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Designed by Stanley Saitowitz and erected in 1995, the memorial consists of six glass towers under which a visitor may walk. Engraved on the outside walls of each tower are groups of numbers representing the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. Inscribed on the inner walls are quotes from survivors of each camp. Underneath the towers, steam rises up through metal grates from a dark floor with twinkling lights on it.
The memorial at grade level
Each tower symbolizes a different major extermination camp (Majdanek, Chełmno, Sobibor, Treblinka, Bełżec, and Auschwitz-Birkenau), but can also be taken to be menorah candles, the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust (one million per column), and the six years that the mass extermination took place, 1939-1945.
Each tower consists of twenty-four individual panels of glass. Twenty-two of the panels are inscribed with seven digit numbers and two of the panels are inscribed with messages. In total there are 132 panels from the six towers inscribed with numbers, however each panel is identical. A single panel contains 17,280 unique numbers which are subsequently repeated throughout the memorial. Numbers are arranged in eight by ten blocks, with each block consisting of sets of six numbers arranged in a six by six grid. In total there are 2,280,960 non-unique numbers listed on the 132 panels.
The New England Holocaust Memorial is located near the Freedom Trail, and is only a few steps off the trail, making it a popular tourist attraction.
The site is maintained by the Boston National Historic Park and is located in Carmen Park, along Congress and Union Streets, near Faneuil Hall. Carmen Park was named in recognition of William Carmen's service to the community and his vision and leadership in creating the New England Holocaust Memorial.
The Memorial was targeted for destruction in a 2002 white supremacist terror plot.
On some of the panels of the glass towers are messages. Some of the messages:
"Look at these towers, passerby, and try to imagine what they really mean - what they symbolize - what they evoke. They evoke an era of incommensurate darkness, an era in history when civilization lost its humanity and humanity its soul . . ."
"We must look at these towers of memory and say to ourselves, No one should ever deprive a human being of his or her right to dignity. No one should ever deprive anyone of his or her right to be a sovereign human being. No one should ever speak again about racial superiority...We cannot give evil another chance." - Elie Wiesel
April 12th, 2013
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