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Obj. ID: 53623
  Women's Holocaust Memorial in Greensboro, NC, USA, 2023

© Samuel D. Gruber, Photographer: Gruber, Samuel D., 2024

Name of Monument

Women's Holocaust Memorial: She Wouldn't Take Off Her Boots

What/Who is commemorated

All women and children who endured or perished in the Holocaust, and in remembrance of all victims of genocide


The memorial is in Carolyn’s Garden at LeBauer Park, a four-acre park in downtown Greensboro. The site is in a park next to the city library and is frequented by children.  The sounds of children playing were part of the attraction of the site, and an intentional part of the monument experience.

The bronze figurative monument sits on a low panted concrete base set in an unpaved oval area with a pack-sand ground in a (pre-existing) landscaped garden.

At the entrance to the memorial area is an information sign giving background to the monument, Holocaust history, and the specific photo and event that the sculpture references. A bronze plaque mounted on a single “leg” gives information. Nearby and around the perimeter of the open area are several wooden signs with QR codes that allow the viewer to access additional information via smartphone and the internet. Opposite the sculpture are benches.

The sculpted monument is a large bronze figurative sculpture of five women. The composition and details are inspired by a photo (shown on the informational sign). In the center of both stands an older woman, wearing boots, who stares straight ahead. Grouped around her are four younger women, including a child, who link arms or have arms around each other’s back. All the women have stripped to their undergarments. The three central women look straight ahead. The child wears a head covering, looks down and clutches her right fist in front of her petticoat. The woman at the opposite end looks slightly upwards and holds her hand toward her face. The photo only shows the front of the victims, and the sculptor imagines that one woman and the child have their arms around the backs of others.

The figures’ feet are grounded – and attached - to a bronze base that is integral to the sculpture. Lying on this base are represented discarded clothing and shoes, and the names of the women depicted are inscribed. One castaway garment bears a Jewish star.

On the front of the bronze base is inscribed a dedicatory inscription to the mothers of two of the monuments’ sponsors, whose experiences also inspired the project.

Opposite the monument is a separate bronze sculpture of a period view camera on a tripod that is designed so that the visitor can look through it. This imagines the point of view of the Nazi photographer but also allows the viewer to understand that he/she/they are witnesses and bystanders, and that despite the commemorative purpose of the memorial, its very existence objectifies the victims.


Memorial base:


Back of camera:

(quote by Elie Wiesel)


Memorial marker:

 She Wouldn’t Take Off Her Boots
by Victoria Milstein

Dedicated by Shelly Weiner and Rachel
Kizhnerman to honor their brave mothers
Eva Weiner and Sofia Guralink

Erected this 18th day of April, 2023
Yom Hashoah
Holocaust Remembrance Day

LeBaur Park, Greensboro, North Carolina

This memorial monument shall stand as a
gift to the city of Greensboro in honor of all
women and children who endured or perished in
the Holocaust, and in remembrance of all
victims of genocide. Here is a space to bear
witness to the humanity of all people.

-- Mayor Nancy Vaughan

Commissioned by

The Women of the Shoah Fund, Jewish Foundation of Greensboro

Summary and Remarks

69 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Women's Holocaust Memorial in Greensboro, NC | 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."}
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Historical Origin
Community type
Unknown |
United States of America (USA) | North Carolina | Greensboro, NC
| Carolyn's Garden, LeBauer Park
Period Detail
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Material / Technique
bronze (sculpture)
painted concrete (base)
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Construction material
Painted concrete base 85 deep x 213 wide x 17 high
Bronze base 8 cm high
Bronze figures (tallest) 190 cm high
Panel Measurements
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
Number of Lines
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Façade (main)
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
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Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Scribal Notes
Trade Mark
Decoration Program
Suggested Reconsdivuction

The monument is inspired by a photograph of five Jewish women taken on Monday, Dec. 15, 1941 moments before their execution in Liepāja, Latvia. The women were marched from the women's prison in freezing cold to a nearby beach called Skede where they were forced to strip to their underclothes, taken to the edge of a trench and shot dead in groups of 10. Many of the victims were photographed in their final moments by a Nazi photographer.

Artist Victoria Milstein made sketches, and a small maquette before embarking on the full-size clay version of the group sculpture. The figures are a little larger than lifesize. The final work was cast in bronze by Carolina Bronze Sculpture, a north Carolina foundry.

The interaction with the memorial through the camera is intended as an entry point to the educational component of the monument. Still, the memorial, since it is based on an historic photo and gives names to the figures presented, is both specific to them while still general in its purposes to commemorate all women and child victims of the Holocaust.

According to the project website, the Monument is intended as a community placemaking experience where the public not only remembers the Holocaust, but to be a place for "impactful Holocaust education. Honoring those who perished, the Monument conveys a powerful statement against the murder of women and children, antisemitism, genocide and all hate. The Monument is art that requires social engagement and the participation of its audience: the act of looking through the camera, where the spectator becomes a witness, to see and feel the opposite of what the Nazi photographer was documenting." (https://www.womenoftheshoahjp.com/)

The artist Victoria Milstein initiated this project after a visit to Auschwitz. Of the monument, she writes:

"We see the strength and the humility of generations of Jewish women from Liepaja, moments before they were murdered by Nazis in 1941. They stand in their innocence; their only crime was that they were Jews. The photo I used as inspiration for the monument was taken by a Nazi photographer to document the victories of the Nazi regime as propaganda for its German citizens. My hope is that each time one views the monument from that perspective, one becomes witness to exactly the opposite of what the Nazi photographer intended to document.

Standing arm-in-arm are five women in their last act, looking straight at us today, with grace, humanity and defiance. The older woman, asked to strip, stands in the center with her boots on as she clutches onto the arms of generations of women in her family. The two figures on the end of the grouping bring us physically into the sculpture, revealing an emotional narrative of their impending death. With a snap of the camera we almost can't comprehend the innocence that we see. One sees the subtle emotions of fear, disbelief, terror and even hope. The youngest, with her head bent, clutches her fists, communicating the human horror of the Holocaust and reminding us of the several million children that were exterminated.

I was very influenced by Rodin's sculpture of the "The Burghers of Calais" where each figure communicates the emotional journey of their impending death. When I first saw the photograph, I saw my sisters, Jewish women, and it changed me forever. You can't un-see what you have seen. [https://www.womenoftheshoahjp.com/story]

The reported cost of the monument was $725,000, $250,000 was appropriated by the North Carolina General Assembly from the General Fund and the rest was raised from private donations.

The monument is named in honor of Eva Weiner and Sofia Guralnik, women who saved their children, Shelly Weiner and Raya Kizhnerman, by hiding them in Nazi-occupied Poland for almost two years. Shelly Weiner is a resident of Greensboro and contributed the lead gift to enable the monument project to proceed.

Main Surveys & Excavations

Chafin, Bethany, "Greensboro Artist Designs North Carolina's First Women's Holocaust Monument," WFDD (Greensboro, NC), March 17, 2021, https://www.wfdd.org/story/greensboro-artist-designs-north-carolinas-first-womens-holocaust-monument (accessed April 18, 2024)

Glasco, Sarah, "First N.C. monument dedicated to women and children of Holocaust," Spectrum News 1, https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/triad/news/2022/04/20/first-n-c--monument-dedicated-to-women-and-children-of-holocaust (accessed April 18, 2024)

Harris, Karrington. "NC's First Women's Holocaust Memorial Unveiled in Greensboro, WFMY (Greensboro, NC), April 19, 2023, https://www.wfmynews2.com/article/news/local/north-carolina-first-women-holocaust-monument-greensboro-lebauer-park/83-59eb03b7-058d-45e7-85e3-74d7faa9a1c8 (accessed April 18, 2024)

Lindenberg, Alli, "Students are now able to visit North Carolina's first and only women's Holocaust memorial," EducationNC, October 2, 2023, https://www.ednc.org/students-are-now-able-to-visit-north-carolinas-first-and-only-womens-holocaust-memorial/ (accessed April 18, 2024)

"Murder Story of Liepaja Jews in Skede,"
Untold Stories - Murder Sites of Jews in Occupied Territories of the USSR (Yad Vashem project), https://collections.yadvashem.org/en/untold-stories/killing-site/14626438-Skede.

"North Carolina: City of Greensboro Unveils New Memorial to Honor Victims of Genocide," WXII12 (Winston-Salem, NC), April 19, 2023, https://www.wxii12.com/article/north-carolina-city-greensboro-unveils-new-memorial-honor-victims-genocide/43637199 (accessed April 18, 2024)

Stutz, Meredith, "Greensboro City Council Votes to Approve Holocaust Monument," WXII12, (Winston-Salem, NC), December 3, 2020, https://www.wxii12.com/article/greensboro-holocaust-monument-women-children/34862692 (accessed April 18, 2024)

Women of the Shoah Jewish Placemaking , https://www.womenoftheshoahjp.com/ (accessed April 18, 2024)

"Women’s Holocaust Memorial," Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, https://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/monument/1148/ (accessed April 18, 2024)
Samuel D. Gruber | 2024
Author of description
Samuel D. Gruber | 2024
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconstruction
Section Head
Language Editor
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed: