Holocaust: Monuments, Memorials, and Public Demonstrations

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In the same way that a film or picture can evoke countless feelings and emotions from its audience, monuments, memorials, and public demonstrations have the same ability. The events of the Holocaust have created an everlasting impact on not only those affected and the future generations, but even cities and countries that were not directly affected. The Holocaust Memorial located in Marion Square in Charleston, South Carolina attracts hundreds of residents of the city and tourists from all across the globe among the duration of the day.

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Almost hidden in plain sight among the trees stands a memorial that provides purpose and displays a moving message that an unaware passerby may not understand if never visited before.

Constructed in 1999 by architect and Jonathon Levi, the monument was built to commemorate the 19 Holocaust survivors who relocated to South Carolina. Levi’s design features three separate components to transcend even the terrible events of the mid-twentieth century; the place of assembly, a place meant to gather, and the place of remembrance (Boughton). The place of assembly features concrete steps facing the grass where gatherers come to commemorate the annual Yom Ha Shoah Ceremony (waymarking.com) The second component of the memorial is the sanctuary, where passerby’s can reflect and can take a moment to think of the horrific events that revolutionized the twentieth century. It features a rectangular iron screen that sits seventeen feet high, sixty feet long, and twenty-five feet wide. Inside the screening lies a twelve-foot long tallit or Jewish shall that is worn during prayer or during burial. The abandoned tallit stands for those who have died as the screening represents a prison, synagogue, or concentration camp (e.g. see fig. 1).

The final component, the place of remembrance is where plaques are displayed on a large concrete wall honoring originally twenty-four Holocaust victims, but since 2015, survivors and the

(Fig 1.) The Holocaust Memorial located in Charleston, South Carolina features the iron fence and tallit. twenty-four concentration camp locations have been added to the list as well (Greuber). One of the plaques features a brief message describing the purpose of a tallit. It explains, The tallit is a four cornered garment worn by many Jews at prayer. It is customary for Jews to use the tallit as a burial shroud with one of its four fringes removed as a symbol of death and mourning. This is highly symbolic since it is traditional to be buried with this religious prayer shawl primarily for men, but women too who prayed with this garment. The abandoned shawl strategically placed in the memorial represents the fallen synagogues in Europe whose services were dismantled and striped away from its community.

Although its physical size is overwhelming and its symbolic representation is as just,

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