The Holocaust Memorials





The Holocaust Memorials

The holocaust was a period when millions of people were tortured and massacred on flimsy grounds such as their nationalities. The building of memorials to honor the sacrifices of the victims is a common feature among different societies. Furthermore, they serve as reminders of the presence of evil in the world. Thus, they differ in their design due to a difference in architectural design and objectives of the projects. As such, these facilities are meant to arouse various feelings and influence a visitor’s thinking to be able to reenact the experiences that the victims underwent. In most cases, these memorials are somber and emotional thereby making people to be sympathetic to the suffering of the afflicted.

The Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial consists of eleven sections with a human hand sculpture protruding from the ground and rising 30 feet. This symbol overlooks a pool that is adjacent to an information booth. The feeling that one gets when he/she visits this grounds is ominous. A person comes face-to-face with the reality of death through the graphic images of this massacre. As one moves from an area to another, the silence is palpable, conjuring thoughts about the last moments they had before they were killed. Similarly, the Holocaust Memorial in San Francisco is a scary place. For example, the image of a man standing behind a barbed wire while corpses lie behind him instills fear. In fact, it heightens the tension about the journey that the Jews had as they were led to concentration camps to be murdered. Regardless of its small size, it makes a powerful impression about the injustices committed and leaves a person shocked due to the cruelty of the actions. Despite them being located in the United States, the audiences are exposed to the brutality of the genocide that took place in Europe.

Likewise, the Aschrott Fountain is made up of eight radial steel channels covering a water source located 12 meters below them. While this is in contrast with the original fountain that shot upwards, it acts as evidence about the varying interpretations concerning the holocaust among Germans. As such, its design is mentally engaging as visitors try to decipher its purpose. Consequently, the inversion effect created evokes memories about the incarceration of Jews and facilitates conversations about the inhumane treatment of fellow men. The Bebleplatz is another German memorial dedicated to Nazi atrocities. This square covers a large area and has a glass plate, which reveals empty bookcases in remembrance of a Nazi book burning exercise. Its simplicity is appealing and the empty cases develop a paradox that any viewer would like to get additional information on the role that book burning sessions played during period of terror. In particular, the chilling message warning about the intention of the Nazi to burn people too inscribed on the plate offers insight into the danger that was posed to them. Thus, it makes a person to think about the stress that the victims, survivors and their families undergo in their quest to gain closure from this tragedy. Since they were developed by the Germans, they offer a chilling account of the holocaust from the perspective of people who witnessed it firsthand.

The Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial consists of a rectangular block with library style walls whose books are turned inwards. The names of 41 locations that were used as murder camps for Austrian Jews are also inscribed on the walls. However, the entrance is symbolic, as it cannot be accessed. Its size, shape and artifacts can be confusing to a first time visitor because it is not easy to muster their meaning. One has to request further information to understand what these features represent about the disaster that cost the lives of many people. The mood generated is harrowing and the reminder of the agony borne by the victims is overwhelming. Its location in Vienna coincides with the choice of venue for most Jews from early on. Thus, it seeks to highlight the shocking crimes that were endured and the lifestyles that were interrupted or halted. Hence, the complexity of the symbols raises the curiosity levels, which in turn drive a visitor to gather as much insight as possible about them. As the explanations unravel, one is left bewildered by the monstrous acts that were unleashed on innocent citizens. In particular, the occupation of this region is captured in the historical context of the excavations present and they paint a grim picture about that era. The settings of these memorials make people teary and the stories told can haunt for a long time. Whereas most have an immediate emotional impact, some of them are intellectual. Nevertheless, anyone who visits them is bound to develop hatred for the Nazis and sympathize with the Jews. In addition, he/she is likely to make a vow to denounce war and embrace peace to maintain continuity of human existence. By so doing, injustices such as those committed by Nazis would be avoided and the world would be safer as well.


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