Object Alone

Obj. ID: 53329  Eric Alexander Garden of Hope at the Holocaust Museum in Houston, TX, USA, 2019

© Samuel Gruber, Photographer: Gruber, Samuel D., 2023

Name of Monument

Eric Alexander Garden of Hope

Who/What is Commemorated?

The million and a half children who perished in the Holocaust

Description 

The garden is comprised of many parts, each given a name (and sponsored by a different donor). One enters the garden from the museum along a short path that quickly transforms into a path of rectangular granite slabs, cut and laid to resemble railroad ties. These lead to a large stele-type vertical monument, that slops upward. Inscribed on the sloping side facing the viewer is a quote from Alena Synkova, one of only a small number of teenage survivors of Theresienstadt.

To the left a winding path leads to a low semi-circular wall around a paved area, in the center of which rises an abstract and symbolic metal sculpture, titled Rising and Falling, by Page Kempner. The sculpture consists of two steel upright beams to which bronze leaves are attached – falling but not falling. 

The path continues behind the memorial with the Synkova poem, along a high perimeter wall, and then wends its way around the open area behind and the side of the museum. The path is labeled “Path of Reflection.” Different areas along the path are given names to recall different aspects of the Holocaust and Resistance. The wall is the “Garden of Hope Butterfly Wall,” a small grove of young pine trees is called the “Partisan Forest,” and a small landscape garden area is the “Garden of the Righteous.” Part of the Garden of the Righteous includes a bust of U.S. president Lyndon Johnson, for whom the Museum’s Moral Courage Award is named.

Overall, the intent of the Garden is symbolic, since there is little explanatory information provided. Mostly, the garden offers a place or respite and reflection from the museum exhibitions. Seating is available throughout this area.

Inscriptions

On plaque on wall near entrance:

The Alexander Garden of Hope
Remembering the million and a half
Children who perished in the
Holocaust and honoring the eternal
Spirit of all children
On plaque above bowl of smoothed stones:

WE INVITE VISITORS TO PLACE A STONE IN T
THE ERIC ALEXANDER GRDEN OF HOPE
AS A TOKEN OF REMEMBRANCE
FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

On large stone monument:

Though there is anguish
Deep in my soul –
What if I must search ofr you forever –
I must not lose faith,
I must not lose hope.
Alena Synkova, age 16, Theresienstadt

On metal plaque on concrete wall:

Rising and Falling 2019
Page Kempner
Bronze and stainless steel
In rising and falling, a swirl of gray leaves falls, but never reaches the
ground - they drift down the sculptures face, cross the edges, and rise
back up the other side. Located in the Eric Alexander Garden of Hope,
a place of solace and reflection, Rising and Falling, is dedicated to the
memory of 1.5 million children who perished in the holocaust. The
falling leaves symbolize the loss of so many young lives. The rise refers
their memory being held aloft by institutions like Holocaust
Museum Houston that examine their lives and stories.

On a separate plaque:

Garden of Hope Sculpture
In Honor of Our Mother, Heidi
Gift of Adam and Ria Gerger
On pavement at beginning of path
PATH OF REFLECTION
THE BROWN FOUNDATION
On plaque on wall:
Garden of Hope Butterfly Wall
Gift of the Andrée and Sidney S. Rosenblum
Family Fund

On plaque on wall:

Partisan Forest
Gift of Kisha and Jason Itkin

Metal sign set in ground:

Garden of the Righteous

Herman Davis (born Zvi Davidovitz), One of eleven children, was born January 15, 1889, in the
village of Synevyr, in the Carpathian Mountains. At 18, Zvi traded his pocket watch for passage
to Ellis Island. He joined the US Calvary and was sent to Kansas, where he changed his name to
Herman Davis. Herman and his wife, Miriam Kahan, saved 19 relatives from the ravages of the
Holocaust: the Kahan family, brother Zisa and family, brother Bernard, and brother-in-law Sam
Zelmanovits. 207 members of the Davidovitz family perished in Europe. Sons Elliot and Leon
Davis, decorated World War II veterans, supported family survivors in the United States and
Israel.
In Memory of Leon and Elene Davis
Gift of Lance and Barbara and Ross and Gail Davis families

On a plaque on pedestal of Lyndon Johnson bust:

Lyndon Baines Johnson

36th president of the United States
namesake of the Holocaust Museum Houston
LBJ moral courage award
Honoring his life and legacy

Donated by the Warren family in celebration of the life of

Holocaust survivor Naomi Warren

On wall above Lyndon Johnson bust:

Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country,
To right the wrong, to do justice, to serve man.

-- Special address by JBJ to Congress, March 15, 1965

Commissioned by
Holocaust Museum Houston

 

 

Documenter
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Author of description
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Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconsdivuction
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Section Head
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Language Editor
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Donor
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25 image(s)

Name / Title
Eric Alexander Garden of Hope at the Holocaust Museum in Houston, TX, USA | Unknown
Monument Setting
Museum
{"13":"A Holocaust memorial permanently installed within a history, art, or Holocaust Remembrance Museum (n.b. this does not include buildings themselves dedicated as Holocaust memorials)."}
Object Detail
Completion Date
2019
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Location
United States of America (USA) | Texas | Houston, TX
| Holocaust Museum Houston 5401 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Iconographical Subject
Material / Technique
Granite
Concrete
Steel
Bronze
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
0
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
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
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Binding
Decoration Program
Summary and Remarks
History

The Eric Alexander Garden of Hope is dedicated to the eternal spirit of children and is in memory of the one and a half million children who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

Aaron, Arielle A. In The Presence of Butterflies: The Story of the Original Butterfly Project. (‎AuthorHouse Publishing, 2011)
Type
The following information on this monument will be completed: