Chaim Avneri’s artistic and soulful yearning to dignify the precious victims of madness is embodied in the Holocaust Memorial Monument. It is constructed of stainless steel, granite and bronze. Engraved on the black granite base are the major ghettos, concentration camps and death camps, located throughout Europe. The placement of these names is orderly, yet at the same time chaotic, mirroring the murder of millions of innocent people during the Holocaust by the Nazis and their collaborators. The black glass stones placed on top of the base represent the ashes of murder. The six pointed forms represent the six million Jewish people who were slaughtered, more than one million of them children. Each point also symbolizes a different stage in a person’s life – childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The height of the pointed forms range from three to seven feet and sit on a steel framed Star of David. The stainless steel is textured and toned to simulate the blood of the six million, while the pointed forms symbolize their appeal to their Creator for spiritual salvation. An aerial view of the six pointed forms reveal a Star of David. The central flame design is in the shape of the Hebrew letter Shin, which traditionally represents one of the many names referring to G-d in the Torah - Shaddai. It also represents the Shema which is often the last expression spoken by a Jew at the moment of death.
The Holocaust Memorial Garden was inspired by Regina & Irving Goldstein. They immigrated to the United States following the war and settled in rural farm country. They were surrounded by the serenity of forests, gardens and flowers, which were a visual symbol to them of life itself and the resilience of the human spirit. The garden area behind the monument mimics the cycle of life. Season to season, the plantings take their turn, blooming in succession, in colors from white to bright to dark. The field adjacent to the lake is filled with daffodils, planted in memory of the children who perished in the Holocaust.
As you stand before the Holocaust Memorial & Garden, and gaze from the ground upward and outward, the depths of evil, darkness and despair of the past give way to the light and hope of the future. You see that this somber memorial to those who perished is surrounded by life - the vibrant blooms of the trees and flowers, the water, the laughter of the children playing nearby. It is our hope that this monument and surrounding gardens will be, not only a memorial to those who perished, but also the backdrop for the education of current and future generations. It is crucial to remember and learn about the past, to examine the present and to look to the future so that this tragic time in the history of mankind will not be repeated.