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Atlantic City Holocaust Memorial
memory along the generations
Our proposal for the Atlantic City Holocaust Memorial breaks with the regular concept of memorials that aim to find an adequate expression of the horror for the visitor to relive. It is impossible even to try and every design will lack and be insufficient to describe the full catastrophe and the lessons we need to take. Every imitation will be insufficient, not only in preserving the memory for future generations, but also it reduces the millions of victims to their suffering and fate only.
There are many very important Holocaust memorial sites around the world - from the remains of the camps such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, Majdanek, Buchenwald and all the other camps - to the ghettos like Warsaw , Theresienstadt - to the countless murder sites and cemeteries - to the important museums and memorials like Yad Vashem, Washington DC, Berlin etc - all of these sites keep the memory alive and try to show the unspeakable and incomprehensible horror of the Shoa.
How can the Boardwalk of Atlantic City with it's amusement zone, beaches, and view to the atlantic ocean accomodate a memorial of such kind without utterly failing despite all good intentions?
We contemplated this question again and again and took part in design competition with a radical proposal that goes beyond the regular design of such memorials. The competition jury ultimately decided for a different design - and chose a design that is not only banal but also utterly failing! and a pure manifestation that our fears have come true. It is a pity and a lost opportunity, because the good intentions and the importance of the message will be lost in vain.
Therefore here we present our alternative:
"Today is a beautiful day. When the sun is shining it is easier on your soul. A person misses other lives. If you look at the fence which separates us from the rest of the world, then the spirit is anxious for freedom, like a bird in a cage. The eyes are filled with tears, how do I envy the birds..." .... these are the words written in a diary by a young jewish girl from Lodz, Poland, who perished in the Holocaust in March 1942.
Two generations later, in 2010, we have asked a 14year old girl from Haifa, Israel to create a drawing and graphic interpretation of this diary entry - which we then translated with the help of CAD and 3D modelling tools into a 3 dimensional sculpture - giving it life.
We called this sculpture: Seedling of Dreams - because it gives memory not only to the young girl that perished in the Shoa, but it keeps the dreams and yearning alive, giving it form and material for future generations to come.
In refocusing on the dreams and yearnings of the victims besides the dark fate, we connect to the spirit and personality of the victims, we emotionally connect and cherish the gifts of freedom, love and sun - and keep their memory alive - even at the Atlantic shore of Atlantic City.
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