New England Holocaust Memorial

Stanley Saitowitz, 1995

Harleston Parker Medal, 1997

The winner of an international design competition, the memorial is intended to personalize the extermination of six million of Jews at a time when memories of the holocaust are fading.

A black granite path leads visitors through six glass and steel towers, one for each of the major Nazi extermination camps. Six million numbers are etched into the glass, their shadows momentarily etched on the skin of the living by the sun – like they were once tattooed on the skin of the murdered. Grates at their bases reveal smoldering embers as steam rises up from below – a reminder of the fires that turned human bodies into ashes.

Between the towers, text places the events of 1939 – 1945 in a broader historic context, while the colonnade they create knits them into contemporary Boston. Here and there, yesterday and today – become part of a continuum of shared human experience.

Although they evoke the immensity of the suffering, the luminous towers are also beautifully crafted objects emerging from the earth, suggesting that hope as well as horror endures.

Image: Above, ©Steve Rosenthal, 1995. All rights reserved. Below: ©Yonward.