Object Alone

Obj. ID: 53376  Martyr's Holocaust Memorial at the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles, CA, USA, 1991, 2010

© Samuel Gruber, Photographer: Gruber, Samuel D., 2022

Name of monument
Holocaust Monument / Martyrs’ Memorial

Who is Commemorated?
Jewish victims of the Holocaust

Description
The Martyr’s Memorial Monument consists of six 18-foot-high (5.5 m) high, black, triangular, granite pillars. Each one honors the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945. The pillars are also meant to symbolize the crematoria chimneys (artist Joseph Young’s early drawings show the pillars as hollow, with smoke or flames rising from them). The triangular columns provide 18 panels on which are inscribed year-by-year descriptions of the establishment of the Nazi regime and its oppressive and murderous actions from 1933 to 1945. In the center of the columns is an "invisible" seventh column, intended to represent the living, who must carry on the memory of those who perished.

On the platform of the monument are names in three concentric hexagons. The outer hexagon lists the countries conquered by the Germans and the numbers of Jews annihilated in each. Moving to the left, the countries are listed in the order each fell to Germany. Along the center hexagon are the names of the concentration camps and the year each opened. The inner hexagon contains the names of the death camps.

When first built a half-ring of white piers and red granite (?) panels was arranged around one side of the monument. These included donor recognition plaques and plaques with names of concentration camps. This section was not part of the artists’ design and was removed when the museum was built in 2010.

Inscriptions
1933
THE NAZIFICATION OF GERMANY

ADOLF HITLER AND FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT CAME INTO OFFICE DURING A WORLDWIDE DEPRESSION THAT THREATENED DEMOCRACY IN BOTH NATIONS. IN HIS INAUGURAL ADDRESS, PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT TOLD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE "WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FEAR ITSELF". IN GERMANY, CHANCELLOR HITLER USED 'FEAR ITSELF' TO JUSTIFY THE BURNING OF THE REICHSTAG AND TO MAKE HIMSELF DICTATOR. WITHIN WEEKS HE LEGISLATED ALL CIVIL RIGHTS OUT OF EXISTENCE AND ISSUED EDICTS TO ESTABLISH HIS POLICE STATE. DISSENTERS WERE TAKEN TO DACHAU AND ORANIENBURG CONCENTRATION CAMPS. THE BARBARIC 'SCAPEGOATING' OF GERMAN JEWS HAD BEGUN.

JEWS WHOSE FAMILIES HAD LIVED IN GERMANY FOR OVER 1000 YEARS WERE ASSAULTED IN THE STREETS, FORCED FROM CIVIL SERVICE AND SCHOOLS, AND HAD THEIR BUSINESSES BOYCOTTED. BEFORE 1933 ENDED, HITLER RENOUNCED THE VERSAILLES TREATY, STARTED SECRET REARMAMENT, QUIT THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND SIGNED A CONCORDAT WITH THE VATICAN. AS AMERICA STRENGTHENED ITS DEMOCRACY, HITLER INTENSIFIED HIS TERRORIST TACTICS. NAZI STUDENTS STORMED UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES AND BOOKSTORES, CASTING INTO BONFIRES BOOKS AUTHORED BY DEFENDERS OF DEMOCRACY AND BELIEVERS OF FREE IDEAS.

A CENTURY EARLIER THE GERMAN POET, HEINRICH HEINE, PROPHESIZED: " WHERE ONE BURNS BOOKS, ONE WILL, IN THE END, BURN PEOPLE". IT ONLY TOOK EIGHT YEARS.

1934
THE NIGHT OF LONG KNIVES

IN VIOLATION OF THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES, GERMANY INITIATED AT AN AMBITIOUS MILITARY REARMAMENT PROGRAM TO RESTORE ITS MILITARY STRENGTH, COVERT AIR RECONNAISSANCE MISSIONS COMMENCED. GERMANY BEGAN TO SECURE ITS NATIONAL BORDERS.

THE SS BECAME A DOMINANT FORCE IN GERMANY AFTER ERNST ROHM, COMMANDER OF THE STORMTROOPERS (SA) AND OTHER PROMINENT MEMBERS OF THE SA LEADERSHIP, WHO THREATENED HITLER'S AUTHORITY, WERE MURDERED ON HITLER'S ORDERS ON JUNE 30TH, THE "NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES". ALL CONCENTRATION CAMPS CAME UNDER SS JURISDICTION.

ON JULY 25, AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR ENGELBERT DOLLFUSS WAS ASSASSINATED BY AUSTRIAN NAZIS IN A FAILED ATTEMPT TO GAIN CONTROL OF THAT COUNTRY.

WITH THE DEATH OF GERMAN PRESIDENT PAUL VON HINDENBURG ON AUGUST 2ND, HITLER MOVED QUICKLY TO ESTABLISH A DICTATORSHIP. OFFICES OF PRESIDENT AND CHANCELLOR WERE COMBINED. HITLER BECAME SUPREME COMMANDER OF GERMAN MILITARY FORCES. THE MILITARY NO LONGER BORE ALLEGIANCE TO THE STATE; THE GERMAN SOLDIER IN HIS OATH SWORE "I WILL RENDER UNCONDITIONAL OBEDIENCE TO ADOLF HITLER, THE FUHRER".

NEW LAWS DISCRIMINATING AGAINST JEWS AND OTHER MINORITIES WERE ENACTED; UNOFFICIAL BOYCOTTING AND RANDOM ATTACKS AGAINST JEWS CONTINUED.

1935
LEGALIZATION OF NAZI RACISM

THE SAAR REGION, GRANTED TO FRANCE BY THE VERSAILLES TREATY, WAS RETURNED TO GERMANY ON JANUARY 13. GERMAN MANDATORY MILITARY SERVICE RESUMED ON MARCH 16, IN BREACH OF THE VERSAILLES TREATY. JEWS WERE BARRED FROM THE ARMED FORCES.

VIRULENT ATTACKS ARE IN THE PRESS RAISED NEW CONCERNS FOR JEWS. THROUGHOUT GERMANY SIGNS PROCLAIMED "JEWS NOT WANTED HERE" OR "BATHING PROHIBITIVE TO DOGS AND JEWS". LOCAL OFFICIALS, EXCEEDING THEIR AUTHORITY, EXCLUDED GERMAN JEWISH CITIZENS FROM PUBLIC FACILITIES AND EVEN FOR A TIME, FROM PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

NAZI YOUTH MOBS RAMPAGED ON THE KURFURDTENDA BERLIN'S MAIN COMMERCIAL DISTRICT, IN MID-JULY DESTROYING STORES AND ASSAULTING THOSE PRESUMED TO BE JEWISH.

ON SEPTEMBER 15, THE NUREMBERG LAWS WERE ENACTED, PROVIDING THE LEGAL BASIS FOR JEWISH DISENFRANCHISEMENT. UNDER REICH CITIZENSHIP LAW, GERMAN JEWS NO LONGER HAD ANY POLITICAL RIGHTS. ONLY QUOTE ARYAN UNQUOTE GERMANS AND THOSE OF "RELATED BLOOD" WERE ACCORDED CITIZENSHIP.

THE LAW FOR THE PROTECTION OF GERMAN BLOOD AND HONOR PROHIBITED MARRIAGES OR SEXUAL RELATIONS BETWEEN GERMANS AND JEWS; THE EMPLOYMENT OF GERMAN WOMEN UNDER THE AGE OF 45 AND THE RAISING OF THE GERMAN FLAG BY JEWS. FOR THE FIRST TIME, JEWS WERE PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF THEIR QUOTE RACE UNQUOTE, NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR RELIGION.

1936
FALSE PEACE OF THE BERLIN OLYMPICS

OFFICES OF THE REICH LEADER OF THE SS AND THE CHIEF OF THE GERMAN POLICE WERE COMBINED ON JUNE 17 UNDER HEINRICH HIMMLER. GERMAN POLICE CAME UNDER SS CONTROL.

INTERNATIONAL DEMANDS TO HAVE THE OLYMPIC GAMES MOVED FROM BERLIN OUT OF FEAR THAT THE GAME'S WOULD BE EXPLOITED FOR NAZI PROPAGANDA FAILED. DURING THE GAMES, THE NAZIS REMOVED OFFENSIVE SIGNS AND ALLOWED JEWS TO COMPETE. THE GAMES OPENED IN AUGUST, DESPITE THE GERMAN MILITARY OCCUPATION OF THE RHINELAND. JESSE OWENS, AN AFRICAN AMERICAN TRACK STAR, WENT ON TO WIN FOUR GOLD MEDALS.

ONGOING BOYCOTTING AND HARASSMENT OF JEWS LED TO THE "VOLUNTARY" TRANSFER OF MANY BUSINESSES TO NON- JEWISH GERMANS, A PROCESS KNOWN AS ARYANIZATION.

TO PREPARE GERMANY MILITARILY AND ECONOMICALLY FOR INEVITABLE WAR, HITLER APPOINTED HERMANN GORING TO OVERSEE HIS FOUR YEAR PLAN. STRATEGIC ALLIANCES WERE CEMENTED WITH SPAIN AND GENERAL FRANCO'S INDEPENDENT FORCES IN SUMMER, WITH ITALY ON OCTOBER 25, AND WITH JAPAN ON NOVEMBER 25.

THE WORLD, HITLER BELIEVED, HAD BEEN "DRIFTING" TOWARD A NEW CONFLICT, "WHOSE ESSENCE IN AIM, HOWEVER, ARE SOLELY THE REMOVAL OF THOSE STRATA OF MAN KIND WHICH HAVE UNTIL THE PRESENT PROVIDED THE LEADERSHIP AND THE REPLACEMENT BY INTERNATIONAL JEWRY".

1937
ON MARCH 21, POPE PIUS XI ISSUED "MIT BRENNENDER SORGE" ("WITH BURNING CONCERN"), AND ENCYCLICAL READ FROM CATHOLIC PULPITS THROUGHOUT GERMANY ATTACKING RACISM.

IN MID MAY, THE GESTAPO ORDERED THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, THEIR SUPPORTERS AND OTHER "ANTISOCIALS", INCLUDING GYPSIES, BEGGARS, VAGRANTS, PIMPS, THOSE WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS, AND THOSE WHO WERE "NOT PREPARED TO FIT INTO THE NATIONAL COMMUNITY", TO BE TAKEN IMMEDIATELY INTO PROTECTIVE CUSTODY AT CONCENTRATION CAMPS. IMPRISONMENT OF THESE GROUPS FOLLOW THE INCARCERATION OF POLITICAL PRISONERS AND HOMOSEXUALS.

IN RESPONSE TO THE EMERGENCE OF THE BERLIN ROME AXIS, PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT ON OCTOBER 5TH, CONDEMNED "UNNAMED AGGRESSORS", WARNING THAT IF LEFT UNCHECKED, THEY MIGHT ATTACK THE "WESTERN HEMISPHERE" IN THE FUTURE. A POLICY OF ISOLATION AND NEUTRALITY ALONE WOULD NO LONGER BE SUFFICIENT TO GUARANTEE THE SECURITY OF THE UNITED STATES. ON NOVEMBER 5, HITLER UNVEILED HIS
POLITICAL AND MILITARY STRATEGY FOR WAR TO HIS TOP MILITARY LEADERSHIP. ONLY THROUGH FORCE WOULD GERMANY GAIN ADEQUATE LIVING SPACE ("LEBENSRAUM") ESSENTIAL TO SAFEGUARD ITS RACIAL AND NATIONAL SUPREMACY. AUSTRIA AND WESTERN CZECHOSLOVAKIA WOULD PROVIDE SOME SPACE; "RUSSIA AND HER VASSAL BORDER STATES" WOULD PROVIDE THE REST.

1938
KRYSTALLNACHT/AUSTRIA ANNEXED

OPPOSITION TO HITLER IN THE GERMAN FOREIGN OFFICE AND IN THE MILITARY WERE REMOVED DURING JANUARY AND FEBRUARY THUS ALLOWING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF HIS POLICIES; THE ANNEXATION OF AUSTRIA IN MARCH, AND OF THE SUDETENLAND IN OCTOBER.

IN JUNE, THE SS ORDERED NATIONWIDE DETENTION OF ABLE-BODIED MALE "ANTI-SOCIALS" AND CRIMINALS INTO CONCENTRATION CAMPS; 1,500 JEWS WERE INCLUDED. DETAINEES BECAME FORCED LABOR FOR PROJECTS VITAL TO THE SS AND NAZI LEADERSHIP.

ANTI-SEMITIC ACTIVITY INCREASED; OFFICIAL STATUS OF JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS WAS RESCINDED. PROPERTY REGISTRATION WAS REQUIRED. JEWISH PHYSICIANS WERE RESTRICTED TO TREATING ONLY JEWISH PATIENTS. IDENTIFICATION CARDS WERE ISSUED. THE NAME "SARAH" WAS MANDATORILY ADDED TO ALL JEWISH FEMALE NAMES; "ISRAEL" TO ALL MALES JEWISH PASSPORTS WERE STAMPED WITH A "J",

THE EVIAN CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY 32 NATIONS FAILED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS OF JEWISH REFUGEES SEEKING ASYLUM. APPROXIMATELY 18,000 STATELESS JEWS WERE EXPELLED FROM GERMANY TO POLAND ON OCTOBER 27-28. IN RETALIATION FOR HIS FAMILY'S EXPULSION, HERSCHEL GRYNSZPAN SHOT ERNST VON ROTH, THIRD SECRETARY OF THE GERMAN EMBASSY IN PARIS.

VON RATH'S DEATH WAS USED TO JUSTIFY KRYSTALLNACHT RIOTS IN GERMANY AND AUSTRIA ON NOVEMBER 9-10. BUSINESSES, HOMES AND SYNAGOGUES WERE BURNED. PHYSICAL ATTACKS BEGAN AGAINST JEWS PERIOD AT LEAST 30,000 GERMAN JEWISH MALES WERE SENT TO CONCENTRATION CAMPS, AND RELEASED UPON CONDITION OF EMIGRATION.

1939
THE NAZI CONQUEST OF EUROPA

BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA WERE DECLARED A GERMAN PROTECTORATE ON MARCH 15.A EUTHANASIA DECREE WAS SIGNED ON SEPTEMBER 1, AFFECTING MENTAL PATIENTS, INCURABLY ILL AND SOCIAL MISFITS. POLAND INVADED BY GERMANY ON SEPTEMBER 1 AND BY THE SOVIET ARMY ON SEPTEMBER 17. BRITAIN AND FRANCE DECLARED WAR ON GERMANY ON SEPTEMBER 3. A SECRET AGREEMENT WAS REACHED ON AUGUST 23, BETWEEN GERMANY AND SOVIETS, TO PARTITION POLAND WAS IMPLEMENTED ON SEPTEMBER 28TH.

HITLER'S ORDER TO EXPEL JEWS AND GYPSIES FROM NEWLY INCORPORATED TERRITORIES WAS REVEALED ON SEPTEMBER 21. UNTIL THE FINAL AIM COULD BE IMPLEMENTED, JEWS WERE TO BE CONCENTRATED IN LARGE TOWNS WITH RAILROAD JUNCTIONS. JEWISH COUNCIL'S ("JUDENRAETE") ESTABLISHED IN EVERY DISTRICT TO ENFORCE NAZI RULE.

POLISH JEWISH PROPERTY WAS SEIZED, SYNAGOGUES BURNED AND MASS SHOOTINGS CARRIED OUT. JEWS FORCED TO WEAR A DISTINCTIVE JEWISH STAR. THOUSANDS OF JEWS WERE SENT TO NISKO AREA NEAR LUBLIN TO ESTABLISH A JEWISH RESERVATION.

JEWS SEEKING ASYLUM HAD LIMITED OPTIONS. THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT SEVERELY RESTRICTED JEWISH IMMIGRATION TO PALESTINE. THE UNITED STATES REFUSED ENTRY TO 20,000 REFUGEE CHILDREN, AND THE COAST GUARD PREVENTED THE SS ST. LOUIS WITH MORE THAN 900 REFUGEES ABOARD TO LAND IN MIAMI. SHIP RETURNED TO GERMANY WHERE MOST DIED IN THE CAMPS.

BETWEEN 1939-1940, APPROXIMATELY 10,000 POLES INCLUDING TEACHERS, PRIESTS AND POLITICAL LEADERS WERE KILLED TO PREVENT THEM FROM REUNITING THE COUNTRY AGAINST THE NAZIS.

1940
BLITZKRIEG IN WEST/TERROR IN EAST

THE GERMAN CONQUEST OF EUROPE CONTINUED; DENMARK CAPITULATED IN APRIL; BELGIUM AND HOLLAND IN MAY; NORWAY AND FRANCE IN JUNE. ITALY ENTERED THE WAR ON THE GERMAN SIDE IN JUNE PERIOD THE ROME- BERLIN-TOKYO AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED ON SEPTEMBER 27.

TERRITORIAL SOLUTIONS WERE CONSIDERED TO SOLVE THE "JEWISH PROBLEM". APPROXIMATELY 95,000 JEWS WERE DEPORTED TO NISKO BY MARCH. A PLAN TO ESTABLISH A JEWISH RESERVATION WAS ABANDONED AFTER INTERNATIONAL PROTESTS AND INTERVENTION FROM HANS FRANK, GOVERNOR OF THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT. A SECOND SOLUTION INVOLVED DEPORTING THE JEWS OF EUROPE TO THE AFRICAN EQUATORIAL ISLAND OF MADAGASCAR. THE INABILITY OF GERMANY TO DEFEAT GREAT BRITAIN AND GAIN CONTROL OF THE SEAS AND HITLER'S DECISION TO ATTACK RUSSIA DOOMED THIS ALTERNATIVE. POLICY TOWARD JEWISH IMMIGRATION CHANGED AFTER ABANDONMENT OF MADAGASCAR PLAN. JEWS WERE NO LONGER ALLOWED TO EMIGRATE. THEY WERE CUT OFF FROM THE FREE WORLD.

JEWS WERE ISOLATED IN GHETTOS. LODZ GHETTO WAS SEALED ON APRIL 30 AND THE WARSAW GHETTO GATES CLOSED IN MID-NOVEMBER. GHETTOS SUFFERED FROM OVERCROWDING, LACK OF FOOD AND PROPER SANITATION, ULTIMATELY PRECIPITATING EPIDEMICS (NOTABLY TYPHUS), WIDESPREAD STARVATION AND MASS DEATHS. AMID THE MISERY, JEWS MAINTAINED RELIGIOUS, CULTURAL, EDUCATIONAL, POLITICAL, AND SOCIAL WELFARE INSTITUTIONS

1941
BARBAROSSA AND PEARL HARBOR

ON JUNE 22, THE GERMAN ARMY INVADED THE SOCIET UNION AND MASS EXTERMINATION OF JEWS BEGAN. THE DECISION TO ANNIHILATE RATHER THAN EXILE THE JEWS HAD BEEN MADE.

FOUR MOBILE KILLING UNITS (EINSATZGRUPPEN) WERE ASSIGNED TO EXECUTE COMMUNIST OFFICIAL, GYPSIES, AND JEWS. THREE OF THESE UNIT COMMANDERS HELD PH. DS.

JEWS IN SMALL TOEWNS WERE KILLED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. IN LARGER AREAS, THE ELDERLY AND WEAK WERE CHOSEN FIRST. ABLE-BODIED PERSONS WERE USED FOR SLAVE LABOR UNTIL THEY TOO WERE KILLED.

GERMANS ENCOURAGED LOCAL POPULATIONS TO KILL JEWS AND CONFISCATE THEIR PROPERTY. AUXILIARY POLICE COMPRISED OF LOCAL COLLABORATORS FROM LITHUANIA, LATVIA, ESTONIA, AND UKRAINE BECAME INDISPENSABLE.

JEWS WERE ROUNDED UP AND TAKEN OUTSIDE THE CITY, FORCED TO STRIP NAKED, THEY WERE THEN SHOT. VICTIMS FELL INTO MASS GRAVES, SOME EVEN BEFORE THEY WERE DEAD.

ACCORDING TO AN OFFICIAL GERMAN REPORT, 33,771 JEWS WERE MACHINE-GUNNED ON SEPTEMBER 29-30 AT BABI YAR, UKRAINE. GASSING OF JEWS BEGAN ON DECEMBER 8, AT CHELMO EXTERMINATION CAMP IN WESTERN POLAND.

ON DECEMBER 7, JAPAN ATTACKED PEARL HARBOR. THE NEXT DAY THE UNITED STATES DECLARED WAR ON JAPAN.

1942
FINAL SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENTS

ON JANUARY 20, THE WANNSEE CONFERENCE WAS HELD TO COORDINATE THE DESTRUCTION OF EUROPEAN JEWRY; THE FINAL SOLUTION". EINSATZGRUPPEN TECHNIQUES WHICH BY LATE 1942 HAD BEEN USED TO LIQUIDATE APPROXIMATELY 1.4 MILLION JEWS WERE INADEQUATE TO MURDER THE REMAINING JEWS OF EUROPE AND OTHERS SINGLED OUT FOR DESTRUCTION. ASSEMBLY LINE EXTERMINATION FACTORIES EQUIPPED WITH GAS CHAMBERS WERE DEVELOPED.

DEPORTATIONS TO EXTERMINATION AND CONCENTRATION CAMPS BEGAN IN MARCH; 300,000 JEWS FROM WARSAW WORD DEPORTED. ARMED RESISTANCE TOOK PLACE IN LACHVA, KREMENETS, TUCHIN, MIR, AND KLETSK GHETTOS. PARTISAN UNITS ORGANIZED IN FORESTS.

ABSENCE OF IDENTITY PAPERS, PLACES OF REFUGE, RELUCTANCE TO ABANDON FAMILIES, OPEN HOSTILITY OR FEAR OF LOCAL POPULATION TO GET INVOLVED LIMITED ESCAPE.

AT BELZEC, SOBIBOR, TREBLINKA AND CHELMNO, JEWS WERE MURDERED SHORTLY AFTER ARRIVAL. AT `AUSCHWITZ IN MAJDANEK, CHILDREN AND ELDERLY, THE HANDICAPPED AND WOMEN UNABLE TO WORK WERE ALSO KILLED UPON ARRIVAL. ABLE BODIED TEENAGERS AND ADULTS WERE USED AS SLAVE LABOR FOR GERMAN INDUSTRY UNTIL THEY TOO WERE SENT TO GAS CHAMBERS AND REPLACED. AT DACHAU, MAUTHAUSEN AND OTHER CAMPS. JEWS WERE WORKED TO DEATH OR DIED OF STARVATION, DISEASE AND TORTURE.

ON DECEMBER 17, THE ALLIES PROCLAIM THAT THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANNIHILATION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE WOULD BE PUNISHED.

1943
GHETTO REVOLTS AND PARTISANS

THE PLIGHT OF REFUGEES DISCUSSED ON APRIL 19, 1943 AT THE BERMUDA CONFERENCE. BRITISH AND AMERICANS PROHIBITED FOOD SHIPMENTS TO JEWS AND OTHERS, REFUSED SHIPS FOR THOSE WHO MANAGED TO ESCAPE, AND FORBADE RESCUE NEGOTIATIONS WITH NAZIS. A NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS, UNDERGROUND ORGANIZATIONS, CLERGY, AND PUBLIC OFFICIALS WERE INVOLVED IN RESCUE ACTIVITIES IN BULGARIA, DENMARK, FRANCE, ITALY, AND ELSEWHERE.

DESPITE MASS MURDER BEING VIEWED AS INCONCEIVABLE TO MOST JEWS; THE ISOLATION OF THE GHETTOS WHICH PRECLUDED COORDINATED ACTION; THE FEAR OF MASSIVE REPRISALS; THE LACK OF TRAINED MILITARY OFFICERS AND SUFFICIENT ARMS; AND ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE WEST; ARMED REBELLIONS TOOK PLACE IN WARSAW (APRIL 1943), BIALYSTOCK (AUG 1943) AND IN VILNA (SEPTEMBER 1943). OVER A HUNDRED JEWISH UNDERGROUND ORGANIZATIONS RESISTED IN GHETTOS AND OTHER AREAS. TENS OF THOUSANDS IN CENTRAL AND WESTERN POLAND FLED TO THE FORESTS.

REVOLT IN CAMPS WERE INITIATED BY JEWS WHO HAD WORKED THERE A LONG TIME AND UNDERSTOOD THEIR FATE; NEW ARRIVALS WERE TOO DISORIENTED AND EXHAUSTED. DECEPTIONS TO ALLAY THE INMATES FEARS OCCURRED AS OFTEN AS BRUTE FORCE; BOTH HINDERED ORGANIZED RESISTANCE, DESPITE THE NUMERICAL SUPERIORITY OF INMATES OVER GUARDS. REBELLIONS OCCURRED AT SOBIBOR (OCTOBER 1943), TREBLINKA (AUGUST 1943) AND AUSCHWITZ (OCTOBER 1944).

1944-1945
DEATH MARCHES AND LIBERATION

AS MILLIONS OF JEWS WERE BEING KILLED, THE NAZIS ALSO MURDERED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHERS INCLUDING GYPSIES, HOMOSEXUALS, JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, THE MENTALLY DISABLED, ANTI-NAZIS, AND THE CHRONICALLY ILL. SADISTIC "MEDICAL" EXPERIMENTS WERE CONDUCTED ON HUNDREDS OF HEALTHY SUBJECTS UNDER GUISE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PERIOD THOSE NOT TORTURED TO DEATH WERE LEFT SCARRED FOR LIFE.

ALLIED FORCES LANDED ON NORMANDY ON JUNE 6, 1944. AS THEY NEARED THE CAMPS, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF INMATES WERE EVACUATED WITH LITTLE FOOD OR CLOTHING AND MARCHED OR TAKEN IN OPEN TRANSPORTS FROM CAMP TO CAMP. THOSE UNABLE TO KEEP UP WERE SHOT. BETWEEN 300,000-400,000 OTHER JEWS WERE EVACUATED TO CONSTRUCT MILITARY FORTIFICATIONS IN SOUTHERN GERMANY AND AUSTRIA. EFFORTS TO DESTROY EVIDENCE OF NAZI ATROCITIES USING JEWISH LABOR FAILED BECAUSE OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE TASK.

AUSCHWITZ LIBERATED ON JANUARY 26, 1945 BY THE SOVIET ARMY. BUCHENWALD ON APRIL 11 BY AMERICANS BERGEN BELSEN ON APRIL 15 BY BRITISH; DACHAU ON APRIL 29 AND MAUTHAUSEN ON MAY 3, BY THE AMERICANS. THE WAR ENDED ON MAY 8, 1945.

FROM OCTOBER 1945 TO OCTOBER 1946, THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL, DELIBERATING IN NUREMBERG, TRIED 22 LEADING NAZIS. TWELVE WERE SENTENCED TO DEATH, THREE TO LIFE IN PRISON, FOUR TO LONG TERMS IN PRISON AND THREE WERE NOT CONVICTED.

Commissioned by
Los Angeles Museum of The Holocaust (LAMOTH)
Consulate of Poland

Documenter
Samuel D. Gruber | 2023
Author of description
Samuel D. Gruber | 2023
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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89 image(s)

Name / Title
Martyr's Memorial Holocaust Memorial at the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles, CA, USA | Unknown
Monument Setting
Museum
Public park
{"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).","9":"Any memorial erected or installed in a present-day public park, including Jewish cemeteries or other sites now operated as public space."}
Object Detail
Completion Date
1991, 2010 (redesigned by Belzberg Architects)
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
2010
Artist/ Maker
Young, Joseph (architect)
Belzberg Architects
{"5284":"American (1919\u20132007)"}
Location
United States of America (USA) | California | Los Angeles, CA
| Los Angeles Museum of The Holocaust (LAMOTH) Pan Pacific Park, 100 S The Grove Dr, Fairfax District, Los Angeles, CA
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Iconographical Subject
Material / Technique
Black granite
concrete
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Columns 18 feet (5.4864 meters) high
Footprint of original 1991 monument was 100 x 75 feet (approx. 30 x 23 meters)
(To check)
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

In the 1960s approximately 30,000 Holocaust survivors (out of 600,000 Jews) were living in the Los Angeles area. There was general agreement about memorializing the Holocaust, but no consensus about how this should be done. By 1973 an organized group of Holocaust survivors initiated a project to erect a public memorial in Pan Pacific Park, located in the traditionally Jewish Fairfax neighborhood. There was an open competition in 1977. Ten artists submitted drawings and a jury of survivors, art historians, and Jewish community leaders chose the submission by Joseph Young, an artist who was well known locally for his public art commissions and his designs in local synagogues.

Young proposed six 24-foot-high triangular columns of black granite equipped with gas flames to be kindled on commemorative days. When finally constructed and dedicated in 1991, the height of the columns was reduced to 18 feet, and there was no capacity to create flames.

There was lengthy negotiation period with the county Board of Supervisors which, citing the Los Angeles County parks code, stated that the public park was a civic, nonsectarian, space. Therefore, any monument could not display religious symbols of any single group. They did not oppose the idea of a memorial but insisted that the Holocaust be broadly defined to include all victims, Jews and non-Jews. The survivors agreed to limit all religious iconography. This decision had lasting consequences. In general, it made the commemorative impact of the monument more abstract. Nationally, it continued an American trend to reject the Holocaust as a singularly Jewish tragedy. Young's original design included the columns arranged inside a larger Star of David, but the final version has removed the star, so it must be imagined within the remaining hexagon.

Historian James Young, who interviewed the artist Joseph Young (no relation), wrote about how these changes and the artist's own intent, allow multiple interpretations of the memorial's form:

"...other specific references to Jewish victims would come only in oblique symbolism, according to the artist, forms that allowed the memorial projections of both Jews and non-Jews. The six columns, for example, would be open to many interpretations: their number would suggest in Jewish eyes the approximate number of Jewish dead, six million; others might count each as signifying one of the six death camps in Poland. Some would see the black columns as commemorative candles or torches, others as crematoria chimneys belching flames. In their vertical reach, they could be regarded as soaring emblems of heroism, while they are triangular shape could recall the patches worn by all concentration camp inmates. Young has also suggested that the space between the columns could recall the absence of victims, the missing generation of children, In fact, rather than conveying a sense of comfort or reassurance, the artist has attempted to suggest some of the pain that comes with mourning and remembrance. "I did not want to make something beautiful," he said, "but something to evoke the experience itself, which was not pretty." The 75-by-100-foot space includes both the black granite columns set in a floor of black and red granite and a wall of broken topped unfinished granite chunks." (James Young, The Texture of Memory, p. 303).

Though conceived in 1973, the monument at pan Pacific Park was dedicated 18 years later, in the fall of 1991. The monument was subsequently redesigned when a Holocaust Memorial Museum was opened at the site in 2010.

At some point after the monument was built, a semi-circular wall of red granite slabs was built behind with inscribed names and images of concentration and death camps, names of donors, and other texts. This was not part of the original design and was removed when the adjacent museum was built in 2010. The entire monument as built in 1991, including the six triangular columns and the backdrop walls, was enclosed in a metal fence.

The landscaping around the monument was also significantly changed. The original design called for a low granite bench to evoke the bench traditionally used by Jewish mourners who sit shivah after a death. It is uncertain if this was built. It is not part of the monument today (in 2023).

Two sides of each of the three-sided columns are incised with an historical text. Each one of twelve panels describes a year of the Nazi rule from 1933-1945.

As described in a brochure prepared by the Los Angeles Holocaust Monument Committee, it was intended that on the third side of each column a bronze bas-relief would show images from the period with a special text set at child's eye level:

To honor the memory of six million, six 18 feet high columns of black granite will stand on a base of red granite. The triangular columns provide 18 panels on which the artist will integrate bronze bas-reliefs and inscriptions that depict the Holocaust Era from 1933 to 1945....The open space in the middle of the monument symbolizes the "invisible" seventh column, which personifies all those who survived the Holocaust and pledged themselves to a better world.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

Chazanov, Mathis, "Park Ground Broken for Holocaust Memorial," Los Angeles Times, May 4, 1989

Goldman, Jay, "Rites Set Today for Holocaust Memorial in Pan Pacific Park," Los Angeles Times, April 14, 1988.

"Joseph L. Young: Jewish knight of religious art" Jewish Journal, September 9, 2015, https://jewishjournal.com/judaism/177453/ (accessed March 13, 2024)

Pristin, Terry. "In Los Angeles, Three Perspectives on the Holocaust," The Los Angeles Times, June 12, 1991.

"The Los Angeles Holocaust Monument," Public Art in Public Places, https://www.publicartinpublicplaces.info/los-angeles-holocaust-monument-1992-by-joseph-l-young (accessed March 13, 2024)

Young, James. The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning. (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1993)., pp. 302-304.



Type
The following information on this monument will be completed: