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4/24/2017 Yom Hashoah- Different Perspectives - History

4/24/2017 Yom Hashoah- Different Perspectives - History



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As the sun set on Sunday eve in Tel Aviv, the last open stores and restaurants began shuttering their establishments. Sunday night at 8 PM began Yom HaShoah v'HaGevura, Israel’s official memorial to the martyrs and heroes of the Holocaust.

During the day on Sunday, two very different events took place in Israel. Here in Tel Aviv, an 18-year old Palestinian attacked four people; his weapon of choice — wire cutters. The attacker only succeeded in causing minor injuries to the four people he assaulted before being subdued. Also on Sunday, about 100 miles to the South, at the Israel Air Force base of Nevatime, three F-35 jets landed — the most advanced fighter planes in the world. These joined the first two F-35s that arrived in December. Like everything else in this complicated country, today's events can be seen through very different glasses — i.e., Look how terrible the situation is ... They are always trying to kill us; or Look they try to attack us with wire-cutters and we have F-35s.

In many ways, the country’s understanding of the Holocaust can be seen through these two prisms, and those prisms were very much on display at the annual Holocaust memorial services held at Yad Vashem, Sunday night. On one hand, the speech delivered by President Reuven “Ruvi” Rivlin, who first attacked those who see the Holocaust as just “one in a string of genocides in the world, without attaching a specific nature to the Jewish aspect of the Holocaust.” On the other hand, Rivlin powerfully attacked all those in Israel who see everything through the lens of the Holocaust. Rivlin stated:

I had a disagreement with my mentor, Menachem Begin, of blessed memory. On the eve of the IDF’s entry into Lebanon in June 1982, Begin said to me, and I quote, “The alternative to the IDF’s entry into Lebanon, is Treblinka, and we decided that there would never be another Treblinka”. According to this approach, the justification for the existence of the State of Israel is the prevention of the next Holocaust. Every threat is a threat to survival, every Israel-hating leader is Hitler. According to this approach, the essence of our collective Jewish identity is escape from massacre by joint means. And the worl`d is divided into two, the “Righteous among the Nations” on the one hand, and anti-Semitic Nazis on the other. And in any case, any criticism of the State of Israel is anti-Semitism. This approach also is fundamentally wrong, and is dangerous for us a nation and as a people. No less than this, it is dangerous for the memory of the Shoah. There is no doubt that in the period since the Shoah we have stood at historic crossroads, moments when we have sensed the threat of “The Destruction of the Third Temple”, and of course, the State of Israel may find itself under threat to its very existence. However, we have a state, we have an army. This approach is dangerous to us both internally, and also dangerous externally. Internally, it obscures the richness of the Jewish existence of before the Shoah. But the Jewish People was not born in Auschwitz. It was not fear that kept us going through two thousand years of exile, it was our spiritual assets, our shared creativity. Externally, this approach damages our ability to develop relations with the nations of the world and with our critics from a safe place, appropriate for dialogue. We need to ask ourselves: Whether, when we are involved only in preventing a Shoah, are we capable of most effectively meeting the various challenges that face us? The Shoah is permanently branded in our flesh. Each of us has a number on our arm. Nevertheless, the Shoah is not the lens through which we should examine our past and our future.

In contrast, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his remarks stating that new evidence has shown the Allies knew the full extent of the Holocaust in 1942. Moreover, if they would have attacked the Death Camps repeatedly, starting then, they could have saved 4 million Jews. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister seems to be ignoring a few pertinent historic facts. Most importantly, it was only in 1944 that the Allies had the physical ability to reach and bomb the camps. And even then once they had the technical ability, the end result would be very much in question. The Prime Minister indicted the “superpowers” who were fighting Hitler, “for not doing anything”. Netanyahu went on to say — in what can only be characterized as a dark speech— that the three causes of the Holocaust were: antisemitism-hatred of the Jews; indifference of the world; and the powerlessness of the Jewish people. Netanyahu went on to state that nothing has changed — “The hatred of the Jews is not directed towards the state of the Jews.” When it comes to the difference of the world the answer Netanyahu stated “ is mostly a negative answer” the world has not changed. The only thing that has changed, according to Netanyahu, is the power of the Jewish people to defend itself. Netanyahu made it clear he looks at the world through the very lens President Rivlin warns against employing.

So much of Israeli politics today can be understood by listening to the speeches of these two men. Interestingly enough, both are long time members of the LIkud party and born to parents who were involved in the revisionist Zionist movement (the right-wing party led by Ze'ev Jabotinsky.) However, one man – the Prime Minister – sees Hitlers around every corner and behind every rock; while the other – President Rivlin – sees a strong nation, who may have some enemies, but enemies from whom we need not fear for our existence. It's ironic, that Netanyahu, the American-educated politician who is considered by many Israelis to be a strong leader, has embraced a Jewish, diaspora-mentality of fear; while Rivlin, who has always been popular, but never considered to have a strong personality and who has lived his entire life in Jerusalem, has indeed become the representative of the strong Israeli, who is confident in his role in the world — i.e., someone who had learned the lessons of the Holocaust, but does not visualize one around every corner.

President Rivlin ended his address, suggesting a different approach:



Photo: Yom haShoah ceremony at Kiryat Gat, Israel, 1963. Courtesy www.myjewishlearning.com

The full title of this day for the commemoration of Holocaust victims is Yom haShoah ve-laGevurah, or Day of the Holocaust and Heroism. It falls on the 27th day of Nissan on the Jewish calendar, a week after Passover and a week before Yom haZikaron, Israeli soldiers’ memorial day. If Nasan 27 falls on a day next to the Sabbath (it never falls on the Sabbath), then Yom haShoah is shifted a day away from the Sabbath.

In 2017 Yom haShoah is marked on April 24.

The Knesset, or Israeli parliament, chose this day to remember the Holocaust on April 12, 1951, but it is observed by individuals and Jewish communities world-wide.

In the 1950s Holocaust education focused on the suffering and murder of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis, but public opinion polls showed the younger generation of Israeli citizens found it hard to identify with the victims because they believed the Jews of Europe had behaved like “lambs led to the slaughter.” Israeli curricula began to shift to emphasize cases where Jews resisted the Nazis, differentiating “passive resistance,” the ability to preserve human dignity under the most insufferable conditions, and “active resistance,” armed struggle against the Nazis in the ghettos and partisan underground activities.

Beginning in the 1960s air-raid sirens across the state of Israel were sounded for two minutes to stop traffic for a moment of reflection on the victims. The sirens blast at sunset and again at 11 o’clock in the morning of the same day on the Jewish calendar (the day begins at sunset in the Jewish reckoning of time). All radio and television shows that day are connected in one way or another with the topic of the fate of the Jews in World War II, with many interviews of Holocaust survivors. Even music stations adapt their programming for the mood appropriate to Yom haShoah. Entertainment, drama theaters, movie theaters, bars and other public venues are closed across Israel on this day.


Some Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox rabbis have never approved this day of remembrance, while not rejecting it formally either. At Orthodox synagogues normal religious services are carried on during Yom haShoah. The Orthodox Rabbinate of Israel has suggested making the 10th day of Tevet–the traditional day marking the siege of Jerusalem–into a “common day of kaddish,” where Jews would offer prayers of remembrance and light candles for those who were murdered during the Holocaust. Some ultra-Orthodox rabbis suggested adding piyyutim (religious poetry) written by contemporary rabbis to the Tisha b’Av liturgy, and many communities have adopted that.

In other countries Jews commemorate Yom haShoah both in synagogue and more publicly with their Jewish communities, public community events and educational programs are held. Some congregations move commemoration ceremonies to the nearest Sunday for practical considerations. Many of the events feature testimony by survivors, readings of appropriate texts, performances of songs and screenings of Holocaust films. Some communities chose to focus on the depth of the loss of Jews, reading out the names of the victims and attempting to understand the incomprehensible figure of six million people murdered. Many Jewish schools have special Holocaust education programs on that day and adjacent days.

The rituals of Yom haShoah are still being created and differ significantly in different synagogues. There was the attempt to mark the day at home, with the suggestion a special yortsayt (remembrance) candle be lit in every Jewish on this date. Many liturgies (music and texts) have been created especially for the occasion of Yom haShoah. In 1988 Reform movement parties published Six Days of Destruction: Meditations toward Hope. The book was written by Elie Wiesel and Rabbi Albert Friedlander and was supposed to become the “sixth book,” a modern addition to the five books of the Torah (Pentateuch), and to be read out loud on the important holidays. The book contains the testimony of six Holocaust survivors shown in parallel with the six days of the creation of the world in Genesis.

One of the newest projects by rabbis and secular leaders from the US, Canada and Israel is a Megilat haShoah, or Holocaust Scroll, constituted of personal memories of Holocaust victims and written in a biblical style. Hebrew University professor Avigdor Shinan is directing the compilation of this text.

Although there are always new ideas for rituals for marking Yom haShoah and the day is a work in progress, the day is extremely significant to Jews around the world. However it will eventually be marked, all the rites and rituals revolve around a central theme: the main idea is to remember the victims of the Holocaust and to insure it never happens again.

The Holocaust presented an enormous challenge to Judaism itself and raised many questions, including: is it possible to keep the Jewish faith after this tragedy? Where was God? How can one trust in human goodness? After undergoing these recent historical events, is it important to practice Judaism at all? Jewish theologians and secular authors and thinkers have been trying to answer these and other similar questions for decades now. But the fact that Jews still identify as Jews, still practice their religion and observe Yom haShoah is an answer in itself to several of these existential questions.

Material prepared as part of the project “Preparation and Publication of Recommendations for Activities to Fight Anti-Semitism and Romophobia in Lithuania.”

Project supported by:


Gleitzman to speak on Yom Hashoah

CHILDREN’S author Morris Gleitzman – writer of the Holocaust-themed series Once, has been announced as the keynote speaker for Sydney’s 2017 Yom Hashoah commemorations, in conversation with Dr Avril Alba.

The theme for this year’s events, presented by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, is “Children and the Holocaust”.

Gleitzman told The AJN, “It’s both sobering and exciting to watch how stories, particularly stories with their roots in truth, can be life-changing things for young readers”.

“This writing project I began 13 years ago has turned into certainly the biggest and most challenging, but also the most rewarding, of my career,” he said.

“Even though I was going to try to do something that I knew was very risky [for a children’s author], I knew from talking with thousands of young readers, that outside of Jewish communities there was very little knowledge of the Holocaust, and that seemed to me to be a terrible shame.

“I also realised, because I’m writing for a core readership of eight to 14 – a very exciting and crucial time of life when we are really starting to map out our own thoughts and feelings – that fiction has a great opportunity not to try and preach or prescribe any view of the world, but to show the full range of human experience.

“That in an environment dominated by the worst we’re capable of, there were countless instances of people demonstrating the best.”

The Once series explores the power of friendship through two main characters, a 10-year-old Jewish boy called Felix and a six-year-old Polish girl called Zelda.

“I thought it would just be a single book, but there was something about the experience of the research, and of developing a relationship with the central characters, that became something quite special in my writing experience, and in my life,” Gleitzman said.

“I’m currently close to finishing the sixth book in the series, and I’ve decided there will be seven in total.

“Through all of the terrible, confronting and sometimes horrific incidents that Felix encounters, by encountering them through his eyes and perceptions, allowed me a valve to control the degree to which the events would be confronting.”

Gleitzman had a Jewish grandfather whose extended family in Poland, he believes, all perished in the Holocaust.

“As a semi-outsider, to be invited to be a part of such important and sacred evenings in the annual calendar of the Jewish community is a huge honour and something I feel very proud to do.”

The Yom Hashoah commemorations are on April 23 at Clancy Auditorium (University of NSW) and on April 24 at Masada College. Both begin at 7.30pm. Inquiries: (02) 9360 1600.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Rape Rape can't finish

In light of new rumors concerning the completion of The Winds of Winter, a number of people have been reminding me that I have been predicting that George Martin would not be able to finish A Song of Ice and Fire for several years now.

I generally enjoy the Fire and Ice series, but I thought the last book, divided into two, bordered on the tedious and didn't advance the story much. Like pitchers, writers tend to lose their fastball abruptly, and often without any warning. I suspect Martin's inability to finish the book in a reasonable time frame after turning in a relatively mediocre, (in comparison with the standard he'd previously set, you understand) prior novel doesn't bode well for A Dance with Dragons, but I will be pleased to be proved wrong in July.
- March 4, 2011

At this point, our best hope for ever seeing the series resolved may be for him to kick off sometime after the next book is released, somehow leading to me being asked to finish the series by Harper Collins. I'll have to think about how I'd go about fixing all the unnecessary loose ends he created in tying the Mereen Knot, but I think the first thing I would do is kill off Reek and the Bastard of Bolton in an unfortunate accident involving chicken bones, a rich cheese sauce, and a sadistic feast-orgy.
- May 6, 2013

Of course, now that many readers are comparing Arts of Dark and Light favorably with A Song of Ice and Fire, I'd much rather finish my own series than clean up after the gargantuan hash Martin has made of his own books, but apparently someone else is willing to attempt to clean out the fat man's stables:

George R.R. Martin's "The Winds of Winter" is one of the highly-anticipated novels and fans are hoping to get their hands on it this year. It is the sixth novel in the fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire" and HBO has previously hinted that it's one of the priorities as a wild card. Recent reports say that the author has been busy finishing a charity work as well as a film studio in Santa Fe, Mexico. However, a new report is claiming that "American Gods" author, Neil Gaiman is now the one writing the novel on Martin's behalf.

Earlier reports from Celebeat suggest that "The Winds of Winter" might be out in June, which is at least a month before "Game of Thrones" season 7 premieres on July 16. It is said that Martin is just finishing a charity work and then he will focus on writing the novel. Now, it is said that Gaiman has been spotted at Martin's hometown many times, leading fans to believe that he has been writing the novel.

There are also reports suggesting that Gaiman might be Martin's editor for "The Winds of Winter" and this could be the reason of his visits at Martin's hometown. However, these claims are yet to be confirmed and the fans should content themselves for now that the novel should be out within this year. Apparently, Martin is busy at the moment with his film studio in Mexico, which will be available to Hollywood production as well as film entrepreneurs.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that "The Winds of Winter" author's film studio is housed in a 30,000 square-foot non-profit building in Santa Fe, Mexico. Martin has previously indicated in his blog that he is still focused on a different project, but has made progress in the novel. He also said that he will announce the completion and delivery of the novel.

Most "science" is fake science

The journal Tumor Biology is retracting 107 research papers after discovering that the authors faked the peer review process. This isn’t the journal’s first rodeo. Late last year, 58 papers were retracted from seven different journals— 25 came from Tumor Biology for the same reason.

It’s possible to fake peer review because authors are often asked to suggest potential reviewers for their own papers. This is done because research subjects are often blindingly niche a researcher working in a sub-sub-field may be more aware than the journal editor of who is best-placed to assess the work.

But some journals go further and request, or allow, authors to submit the contact details of these potential reviewers. If the editor isn’t aware of the potential for a scam, they then merrily send the requests for review out to fake e-mail addresses, often using the names of actual researchers. And at the other end of the fake e-mail address is someone who’s in on the game and happy to send in a friendly review.

Fake peer reviewers often “know what a review looks like and know enough to make it look plausible,” said Elizabeth Wager, editor of the journal Research Integrity & Peer Review. But they aren’t always good at faking less obvious quirks of academia: “When a lot of the fake peer reviews first came up, one of the reasons the editors spotted them was that the reviewers responded on time,” Wager told Ars. Reviewers almost always have to be chased, so “this was the red flag. And in a few cases, both the reviews would pop up within a few minutes of each other.”

All of the arguments about the presumed reliability of science are ridiculous and easily shown to be false. Science is no more "self-correcting" than accounting. Peer review is more commonly known as "proofreading" by the rest of the publishing industry and is not even theoretically a means of ensuring accuracy or correctness. And scientists are observably less trustworthy than nearly anyone except lawyers, politicians, and used car salesmen at least prostitutes are honest about their pursuit of "grants" and "funding".

These days, the scientific process is mainly honored in the breach by professsional, credentialed scientists. And we have a word for testable, reliable science. That word is "engineering".


“It was incredibly moving” — A Catholic Teacher Experiences Yom Hashoah at the Boyar School

This is the blog that Rosie Sanalone, a middle school teacher at the independent Catholic K-12 Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, posted on the school’s website about her visit to the Boyar School in Jerusalem on April 24, 2017 — Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

24 April 2017: I had the distinct honor to spend the morning at the Boyar School in Jerusalem. I joined the students and faculty for a Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) ceremony presented by the 11th grade students who had recently traveled Poland to visit the camps to learn about the Shoah (the word in Hebrew for the Holocaust). Keren and I were greeted with a tremendous smile and warm embrace by Shoshana (her name made me smile) Becker,at right in photo, the resource development manager for the Society for Advancement of Education, which operates Boyar School in Jerusalem. As we walked through the school grounds to the theatre she told me a bit about the school, which includes grades seven through 12 with about 1,000 students. It is, as Shoshana said, the finest school in Jerusalem, if not in all of Israel. As most schools are, this school is public, and thus under the auspices of the government. I was impressed with this school and its focus on academics for example, the principal had a six-month sabbatical to think about the best way to continue to advance the school. (That line was for you Mr. Johnson)!

From their website follows a description of the school, which “is a nonprofit organization which uses education to empower youth from disadvantaged communities in Israel to attain distinction in their social, scholastic and leadership endeavor.”

Established in 1964, Boyar is one of the most distinguished high schools in Israel, and is dedicated to cultivating excellence in the scholastic performance of the students, in their social values and in the fields of sports, culture and the arts. The school’s vibrant student body is composed of 971 highly motivated and scholastically capable teenagers from the full spectrum of Israeli society. A combination of day school students, who are mostly from Jerusalem, and boarders from outlying and developing communities in Israel’s periphery, contributes to the school’s unique learning environment. Respect for humanity, celebrating difference and pluralism are core values that guide Boyar as a learning community.

We went through the main high gates of the school and we were immediately surrounded by an energy I knew well – students between classes on their way to an assembly. I smiled at Keren, who had not been to a Yom Hashoah ceremony at a school since she was a student herself years ago, and I told her, “This, Keren, is my world!” The students, faculty, as well as Keren and I, were wearing white shirts, a sign of peace. And as I walked through this sea of students, I had a moment when yes, I missed my students at home whom I will not see for another week. But alas, I am hopeful that you have been reading, and you are hearing my voice via my words, and mostly that you, my dear students – who are so sababa – are absorbing the lessons and the messages which I am learning as I walk these roads, breathe the air, eat the food, meet the people and hear the stories … and today, indeed, was another day of positive human connection in Israel, this country I have grown to love.

We entered the theatre and sat in seats which Shoshana had saved for us, front and center. My eyes immediately focused on the closed black curtain on the stage, which had large white cloth Hebrew letters next to a red rose. I immediately asked Shoshana what the words said, and she answered: “I swore to preserve, to tell and to remember.” I immediately thought of Werner – my promise to him – and there next to that same promise written in exquisite white letters, was a red rose, Shoshana. If that was not enough of a mystical message, when Shoshana handed me the translated songs and poems that the students would be reading in English, Keren and I gasped. The first poem was Leah Goldberg’s poem, “You Will Walk in the Fields” – the exact same song Keren and I had heard yesterday just before we walked to the view the remains and stand on the 2,000 year old steps of the southern wall of the second temple. And of course, moved by yet another connection, the tears began to pool in my eyes.

And thus, with this beautiful message of walking through injustice with hope that “once more you will love again … in the way of free men,” the ceremony began at 10 a.m. sharp when each student, faculty member and guest stood in silence to prepare for two minutes of silence while the sirens wailed outside. Keren had explained to me yesterday, so that I would be prepared, that three times a year, the sirens sound throughout the country on Yom Hashoah Day, as well as two memorial days to honor soldiers. As the sirens wailed, not only in the schools, but in offices, and even on the roads across Israel, cars stopped and people stood outside their cars in silence for two minutes. (Here is a link to photos taken across Israel today: http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/picoftheday/1.4039953#hero__bottom ).

As the sirens slowly fell silent, the principal approached the microphone and gave a stirring talk about the Shoah which Keren translated for me. I did not take notes, only listened, but the following words, I shall remember forever: “We stood in silence for two minutes, so that the rest of the day we could talk, and understand how not to be silent.” Her words brought to mind the many lessons of the “dangers of silence” I have heard from survivors like Elie Wiesel, which is why our eighth grade capstone project is about using our voices.

The ceremony included students reading selections from their journals which they had written when they had traveled to Poland. The readings were interspersed with the students singing beautiful songs. I have added some of the lyrics from a few of the songs (which Keren sent me later) so that I can try to relay to you how moved I was during the ceremony. Even hearing the songs in Hebrew – without knowing the words – the poise and authentic respect of the students as they read and sang combined with the haunting and powerful melodies moved me to tears.

“Yizkor” (We Shall Remember) by Abba Kovner:

Let us remember our brothers and our sisters
The homes in the cities and houses in the villages
The streets of the town that bustled like rivers
And the inn standing solitary on the way.
The old man with his etched-out features
The mother in her sweater
The girls with the plaits [braids]
And the children.
The thousands of Israel with their families
The whole Jewish people
That was brought to the laughter on the soil of Europe by the German destroyer… we shall remember the day
The day in its noon, the sun
That rose over the stake of blood
The skies that stood high and silent
We shall remember the mounds of ash
Beneath flowering parks.
Let the living remember is dead for behold they are here
Before us
Behold their eyes cast around and about.
So let us not rest
May our lives be worthy of their memory.

A group of about 15 female students sang this next song while the iconic photograph of the girl in the red coat was projected above them. It was incredibly moving. Here are a few of the lyrics:

Your smile, baby girl,
They buried in the ground
Oh how silence grows
From within the confusion
Whoever passed the trigger
Blood will stain his heart
In wars for justice
Children die too

As I experienced the ceremony, I was moved and inspired by the students – the grace and poise with which they read and sang the authentic respect of the audience the conceptual journey of the program and the emotional effect it had on all those present. I shared my thoughts after with Shoshana and asked her to express my impressions and gratitude to the teachers and students. Shoshana then treated Keren and me to a quick cup of coffee before we headed on our way to one of the student’s homes to hear a survivor share her story. Shoshana was so warm from the inside – a kind and welcoming smile – and told me if I needed anything to call her. I asked for a photo and Keren snapped our photo outside of the school – Shoshana and Shoshana. A beautiful moment of shared name and mission.

Keren and I drove a few minutes down the road to the home of Talia, one of the 11th grade students. Keren whispered to me as we climbed the stairs how lucky I was to have this opportunity – no one she has ever guided, unless they have family here, has had this kind of opportunity. I was again grateful to Ehud, Miriam and Keren – those people at Da’at travel who had created this trip for me based on my goals.

We were graciously welcomed by Talia’s mother as we entered the apartment, and joined by the Talia’s classmates as we filled the living room. Emily, the teacher, entered a few minutes later with Ruth Berlinger, second from right in photo, the survivor who would be sharing her story. Ruth’s father came from the Hasidic tradition, but her mother was a secular Jew who was from a family of Bohemian musicians. Thus, as Ruth said, she had the best of both worlds in her parents – books and music.

Ruth, who speaks five language, shared her story in English, and she spoke for nearly two hours about her childhood in Poland how she was a patient of the famous physician Janusz Korczak (I nearly fell out of my chair – he is one of my heroes) the start of the war just before her birthday her first crush who did not survive the war the anti-Semitism she faced from her Christian classmates who had been taught such as a result of the teaching of the Church her father having the opportunity to move the family to Palestine in 1938, but her mother refusing because she felt it was too primitive her family’s move to the Warsaw ghetto the disease and starvation her grandmother dying of typhus the day Ruth faced the Gestapo guard they had nicknamed Frankenstein – he pointed a gun at her, but decided not to shoot her her family deciding to go into hiding just weeks before the Warsaw ghetto uprising moving from safe house to safe house with the guiding hand of a woman in the Jewish underground and the end of the war when her family moved to Sweden, where she lived most of her life after marrying her husband, Chlomo. They have been married 64 years, and they recently moved to Israel to be with their daughter and grandchildren yet, they go back to Sweden during the hot Israeli summers.

I recorded her testimony, and I shall type up the transcript when I have time, but I share one more powerful memory which she shared with us. When they were in hiding, the hours and the days were very difficult as they were in a small cold room and their hosts had not given them enough blankets to keep warm. In order to distract Ruth and her sister Miriam from the cold and the sorrow, their father designed and built with them a dollhouse made of card board. Ruth described the dollhouse with incredible detail, and the admiration and love she felt for her father was quite obvious. The family gave the dollhouse as a gift to the woman (whose name I cannot remember) who had helped to hide them. Ruth is now 85 years old, and still today as she tells the story describing the brushes with death, the choiceless choices and the losses her family faced, she became emotional and cried.

As we walked out, I told Keren I had heard many survivor testimonies over the years, and without fail, the common themes of survival had to do with the sacrifice of parents, a great deal of luck and the power of love.

As Keren said, “Love gives us something to live for.”

Keren was able to capture the moment by taking a photograph of me with Talia, her teacher Emily and with Ruth. It was a powerful two hours of the sharing of story and voice. I was so grateful to the school for allowing me to visit and share in this day. Shoshana called Keren later in the day, and asked her to express to me the following: “The school was very excited that I was there, and it was very important to the kids to see that someone is coming to visit them all the way from America.” They are going to share about my visit and post the photos I took with Shoshana and with Ruth, the survivor, to their website and Facebook page.

Without fail, when I have traveled the world – now to Germany, Poland, Rwanda and Israel – studying genocide, reconciliation and restorative justice, the people I meet are amazed that I teach at a Catholic school. I have come to learn that it is all the more important that our faculty and our students go outside the walls of The Summit Country Day School to see the world, meet its people and hear the stories. We have to shift our focus, we need a paradigm shift, both faculty and students, if we truly want to work for justice to become leaders of character who improve the world – the entire world and all of its people – we inherit. As I reflect, I think of Ben-Gurion’s goal to take the students outside of the schools to visit and to travel, so that they can learn with the dust on their feet by walking the roads, breathing the air, eating the foods, meeting the people and hearing the stories.

After our intense morning, Keren and I headed to the Machaneh Yehuda open-air market to shop the stalls and eat lunch. She brought me to her favorite restaurant in the market. We enjoyed sparkling water with pineapple juice, delicious hummus, fresh pita, warm falafel and a tangy salad all spiced with friendly dialogue at a small outdoor café table. We then perused the market stalls and I purchased some muesli and pomegranate tea from my new friend Jacob at one of the stalls. It was a beautiful afternoon.

Keren dropped me back at the hotel, and after a short rest, I headed out to be in the company of humanity and found a quaint street side café. As I entered the café, I was greeted by a vase full of exquisite white roses at the hostess stand, and was touched by the single white rose on each table. I found a table outside in the sun, and enjoyed a light dinner of bread and olive oil and tahini along with a glass of Israeli wine as I wrote tonight’s blog entry. I loved being outside writing with the life of the city around me. And as the last rays of the sun illuminated my table and the white rose, I smiled as I reflected that today had begun with a red rose on a black curtain and ended with the rays of setting sun illuminating the blooming white rose at my solitary table surrounded by the humanity of this golden city. Sababa.

CAPTION: Shoshana, the resource development manager of the Society for the Advancement of Education in Jerusalem at the Boyer School, and me standing outside the school just after the Yom Hashoah ceremony.


Yom Hashoah moves the community

This year’s Yom Hashoah Commemoration, honoring the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, as well as liberators and righteous gentiles, brought the community together around not just awareness and sadness, but honor, hope, and music on a rainy Sunday night. Yom Hashoah co-chair Carol Jason says, “It was overwhelmingly poignant to see so many students and their parents, teachers, and community members, both Jewish and non-Jewish, come together to support and help cultivate the Holocaust Commission’s efforts.”

Ohef Sholom Temple hosted the annual event, and after a round of applause for Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, Holocaust Commission Chair Wendy Auerbach opened the evening with her thoughts on the current climate of incivility that seems to be gripping the nation. Referencing the rise in antisemitic rhetoric and other hate speech in America today, and sharing the goals of the Commission, she urged attendees to try to bring back civil discourse, which is “vital to a vibrant and active democratic system.”

Democracy’s future was represented beautifully by the winners of the 2017 Elie Wiesel Writing and Visual Arts Competitions for Students. With more than 1,700 entrants, it was the largest contest in the competition’s 20-year history. Entries came from nine states and as far away as India. Winners were from a record 18 schools, making this year’s competition a fitting tribute to its namesake, who died last July.

Two winners of the commission’s Awards for Excellence in Holocaust Education were recognized for their years of dedication to helping students understand the relevance and critical lessons of the Holocaust. Lauren Goldman Barkan, co-chair of the Educator Awards, presented this year’s honors. The Esther Goldman Award, in memory of Barkan’s grandmother, went to Marianne McMillin of Oscar Smith High School, and the Ruthi Sherman Kroskin Award, named for the late commission member who embodied the spirit of the Holocaust Commission, went to Amy Lindgren of The Williams School.

The evening’s guest speaker was Virginia Beach native, Dr. James A. Grymes, author of the award-winning Violins of Hope. He shared with the nearly full sanctuary the stories of two of the violins featured in his book about the work of Tel Aviv luthier Amnon Weinstein, who lost 400 members of his own family in the Shoah. The instruments Weinstein continues to restore tour the world being played by first class orchestras, in honor and memory of their lost owners.

The lighting of memorial candles followed Grymes’ talk. Holocaust survivors, liberators, Righteous Gentiles—or those lighting in their place—were handed long tapers by Holocaust Commission volunteers. As names were read, those in the sanctuary were silent, while those who had attended prior commemorations noticed the dwindling number of candles on the table. Organizers say that this is a motivation to continue to hold the event—so the stories and the survivors, and their rescuers are never forgotten.

After all candles were lit, the beautiful music played by the Berz family (mother Lei Lei on cello, and daughters Lily and Amelia on violins) continued, as the names of the survivors who made their homes in Tidewater and who have now passed away, were displayed on the screen on the Bima. They are gone, but never forgotten.

Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin shared with the audience one of his last beautiful melodies as cantor of Ohef Sholom, the K’El Malei Rachamim memorial prayer, and Jay Klebanoff, UJFT president, closed the evening with some words on loss by Rabbi Naomi Levy. As attendees quietly exited, the candles burned in honor and memory, urging to never forget.

“Each year Yom Hashoah highlights how Holocaust education branches out with amazing positive effects on so many different people, from students and teachers, to the military, to community members of all faiths. Our goal is that these branches not only continue to grow, but multiply and reach more and more people with the message of the Commission each year,” notes event co-chair Rachael Feigenbaum.


Background

Remembering the Holocaust:

  • Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is observed as Israel’s day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany. In Israel, it is a national memorial day. It was inaugurated in 1953. It is held on the 27th of Nisan (April/May), unless the 27th would be adjacent to Shabbat, in which case the date is shifted by a day. Yom HaShoah is also observed by many Jewish communities in the United States and elsewhere in the world. The date relates both to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which began 13 days earlier, and to the Israeli Independence Day which is eight days later.
  • Some other countries have different commemorative days for the same event: wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_Memorial_Days . (In 1979, the U.S. Congress established Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust (DRVH) as an 8 day period for remembrance programs and ceremonies, from the Sunday before Yom Hashoah to the Sunday after Yom Hashoah.)
  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day is on January 27 every year and marks the liberation of Auschwitz – the Nazi death camp – in 1945. It was designated by a United Nations General Assembly Resolution in 2005. The resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year, on January 24, 2005 during which the UN General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust. This day is also a national event in the United Kingdom and in Italy. (Read the 2005 UN resolution and more at wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Holocaust_Remembrance_Day)
    and a Jan. 27, 2021 article “The liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau: Holocaust Remembrance Day“
  • Yad Vashem (“Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority”) is Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust established in 1953. The origin of the name is from a Bible verse: “And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (Yad Vashem) that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah 56:5).

“When the war was over and the mind-boggling scope of [Hitler’s] Final Solution was fully grasped — the Germans and their collaborators had annihilated 6 million Jews from every corner of Europe, wiping out more than one-third of the world’s Jewish population — the moral imperative to remember grew even more intense.” (from Jeff Jacoby’s commentary: ‘Never forget,’ the world said of the Holocaust. But the world is forgetting)


Stratford High School scholar wins the 2017 Yom HaShoah Scholarship

Stratford High School scholar Derrick Wall (center), flanked by his father Ricky Wall and aunt Margie Bradford, is the recipient of the 2017 Yom HaShoah Scholarship. Wall received the award at the Yom HaShoah commemoration, a day of remembrance of the 6 million Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust, held April 23 at Congregation Beth Israel. Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) awards this $500 scholarship annually to a graduating senior who demonstrates leadership in stopping hatred, prejudice and apathy in their school or local community. Wall is also a member of the inaugural class of HMHÂ?’s Engines of Change Student Ambassador Program. The scholarship was presented with the generous support of the David Barg Endowment Fund and the Morgan Family Endowment Fund. Gary Fountain/Freelance Photographer

Stratford High School scholar Derrick Wall (center), flanked by his father Ricky Wall and aunt Margie Bradford, is the recipient of the 2017 Yom HaShoah Scholarship. Wall received the award at the Yom HaShoah commemoration, a day of remembrance of the 6 million Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust, held April 23 at Congregation Beth Israel. Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) awards this $500 scholarship annually to a graduating senior who demonstrates leadership in stopping hatred, prejudice and apathy in their school or local community. Wall is also a member of the inaugural class of HMH's Engines of Change Student Ambassador Program. The scholarship was presented with the generous support of the David Barg Endowment Fund and the Morgan Family Endowment Fund.


Yom HaShoah 2017: Holocaust Days of Remembrance

Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah (Day of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah ( Day of “The Catastrophe” or “Utter Destruction”) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Memorial Day, is observed as Israel’s day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany with its systematic genocide of the European Jews, and for the Jewish resistance in that period, including the resistance of partisans, the members of the Underground, and the Ghetto occupants. It is held on the 27th of Nisan (April/May).

In 2017, Yom HaShoah begins at sundown on Sunday 23 April and continues through sunset Monday 24 April. On Monday, in Israel, a siren stops all traffic and pedestrians for two minutes of silent meditation, reflection, and devotion at 10:00 a.m.

We must never forget what happened during the Holocaust, not only because of the large-scale persecution and execution of the European Jews, but because such hatred, intolerance, and genocide still exist today, against Jews as well as against many other groups of people. Soon, there will be no Holocaust survivors remaining to tell their own stories, so we must prevent this horrific event from becoming “distant history” by telling their stories for them, and by creating, reading, and viewing art which reminds us that “the only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing” (Edmund Burke).

In honor of Yom HaShoah, in memory of my great-grandparents’ family members and all the other Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, in honor of my friend who survived Auschwitz at age 16 – Anna Brunn Ornstein – her husband, Paul Ornstein, and all the other survivors of the camps, I will, as always, be observing the official two minutes of silence and reflection, as well as spending the day in meditation. Please join me.


4/24/2017 Yom Hashoah- Different Perspectives - History

Jury picks six finalists in Holocaust monument design competition

By Don Butler, OTTAWA CITIZEN October 24, 2013 4:01 PM

OTTAWA — A jury has chosen six finalists in the design competition for a planned multi-million-dollar Holocaust monument across from the Canadian War Museum at the corner of Booth and Wellington streets.

The list, announced Thursday by Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover and John Baird, the minister of foreign affairs, includes three teams from Toronto, one each from Vancouver and Montreal and one based in Cambridge, Mass.

All the teams include prominent architects and artists, and two of the Toronto entries also list Holocaust scholars.

One high-powered Toronto team includes superstar architect Daniel Libeskind, master planner of the new 104-storey skyscraper on the World Trade Center site in New York City, artist Edward Burtynsky, known for his large-scale photographs of industrial landscapes, and Gail Lord, one of the world’s foremost museum planners.

The team from Cambridge include Krzysztof Wodiczko, a Polish-born artist renowned for more than 80 large-scale slide and video projections on architectural facades and monuments he has created around the world.

The finalists were chosen by a seven-member jury made up of art and design professionals, a Holocaust survivor and a representative of the five-member National Holocaust Monument Development Council, created in 2011 to raise money for the monument.

The finalists were selected based on their credentials and examples they submitted of prior work. They will spend the next few months developing designs, which will be displayed publicly on Feb. 20, 2014.

The jury will recommend the winning design, but Baird, the MP for Ottawa West-Nepean, will make the final choice, according to a government document posted this summer.

Construction of the monument is expected to begin next summer, with a dedication ceremony in the fall of 2015.

In an interview Thursday, Rabbi Daniel Friedman, the chair of the development council, said it has already raised more than $4 million toward the cost of building and maintaining the monument. The federal government has promised to match donations to a maximum of $4 million.

“The government tells us we are moving quicker than they have ever seen,” said Friedman, who is rabbi at Edmonton’s Beth Israel Synagogue.

The council began to raise funds in the summer of 2012, with a goal of raising $4.5 million. If it surpasses that target, as now seems possible, any extra money would just widen the budget for the monument artists, Friedman said.

“The aim ultimately is that we have not only a world-class monument, but that we have one of those monuments in the world that people point to and say, ‘This is one of the top Holocaust monuments in the world,’” he said.

“We will be, at least budget-wise, in the game and hopefully with the calibre of the finalists that we have, we will well and truly have a monument that is world-class.”

Friedman said the national Holocaust monument is “more important than ever. We see human rights abuses abound in the world today.

“Unfortunately, human nature hasn’t changed. We still have mass slaughters of human beings taking place. It’s very important that we show, as Canadians, that we will not stand for this,” he said.


The six finalists in the design competition for the new national Holocaust monument in Ottawa:

• Hossein Amanat, architect and urban designer
Esther Shalev-Gerz, artist
Daniel Roehr, architect and project manager
David Lieberman, architect
— Vancouver

• Leslie M. Klein, Quadrangle Architects
Jeffrey Craft (SWA Group)
Alan Schwartz, Terraplan
Yael Bartana, artist
Susan Philipsz, artist
Chen Tamir, artist
Deborah Dwork and Jeffrey Koerber, Holocaust scholars
— Toronto

• Gail Lord, museum planner
Daniel Libeskind, architect
Edward Burtynsky, artist’
Claude Cormier, landscape architect
Doris Berger, Holocaust scholar
— Toronto

• Gilles Saucier, architect
Marie-France Brière, artist
— Montreal

• Irene Szylinger, art historian and curator
David Adjaye, architect
Ron Arad, artist/architect
— Toronto

• Krzysztof Wodiczko, artist
Julian Bonder, architect
— Cambridge, Mass.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

The Holocaust Monument design concepts were unveiled tonight by the six teams in the running. Unfortunately the invite to the public to see the concepts tonight went out silently (http://www.pch.gc.ca/eng/1392728523306/1392728537323) (did anyone hear about this?!) on the 17th of February. So, I'm sorry to say I don't have photos, nor did I attend.

I suspect we'll see some photos in the news soon (at least, I hope we do) - it was mentioned tonight on CTV 2 news, and there may be some coverage of it on the 11 o'clock news.

Thanks citydwlr! I moved this to a new thread as this seems to be a pretty major project (bigger than I thought it would be)

here are the concepts - from twitter https://twitter.com/Robonto

#RespectForRobonto ‏@Robonto 4h
Team Klein, Craft, Schwartz, Bartana, Philipsz, Tamir, Dwork, Koerber (& @Robonto) Transcendent. @QuadrangleArch
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bg9Bzs7CIAAK1Up.jpg:large

#RespectForRobonto ‏@Robonto 4h
Team Saucier, Brière. Lifted Landscape
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bg9BLx8CQAABnvW.jpg:large

#RespectForRobonto ‏@Robonto 4h
Team Amanat, Shalev-Gerz, Roehr, Kleyn, Lieberman. Half a World.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bg9A8w6IcAAHKL0.jpg:large

#RespectForRobonto ‏@Robonto 4h
Team Wodiczko + Bonder. Connecting you to the earth.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bg9AX1tCQAAU_H8.jpg:large

#RespectForRobonto ‏@Robonto 4h
Team Lord, Libeskind, Burtynsky, Cormier & Bergen. Libeskind. Lots of Libeskind.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bg8_3-nCcAAE3q_.jpg:large

#RespectForRobonto ‏@Robonto 4h
Team Szylinger, Adjay & Arad. Walls. Lots of walls.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bg8_aS_CMAA8fq0.jpg:large

created a separate thread.

here are the concepts - from twitter https://twitter.com/Robonto

Thanks for posting this here Waterloowarrior - much appreciated! I didn't see this thread when I did my search.

Those are some solid entries! Wow! There's at least 3-4 of the 6 that I'd be happy with. As much as the Semi-Spherical one is cool, it slightly reminds me of the Turkish monument where Island Park meets the Parkway.

Teams Libeskind and Szylinger so far for me. but looking foward to seeing more details.

Can't argue with you there! Definitely my top 2 as well.

I think I'm leaning more toward Team Szylinger though - It intrigues me more, and looks like a piece of art that won't look dated in years to come. With that said, I feel like the Libeskind one fits well with the angular design of the War Museum and parts of the Firefighters monument across the street.

Nonetheless, I'll wait to make my final judgements until I read the details of each of the concepts.

I feel like the NCC would go for the first one (Team Klein) since it retains a ton of green space (it looks like the monument is built under 2 mounds of grass and trees).

National Holocaust Monument finalists unveiled

By CARYS MILLS, OTTAWA CITIZEN February 20, 2014 10:27 PM

OTTAWA — The six finalists for Canada’s National Holocaust Monument, meant to commemorate millions of victims, were unveiled Thursday.

Architects, artists and others on the design teams explained their work to the public at The Canadian War Museum, which the monument will face when it’s completed. A seven-membery jury, which will review public comments, will recommend the winning design team to the federal government.

The National Holocaust Monument Development Council aims to raise $4.5 million for the project and the federal government will match up to $4 million. The government dedicated the land that will be used.

The monument, to go at Wellington and Booth streets, is expected to be inaugurated in the fall of 2015.

Description: “The project is very much a moment in your day. You can climb on it … you can also go under it,” said architect Gilles Saucier, adding a space underneath where the sky is visible provides a link “from past to future.“ The outside would be made of weathered steel. Overall, Saucier said, the goal is to inspire contemplation, whether that means leaving flowers or sitting quietly. “The essential (part) of this project was not to drop something on the site from another culture … but something that emerged from the actual Canadian ground. It’s the idea of pushing history through the actual ground,“ Saucier said. He and artist Marie-France Brière said their monument is meant to be a gesture of respect to Holocaust victims.


Team: Amanat, from British Columbia

Description: “It’s monumental. It’s 20 metres wide and 14 metres high because the loss is enormous,” said artist Esther Shalev-Gerz, who grew up in Jerusalem. Her monument would have several components: a specific shadow that would appear yearly, a large seating area, an area where visitors can place stones to fill in a wall and quotes about the Holocaust.

“I had the idea of a half world,“ said Shalev-Gerz, whose grandparents and other relatives were Holocaust victims. “It takes you years to articulate that you’re a half world. That you’re partial. The moment you recognize it, you can go ahead and make of it things. When you don’t recognize it, you just walk around like a half thing.“ Shalev-Gerz said she wants to present people with specific examples of loss so they can relate. “All my work is about personalizing,“ she said.

Description: “We’ve created a multi-sensory experience for the visitor, which involves sight, smell, sound and texture,“ said architect Les Klein. Black granite on the outside is meant to depict the Holocaust’s horror, while the underside is white limestone.

A distorted musical piece, involving a single violin, and photography of objects associated with the Holocaust would be included with words from survivors. Hundreds of birch trees are meant to represent areas where Jews were murdered and an Auschwitz camp named for the trees. Klein, whose parents were Holocaust survivors, said the multi-sensory approach made sense for the subject. “We described it among ourselves as a journey,“ he said. “How do you put something into shape that’s hard to even put into words?“


Team: Wodiczko + Bonder, from Massachusetts

Description: “We decided to fully expose the area … we realized underneath the surface, closer than many other places, there’s a bedrock,“ said artist Krzysztof Wodiczko. “It’s the most solid part of Canada, so to speak, and those who came fleeing execution, they needed to strike roots.“ The bedrock is between one and five metres below, according to the team, and soil would be brought from other countries. Aspen trees, which grow together through their roots, would be planted. A small reflection area would include an animated flame and audio from survivors and later generations.

Description: The proposed monument is made of six triangles, inspired by badges Nazis used to identify Jews, with one ascending and one descending. Each triangle has a different themed space and together they form a Star of David. One set of stairs, referred to as the “stairs of hope,” show a vista of Parliament. “It represents democracy and government, and also the hope of freedom for a lot of these immigrants,“ said architect Michael Ashley said. Trees represent different nationalities and the ones Anne Frank wrote about seeing out her window, he said.


Team: Szylinger, from Ontario

Description: Twenty three slim and tall walls make up 22 paths for each country where Jewish communities were decimated, said architect Asa Bruno. “From some angles, it’s observed as an envelope,“ he said. “But when you walk through it, you become isolated, it’s a single experience for one person … we want to encourage something that doesn’t feel safe or comfortable.“ Made out of concrete and stone aggregate, the monument would intentionally become weathered over time. Away from the main monument, which could be up to 14 metres high, would be a small reflection room, including inscriptions.

Kitchissippi, not specific to Canada? wow. ok then.

I think they are all ugly.

What happened to the good old days of a beautiful statue as opposed to sterile concrete and metal bunkers?

I'm a little worried that, placed in an area rather devoid of activity, it might become a place to avoid unless you have a very, very specific reason to be there.

A memorial or monument won't help anyone remember if no one ever goes there. I'd rather make it a central element in Lebreton Flats like a square where people go for a million different reasons (to get to the other side, to meet someone there, etc.) and in so doing are reminded of a chapter of our (Western) history. Within that square, you could also have a more removed area (within the sculptures or something) for more solitary reflection.

If silent reflection is the only thing you're aiming for, it would be more appropriate to put it in an area devoid of activity/urbanity instead of in such a very central location.

But if you want an area populated with all those nice and happy people we see in the renders, we need to put it in a location NOT cornered by uncrossable roadways (Ottawa River Parkway and Booth) and chose a place which will provide easy, casual pedestrian access.

I think I'm leaning more towards the Szylinger design. At least it's different enough to get people talking.

While visually very different, it's basically the same concept as the Berlin Memorial which uses Slabs of various heights to achieve the same isolation for someone visiting it.

I think the Lord and Szylinger teams have put the most thought into their designs. Their designs have a lot of meaning.

It's a shame that what will probably be Ottawa's two most iconic spaces aside from Parliament Hill, the War Memorial and then this Holocaust Monument, will be places to quietly reflect on the dead. It would be nice if the federal government put this much effort into a public space that celebrated something less solemn.

I think the Lord and Szylinger teams have put the most thought into their designs. Their designs have a lot of meaning.

It's a shame that what will probably be Ottawa's two most iconic spaces aside from Parliament Hill, the War Memorial and then this Holocaust Monument, will be places to quietly reflect on the dead. It would be nice if the federal government put this much effort into a public space that celebrated something less solemn.

hopefully, the Stanley Cup monument will do just that. This should be designed as a photo opportunity for tourists just as the Rocket Richard monument has become at the north end of the Interprovincial Bridge.

Kitchissippi, not specific to Canada? wow. ok then.

Specific: Clearly defined or identified with. So yes, I don't think the memory of Nazi tyranny and their massacre of 6 million Jews is exactly central to Canadian identity and psyche.

Don't get me wrong, I have visited two concentration camps in Europe, walked through the gas chambers and seen first hand the furnaces where they burnt the bodies. I wept at the sight of some of the conditions people had to endure. In my gut this is just not an appropriate spot for this memorial, on a busy intersection and beside a stage where noisy concerts are held.

I also feel that the Flats and the Falls are the true birthplace of the city, something that has been completely erased and ignored. It is the narrowest part of the river, and holds the greatest potential for a pleasant pedestrian link between Ottawa and Gatineau.

Without commenting on the artistic merit, unless it is going to be guarded 24/7, I would prefer to avoid the designs that provide a lot of hiding places for vandals, drug users, idiots, drunks, etc. as the NCC has done its best to ensure that whole part of town is desolate most of the time. Ananat would seem to fit the bill on that.

Quoted for truth. This is exactly what I'm afraid of with the lack of 'eyes on the street'.

I think they are all ugly.

What happened to the good old days of a beautiful statue as opposed to sterile concrete and metal bunkers?

I'm going to guess the un-beautiful nature of the thing being commemorated dictates that you aren't going to get Arnoldian sweetness and light here. Just a guess.

Some great concepts, but I really have to question the location. Such a prominent location and massive scale for something that is not specific to Canada. The Wellington/Booth intersection is unique in that it is the crossroads of the first inter-provincial link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaudière_Bridge#Union_Bridge) in the capital, and its first westward road (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Road_(Ontario)#History). If anything, this site should celebrate the ties that unite us. I'm not sure I want a daily reminder of the slaughter of millions that took place in another continent here. I think that belongs somewhere quieter and more contemplative, like on Sussex in front of the former city hall (http://goo.gl/maps/PY63u).

Another great city-killing, space-deadening project. Doesn't Ottawa already have enough functionally dead space?

I agree with the common sentiment in this thread. I am not against such a monument, but I am totally against it being built at that particular location. Its a huge fail, as many of you have mentioned. It should be built in a more peaceful, quiet area for obvious reasons already mentioned in previous posts.

Furthermore, I am hoping that the monument will also commemorate the non-Jews killed in the Holocaust. As a Polish-born Canadian, I had granparents who fought in WWII and non-Jew family members living in conentration camps. I too have visited 2 different concentration over the years, and I am always educating people on the hard facts of WWII and the Holocaust and how its not just the Jews who suffered and endured years of hell. Yet thats the result of a type of unfortunate propaganda that has been present as of late, we are made to believe that the main victims of WWII were Jews, thats it thats all. Thats of course, far from the truth and I hope that this monument brings to light the deaths of all the other innocent civilians in Europe and beyond during WWII. Holocaust is not just about Jews.

The Globe and Mail had another posting regarding the Monument (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/art-and-architecture/renowned-architects-and-artists-reveal-their-visions-for-new-canadian-holocaust-monument/article17120711/), and it had some different views than what we've seen previously. Some of them are pretty high-res, so I haven't posted them - you'll have to click on the aforementioned link to view them .

UPDATE: Actually, here are the direct links to the renders:

Team Lord (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17119294.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)
Team Szylinger (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17119614.ece/ALTERNATES/w620/image.jpg)
Team Saucier + Perrotte (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17120286.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)
Team Amanat (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17120373.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)
Team Wodiczko (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17120441.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)
Team Klein (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17120561.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)

They all look pretty nice. I can definitely picture people hanging out and having a pleasant afternoon, maybe taking a break from their run or bike along the river.

And this is my issue with all of the designs (possible exception of Team Amanat) and the location. It is supposed to mark the darkest chapter in human history - the purposeful murder of millions. Any such monument should be unsettling to behold and not a place people want to be around. Rather, visiting it should be a somber responsibility.

It is of course hard to incorporate the type of monument I would prefer into any city's urban fabric. I'm at a loss to think of a good place in Ottawa to put it.

Furthermore, I am hoping that the monument will also commemorate the non-Jews killed in the Holocaust. As a Polish-born Canadian, I had granparents who fought in WWII and non-Jew family members living in conentration camps. I too have visited 2 different concentration over the years, and I am always educating people on the hard facts of WWII and the Holocaust and how its not just the Jews who suffered and endured years of hell. Yet thats the result of a type of unfortunate propaganda that has been present as of late, we are made to believe that the main victims of WWII were Jews, thats it thats all. Thats of course, far from the truth and I hope that this monument brings to light the deaths of all the other innocent civilians in Europe and beyond during WWII. Holocaust is not just about Jews.

There needs to be more of a healthy public debate on this monument, but it is sometimes hard to offer criticism without being labeled as unsympathetic, or at worse bigoted. Anti-semetism was not the sole motivation for the Holocaust, Jews were the easiest target for the perverted Nazi ideology of "Lebensraum" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum). There's a sad painful back story buried in there, as the Nazis got inspiration from their envy of (North) Americans having been able to freely run over the aboriginal populations in the quest for more territory.

The National War Memorial was built to honour those who fought in all the wars and stands as a monument for the universal value of valour. Likewise, the Peacekeeping monument honours those who served in all the peace keeping missions and symbolizes our vigilance for peace. If there are future wars or missions they are included in the commemorations which keeps the value of these monuments contemporary.

I feel that for this monument to be timeless and relevant to more Canadians , it needs to stand for our opposition to all forms of genocide and tyranny. While it should be a place where we can solemnly remember those who have been victimized, it should also reflect on Canada as a place where wounds have healed and the Canadian stand against oppression. It should not isolate anti-Semitism from any other kind of religious persecution or racism, or martyrize a group of victims over others who have suffered equally horrendous conditions.

There needs to be more of a healthy public debate on this monument, but it is sometimes hard to offer criticism without being labeled as unsympathetic, or at worse bigoted. Anti-semetism was not the sole motivation for the Holocaust, Jews were the easiest target for the perverted Nazi ideology of "Lebensraum" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum). There's a sad painful back story buried in there, as the Nazis got inspiration from their envy of (North) Americans having been able to freely run over the aboriginal populations in the quest for more territory.

The National War Memorial was built to honour those who fought in all the wars and stands as a monument for the universal value of valour. Likewise, the Peacekeeping monument honours those who served in all the peace keeping missions and symbolizes our vigilance for peace. If there are future wars or missions they are included in the commemorations which keeps the value of these monuments contemporary.

I feel that for this monument to be timeless and relevant to more Canadians , it needs to stand for our opposition to all forms of genocide and tyranny. While it should be a place where we can solemnly remember those who have been victimized, it should also reflect on Canada as a place where wounds have healed and the Canadian stand against oppression. It should not isolate anti-Semitism from any other kind of religious persecution or racism, or martyrize a group of victims over others who have suffered equally horrendous conditions.

I would be in favour of a "Museum of Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing and Tyranny" (with maybe a better name. ) that would feature exhibits on a broad range atrocities, including a nuanced discussion of the holocaust and its victims.

Of course, the debates around what goes in and what goes out would be intense.

I agree with the common sentiment in this thread. I am not against such a monument, but I am totally against it being built at that particular location. Its a huge fail, as many of you have mentioned. It should be built in a more peaceful, quiet area for obvious reasons already mentioned in previous posts.

Furthermore, I am hoping that the monument will also commemorate the non-Jews killed in the Holocaust. As a Polish-born Canadian, I had granparents who fought in WWII and non-Jew family members living in conentration camps. I too have visited 2 different concentration over the years, and I am always educating people on the hard facts of WWII and the Holocaust and how its not just the Jews who suffered and endured years of hell. Yet thats the result of a type of unfortunate propaganda that has been present as of late, we are made to believe that the main victims of WWII were Jews, thats it thats all. Thats of course, far from the truth and I hope that this monument brings to light the deaths of all the other innocent civilians in Europe and beyond during WWII. Holocaust is not just about Jews.

You're right, there were a number of groups targeted by the Nazis and millions of non-Jewish individuals were sent to the camps. And any Holocaust memorial should commemorate all victims. However, I think you need to acknowledge that the sheer number of Jews killed (2/3 of the entire pre-war population) explains in part the close association of the term Holocaust as an act of genocide with Europe's Jews, and that the use of the term "propaganda" here is somewhat problematic. Finally, a friendly reminder that "Jew" is a noun, never an adjective. Thanks.

There needs to be more of a healthy public debate on this monument, but it is sometimes hard to offer criticism without being labeled as unsympathetic, or at worse bigoted. Anti-semetism was not the sole motivation for the Holocaust, Jews were the easiest target for the perverted Nazi ideology of "Lebensraum" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum). There's a sad painful back story buried in there, as the Nazis got inspiration from their envy of (North) Americans having been able to freely run over the aboriginal populations in the quest for more territory.

The National War Memorial was built to honour those who fought in all the wars and stands as a monument for the universal value of valour. Likewise, the Peacekeeping monument honours those who served in all the peace keeping missions and symbolizes our vigilance for peace. If there are future wars or missions they are included in the commemorations which keeps the value of these monuments contemporary.

I feel that for this monument to be timeless and relevant to more Canadians , it needs to stand for our opposition to all forms of genocide and tyranny. While it should be a place where we can solemnly remember those who have been victimized, it should also reflect on Canada as a place where wounds have healed and the Canadian stand against oppression. It should not isolate anti-Semitism from any other kind of religious persecution or racism, or martyrize a group of victims over others who have suffered equally horrendous conditions.

I would be in favour of a "Museum of Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing and Tyranny" (with maybe a better name. ) that would feature exhibits on a broad range atrocities, including a nuanced discussion of the holocaust and its victims.

Of course, the debates around what goes in and what goes out would be intense.

I couldn't agree more. The Holocaust was a truly horrific event, and it deserves to be learned from and remembered, but it wasn't the only genocide to have ever occurred. Major genocides have also taken place in Armenia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, etc. (http://endgenocide.org/learn/past-genocides)

What I'd like to know, however, is why Ottawa (and other cities for that matter) are singling out this genocide? Is it because it was the one in which the most people died? Is it because it's the one which has the most living descendants? Or could it be the one that resonates with the most voters or political party donors? I don't know the answer, but I do know that I too would like to see a memorial to all genocides, not just this one.

I wish to make this amendment:

If this memorial is to remember Jewish people only, then it shouldn't focus just on the Holocaust, but at the suffering of Jewish people throughout history (there is a lot of suffering). But if this memorial is about genocide, then it needs to include all genocides that happened. If this is about ensuring that no group of people is persecuted, then it should be ambiguous about which groups are included, that this goes for all humans, as all humans should be treated equally.

The War Memorial may emphasize three of Canada's wars, but it remembers (including the tomb of the unnamed soldier) everyone who died and fought in all wars we participated in. I see it as being ambiguous in that regard, and therefore acceptable as a monument in Ottawa because it doesn't single out anyone.

But to focus on one group of people who suffered during any period isn't fair to everyone else who suffered, as well. Otherwise, if it is for this one event in history that happened to one group of people, then fair treatment should be given to establish monuments for everyone that has suffered greatly. Jewish people may have been the largest group affected in Europe, but to focus on what happened just to them and ignore everyone else who was sent to concentration camps and killed is insulting to them, because it chooses to ignore them as though their suffering isn't important. If this monument is a National Holocaust Monument, then it should include everyone who suferred during the Holocaust, and not just the largest number.

In any case, if this is just for the Holocaust in Europe, then we should also have a monument for all genocides elsewhere. But if this is for the Holocaust, as I've mentioned above, it should include everyone who suffered.

I like the idea of a museum to Jewish suffering throughout history. A tendency has developed to associate antisemitism almost exclusively with the Nazis (see Tony Judt's "Post War" for a great discussion), and thus denying or whitewashing the antisemitism that was common and often institutionalized across the western world.

Alternatively, I like the idea of a monument of museum concentrating on the holocaust as you described.

I guess i just really like the idea of more museums in Ottawa.

A tendency has developed to associate antisemitism almost exclusively with the Nazis (see Tony Judt's "Post War" for a great discussion), and thus denying or whitewashing the antisemitism that was common and often institutionalized across the western world.

I think you've misunderstood Tony Judt's views. He was a Jew (he passed in 2010) who was critical of the establishment of Israel solely as a religious Jewish state (he preferred a shared secular Israeli-Palestinian state). He was concerned that people are confusing criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, and that many in the US Government (and the Harper government (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-harper-vows-loyalty-to-israel-in-speech-to-knesset-1.2503393)) seem to to hold Israel above censure.The ulterior motives of these politicians can threaten to mar the solemnity and sincerity behind this type of monument, as expressed in this opinion (http://rabble.ca/news/2010/12/national-holocaust-monument-welcome-conservative-ideology-behind-it-not).

From the words of Tony Judt (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/opinion/10judt.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0): We should beware the excessive invocation of “anti-Semitism.” A younger generation in the United States, not to mention worldwide, is growing skeptical. “If criticism of the Israeli blockade of Gaza is potentially ‘anti-Semitic,’ why take seriously other instances of the prejudice?”

The Globe and Mail had another posting regarding the Monument (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/art-and-architecture/renowned-architects-and-artists-reveal-their-visions-for-new-canadian-holocaust-monument/article17120711/), and it had some different views than what we've seen previously. Some of them are pretty high-res, so I haven't posted them - you'll have to click on the aforementioned link to view them .

UPDATE: Actually, here are the direct links to the renders:

Team Lord (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17119294.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)
Team Szylinger (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17119614.ece/ALTERNATES/w620/image.jpg)
Team Saucier + Perrotte (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17120286.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)
Team Amanat (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17120373.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)
Team Wodiczko (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17120441.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)
Team Klein (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article17120561.ece/BINARY/image.jpg)

The comments on this article are equally interesting, especially from a national perspective.

One commentator suggests: "I'm confused. Is this a Canadian memorial for the countless First Nations people whose lives were disrupted and destroyed by the Europeans? No? It's a memorial in Canada for Europeans who were killed by other Europeans. Oh, ok. "

I have not seen a parking in any of the renderings.

I would hope that a small area is made available if we expect visitors. if not, people will just drive by.

I think you've misunderstood Tony Judt's views. He was a Jew (he passed in 2010) who was critical of the establishment of Israel solely as a religious Jewish state (he preferred a shared secular Israeli-Palestinian state). He was concerned that people are confusing criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, and that many in the US Government (and the Harper government (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-harper-vows-loyalty-to-israel-in-speech-to-knesset-1.2503393)) seem to to hold Israel above censure.The ulterior motives of these politicians can threaten to mar the solemnity and sincerity behind this type of monument, as expressed in this opinion (http://rabble.ca/news/2010/12/national-holocaust-monument-welcome-conservative-ideology-behind-it-not).

From the words of Tony Judt (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/opinion/10judt.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0): We should beware the excessive invocation of “anti-Semitism.” A younger generation in the United States, not to mention worldwide, is growing skeptical. “If criticism of the Israeli blockade of Gaza is potentially ‘anti-Semitic,’ why take seriously other instances of the prejudice?”

You are quite correct regarding his views on Israel. I was referring to the section in Postwar on Germany's turn towards holocaust memorializing in the 1980s and 1990s. It has been a couple of years since I read it, but I believe the gist was that the exit of former Nazis from prominent positions in society (mainly due to age) allowed for Germany to move from silent acceptance to intensive efforts to recognize the holocaust and WW2, but as the unique sins of the Nazi regime. The western world has basically followed suit: intense focus on the Nazis but little popular understanding of the long dark history of antisemitism.

Not my favourite of the designs proposed, but still interesting. It reminds me a bit of the Peacekeepers Monument.

However, I do find it slightly odd that we're doing a holocaust memorial. If anything is more tied to our history (and would be just as related and just as important to remember), it would be a monument to our turning away of the St. Louis and 907 Jews escaping Nazi Germany in 1939.

That way it would be holocaust related, but also relatable directly to us as Canadians while carrying the same "never again, never forget" mentality. Just my opinion.

Interesting, monuments are their specialty:

"Lord Cultural Resources is the world’s largest global professional practice dedicated to creating cultural capital having conducted over 2,000 cultural projects in over 50 countries on 6 continents. We collaborate with people and organizations to plan and manage cultural places, programs and resources that deliver excellence in the service of society."

Canada selects design for national Holocaust monument

A team that includes world-renowned architect Daniel Liebeskind has been chosen over five other finalists to create a national Holocaust monument in Ottawa.

The team was announced made Monday by Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Multiculturalism Minister Tim Uppal. Uppal had introduced the private member’s bill, the National Holocaust Monument Act, that led to the monument’s creation.

Scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015, the team’s design features a large gathering space for ceremonies, with room for 1,000 people, enclosed by six triangular, concrete segments to create the points of a star — reminiscent of the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.

The winning team is led by Gail Dexter Lord, co-president of Toronto-based Lord Cultural Resources, which also consulted on the Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg and the 9/11 Museum in New York. Both his parents were Holocaust survivors.

Liebeskind’s buildings include the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen and many others. In 2003, he won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site.

In addition to Liebeskind, the team includes artist-photographer Edward Burtynsky, Quebec-based landscape architect Claude Cormier and University of Toronto Holocaust scholar Doris Bergen.

“The winning design is a fully integrated proposal in which architecture, landscape, art and interpretation communicate the hardship and suffering of victims while conveying a powerful message of humanity’s enduring strength and survival,” a government media release issued Monday said.

Once completed, Canada “will no longer be the only Allied nation without a national Holocaust monument,” noted the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “In bearing witness to the Holocaust, the monument will be a compelling reminder of the dangers of unchecked evil and the enduring imperative to confront all manifestations of anti-Semitism and hatred.”

And we have our answer, the Holocaust Memorial is not just a Jewish memorial. Very relieved to read that they included the other groups of Nazi-targeted people as well, and I have to admit, the design is striking. Afterall, Daniel Libeskind is known for striking designs. Lets hope this will motivate local developers to use his skills for an eye-catching building in the capital down the road.

"The Monument is conceived as an experiential environment comprised of six triangular, concrete volumes configured to create the points of a star. The star remains the visual symbol of the Holocaust – a symbol that millions of Jews were forced to wear by the Nazi’s to identify them as Jews, exclude them from humanity and mark them for extermination. The triangular spaces are representative of the badges the Nazi’s and their collaborators used to label homosexuals, Roma-Sinti, Jehovah’s Witnesses and political and religious prisoners for murder."

Canada selects design for national Holocaust monument

A team that includes world-renowned architect Daniel Liebeskind has been chosen over five other finalists to create a national Holocaust monument in Ottawa.

The team was announced made Monday by Canadian Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Multiculturalism Minister Tim Uppal. Uppal had introduced the private member’s bill, the National Holocaust Monument Act, that led to the monument’s creation.

Scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015, the team’s design features a large gathering space for ceremonies, with room for 1,000 people, enclosed by six triangular, concrete segments to create the points of a star — reminiscent of the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.

The winning team is led by Gail Dexter Lord, co-president of Toronto-based Lord Cultural Resources, which also consulted on the Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg and the 9/11 Museum in New York. Both his parents were Holocaust survivors.

Liebeskind’s buildings include the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen and many others. In 2003, he won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site.

In addition to Liebeskind, the team includes artist-photographer Edward Burtynsky, Quebec-based landscape architect Claude Cormier and University of Toronto Holocaust scholar Doris Bergen.

“The winning design is a fully integrated proposal in which architecture, landscape, art and interpretation communicate the hardship and suffering of victims while conveying a powerful message of humanity’s enduring strength and survival,” a government media release issued Monday said.

Once completed, Canada “will no longer be the only Allied nation without a national Holocaust monument,” noted the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “In bearing witness to the Holocaust, the monument will be a compelling reminder of the dangers of unchecked evil and the enduring imperative to confront all manifestations of anti-Semitism and hatred.”

Ahh, don't people see the one-sided report here? Though I am not surprised to see this, its almost expected, afterall the report is from the Jewish Journal, so why on earth would they even care to mention that the Holocaust Monument is not just about Jews? Typical. And then people get offended at certain negative remarks regarding anything Jewish, and call them anti-semitic. For sure me writing this will be called anti-semitic! Ha, but all it is, is an observation of yet another example of how Jews consider the Holocaust and in many ways WWII, to be all about their suffering. Thankfully, this monument will not be just about them, but about others who perished in the concentration camps too, and so it will not only serve to educate people about about the Jewish deaths, but also about the other deaths such as homosexuals, Gypsies, Political prisoners, Intellectuals, etc.

I'm not sure I want a daily reminder of the slaughter of millions that took place in another continent here.

Have you driven by the National War Memorial lately? Like, since 1939?

Thankfully, this monument will not be just about them, but about others who perished in the concentration camps too, and so it will not only serve to educate people about about the Jewish deaths, but also about the other deaths such as homosexuals, Gypsies, Political prisoners, Intellectuals, etc.

I agree that it is a good thing that the full breadth of the Holocaust will be on display here, and frankly, I didn't think the monument was to be so. large and significant.

As for the first part of your post - try not to let the suffering of a group of people get under your skin too much. A Jewish person writing for a Jewish publication about Judaism is allowed to speak about religious persecution against his/her people.

We allow it in Canada, remember?

National Holocaust Monument design unveiled

Alex Bozikovic
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, May. 12 2014, 1:59 PM EDT
Last updated Monday, May. 12 2014, 2:35 PM EDT

The design of Canada’s National Holocaust Monument will be led by the architect associated with New York’s Ground Zero and Berlin’s Jewish Museum.

Daniel Libeskind has won a design competition for the Ottawa project, in combination with photographer Edward Burtynsky, landscape architect Claude Cormier and museum planners Lord Cultural Resources.

The decision was announced Monday in Ottawa by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover at the site of the monument - a field across from the Canadian War Museum, on the LeBreton Flats about a kilometre from Parliament Hill.

The federal government announced the monument in April, 2013, as a permanent place to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and honour Canadian survivors Canada currently has no such site. It will be overseen by the National Capital Commission. A fundraising council is aiming to raise $4.5-million for the construction of the project, with matching funds from the government of up to $4-million.

The plans for the project combine architecture, landscape and art. Visitors will take a “journey through a star” - a concrete structure that, viewed from above, resembles a six-pointed star, the symbol of Jewish identity. It consists of several triangular spaces according to a statement from the design team, these are meant to evoke the triangular badges used to classify prisoners in concentration camps, including Jews, Roma, gay people, and mentally and physically disabled people.

"It’s very much designed as an experience - it’s not a monument that you just look at from afar, but it draws you in as a visitor,” explains Dov Goldstein, a principal consultant at Lord and the project’s coordinator.

Within the monument, original photographs by Burtynsky of Holocaust sites, death camps, killing fields and forests, will be embedded into concrete. And a landscape surrounding the monument, designed by Cormier, will include a forest of coniferous trees growing out of rocky ground, a nod to the forests of eastern Europe and a living symbol of how survivors and their children have changed Canada.

The project will be a significant piece of architecture and urban design in Ottawa, and notable because of the international reputations of all four players - especially Libeskind (who was born in Poland but lives in the U.S.) and the Canadian Burtynsky. They were brought together by Lord Cultural Resources, which organized what Goldstein calls “a multidisciplinary and multicultural team” for an integrated process including historian Doris Bergen.

Goldstein praises Libeskind’s “brilliant architecture and his sensitivity to the subject matter.” (Libeskind’s parents both survived the Holocaust and each lost most of their extended families.) His aesthetic touch is clear. The proposal's complex structure employs Libeskind’s trademark crystalline forms, which first appeared on his Jewish Museum in Berlin, completed in 1999. That museum building is a zigzagging and jagged form that is notoriously difficult to program. It employed architectural symbolism for the fate of Europe’s Jews and other victims of the Holocaust: It is a series of shards, pierced by voids, and visitors end up in a "Garden of Exile.”

Libeskind is also closely associated with the most significant memorial project of the past 20 years - Ground Zero in Manhattan, where he designed a master plan for the site of the 9/11 attacks that was capped with a 1776-foot-tall “Freedom Tower.” Libeskind saw these ideas embraced by the public in New York, but his role in the redevelopment project was reduced dramatically.

Libeskind's main project in Canada so far has been the Royal Ontario Museum’s Lee-Chin Crystal in Toronto, which employs similar forms - there, according to Libeskind, meant to evoke the museum’s collection of geological crystals.

The Ottawa monument is largely designed now, and will start construction this summer and with a planned opening in the fall of 2015. “It’s an important monument for all Canadians to understand about tolerance about human rights, racial hatred, bigotry, and anti-Semitism, and I think it’s an important signifier to remind Canadians of all that,” Goldstein says. "But it’s also a monument to the survivors - and it's important for Jews and for all Canadians for that reason, to commemorate, remember and to recognize human dignity."

Follow Alex Bozikovic on Twitter: @alexbozikovic

Have you driven by the National War Memorial lately? Like, since 1939?

There's a huge difference, the Canadian National War Memorial is about Canadians who died fighting in in the wars. No Canadians died in the Holocaust. Sure, there are Holocaust survivors who are now Canadian, but that does not make the Holocaust "Canadian" or "National"

At the very least, we need to get our semantics right, this should be called the "Canadian Memorial for [victims of] the Holocaust" not the "Canadian National Holocaust Memorial".

However, I do find it slightly odd that we're doing a holocaust memorial. If anything is more tied to our history (and would be just as related and just as important to remember), it would be a monument to our turning away of the St. Louis and 907 Jews escaping Nazi Germany in 1939.

That way it would be holocaust related, but also relatable directly to us as Canadians while carrying the same "never again, never forget" mentality. Just my opinion.

We already have a commemorative monument to the victims of the MS St. Louis - The Wheel of Conscience, located at Pier 21 in Halifax, and also designed by Daniel Libeskind.

The design that didn't win: For anyone interested, Dezeen (http://www.dezeen.com/2014/05/19/david-adjaye-ron-arad-national-holocaust-monument-entry/) has posted up some further details about the David Adjaye/Ron Arad proposal along with the following walkthrough video:

Small ceremony' planned at unfinished Holocaust Monument next August

Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: September 15, 2014, Last Updated: September 15, 2014 6:49 PM EDT

The new National Holocaust Monument at the corner of Booth and Wellington streets in Ottawa won’t be completed until December 2015 and won’t officially open until May 4, 2016.

But that won’t stop federal politicians from donning hard hats and work boots for a “small ceremony” at the unfinished site next August.

References to the planned August ceremony appear in a document posted recently on the federal government’s tendering website.

The document, which describes the monument as a “priority commemoration project for the Government of Canada”, invites companies that wish to bid on the project’s estimated $6-million construction contract to submit their qualifications by Oct. 9.

It says construction is expected to begin next March, adding: “The aim is to complete the monument in December 2015 in advance of a ceremony to be held on May 4, 2016.”

However, part of the monument — including a “contemplation space” and eternal flame — must be completed shortly before a “small ceremony” scheduled for next August, the NCC document advises.

To accommodate the ceremony, it says construction activity “would need to stop briefly. Attendees would be issued hard hats and boots,” it says, and plywood sheets could be temporarily installed for access to the site.

In an interview, Rabbi Daniel Friedman, chair of the National Holocaust Monument Development Council, said the first lighting of the eternal flame will occur at the August ceremony.

He said May 4, 2016, was chosen for the later official opening because it coincides with Yom HaShoah, the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day.

In an email, officials at Canadian Heritage said it is “common practice to organize more than one ceremony before officially unveiling a monument.”

For example, the department organized a site dedication ceremony this past June for the 1812 Monument that will be unveiled later this fall.

“From the start of this project, the official inauguration of the main elements of the National Holocaust Monument has been scheduled for late summer 2015,” the email said.

The total cost of the monument is $8.5 million, including construction, the design competition, marketing and other expenses, said Friedman. When it is finished, the NCC will take ownership and will be responsible for maintenance.

The development council, created in 2011 to raise money for the monument, has brought in just over $4 million of its $4.5 million objective, Friedman said. The federal government has promised to match donations to a maximum of $4 million.

When the government unveiled the winning design in May, Tim Uppal, a minister of state whose private member’s bill in 2010 led to the memorial’s approval, said he hoped the new landmark would be finished by the fall of 2015.

But that timetable was evidently too optimistic. The NCC has begun to remove contaminated soil from the site. When that is completed later this fall, the monument site will be excavated down to bedrock.

The NCC document fleshes out some of the details of the monument’s design by an all-star team led by Toronto’s Gail Lord that includes architect Daniel Libeskind, photographer Edward Burtynsky, landscape architect Claude Cormier and historical adviser Doris Bergen.

The monument consists of six concrete and metal mesh triangular walls arrayed in the form of a Star of David. Six large landscape photos will be installed on the concrete walls, one of which will be embedded directly into the concrete.

Visitors will reach the monument’s central gathering space through an entrance ramp on the northwest corner of the site.

From there, they will be able to see the contemplation space with 14-metre-high walls, featuring the eternal flame another space that will contain interpretative exhibit panels, a 130-square-metre “memento” area, and an upper plaza, reached via the “Stairs of Hope.”


Watch the video: Greenwich Holocaust survivor describes experience on Yom Hashoah (August 2022).