The New England Holocaust Memorial

The New England Holocaust Memorial was built to foster memory of and reflection on one of the great tragedies of our time, the Holocaust (Shoah). The effort was begun by a group of survivors of Nazi concentration camps who have found new homes and new lives in the Boston area. Dedicated in October, 1995, over 3000 individuals and organizations from across the community joined in sponsoring the project.

The Freedom Trail location, in downtown Boston, is near Faneuil Hall and many other treasures of America's history. The site offers a unique opportunity for reflection on the meaning of freedom and oppression and on the importance of a society's respect for human rights.

 The design utilizes uniquely powerful symbols of the Holocaust. The Memorial features six luminous glass towers, each 54 feet high. The towers are lit internally to gleam at night. They are set on a black granite path, each one over a dark chamber which carries the name of one of the principal Nazi death camps. Smoke rises from charred embers at the bottom of these chambers. Six million numbers are etched in glass in an orderly pattern, suggesting the infamous tattooed numbers and ghostly ledgers of the Nazi bureaucracy. Evocative and rich in metaphor, the six towers recall the six main death camps, the six million Jews who died, and a menorah of memorial candles.

 A collaboration of government and non-profit agencies participate in the Memorial's operations. The Boston National Historic Park maintains the site. The Jewish Community Relations Council coordinates programming. The Combined Jewish Philanthropies assists in management issues. Facing History and Ourselves developed a valuable study guide. Survivors of the Holocaust and volunteers serve as educators.

 

Educational and interpretative assistance and materials are available for groups planning visits to the Memorial. Speakers and tour guides can be scheduled to meet with groups. A study guide, suitable for teachers and youth group leaders, helps prepare young people for trips to the Memorial and is available upon request. Additional resources are available to assist groups wishing to use the Memorial as a forum to present their own programs.

 


The New England Holocaust Memorial: A Visual Inspiration

The New England Holocaust Memorial has inspired many people to express their reactions to the memorial through photography and art. 

The NEHM: A Visual Inspiration
By Carlton SooHoo

Back in High School, I learned about the Holocaust and was frightened and wondered if such an atrocity could happen again in my lifetime. In 1995, I was able to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and I was inspired by the bravery of those who risked everything to rescue as many Jews as possible.  I was also inspired by the architecture and design of the museum. 

I eventually understood that an important aspect of memorials and museums is to educate and prevent human atrocities from recurring.  I first visited the New England Holocaust Memorial a few years ago and was inspired by the architecture and grandeur.  I had taken many photographs but was never satisfied with my ability to convey the feeling of actually being there.

Since I've started creating virtual reality 360-degree images that enable viewers to "feel as if they were actually there", I knew the towers of the NE Holocaust Memorial would be especially well suited for this type of imagery.

I wanted to record the grandeur and architectural beauty of the towers so I photographed them at the midpoint location to obtain a symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing view.

My hope is that viewers who see the virtual reality image will be compelled to visit the Memorial and experience in real life what they saw on the internet. It's part of my personal effort to educate and prevent recurrence of human atrocity.

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Click here for a virtual tour of the NEHM