically with corner fasteners to the base and front of the carved stele with the top of the plaque set just below the carved relief. The letters of the inscription are highlighted in red.
Sous cette pierre
Un peu des cendres
Des sept mille
Assassinés par les Nazis
Au camp de
Ils sont morts
Nous vivions libres
Et leurs camarades rescapés
Ont erigéce monument
A leur mémoire
XIII Novembre MCMXLIX
Translation: Under this stone / Rests / A little from the ashes / of the seven thousand / French Martyrs / Murdered by the Nazis / At the camp of / Neuengamme / They are dead / So that / We lived free / Their families / And their surviving comrades / Have erected a monument /In their memory / XIII November MCMXLIX
Amicale de Neuengamme et de ses Kommandos
H | Holocaust | Concentration camp | Prisoner
M | Mourning
H | Human Figure
The Neuengamme concentration camp with its more than 85 satellite camps was located near Hamburg in Northern Germany and was the largest concentration camp in Northwest Germany. The monument is in the 97th division (section) of Père Lachaise Cemetery, where the commemoration of deportees began in June 1946 when the Amical d’Auschwitz arranged to have an urn of ashes brought back from the camp to Père Lachaise.
The monuments to victims of Auschwitz and Neuengamme, both erected in 1949, began a process of erecting formal sculpted 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.
The Amicale de Neuengamme et de ses Kommandos chose a traditional funerary and memorial design for the monument, and engaged classically trained the Prix de Rome winner, sculptor Pierre Honoré (1908-1996) for the work.
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)
“Histoire de l’Amicale,” Amicale de Neuengamme et de ses Kommandos, https://www.campneuengamme.org/connaitre-lamicale/histoire-de-lamicale/ (accessed December 21, 2022)