Holocaust Memorial- A Broken Star

I was biking past the Manitoba Legislative Buildings and saw a monument I’d never noticed before. It was in the shape of a broken Star of David.holocaust memorial winnipeg legislatureTaking a closer look I discovered it was a monument built in remembrance of victims of the Holocaust. It was dedicated in 1990.  

holocaust memorial winnipeg legilature groundsThe walls were designed to reflect the sunlight since the monument was to be a sign of hope, rebirth and the rebuilding of lives. names on holocaust memorial winnipegThe names of the 3,700 victims, memorialized on the monument’s walls, all had surviving family members living in Manitoba. 

holocaust memorial in winnipegThe legislature of Manitoba was the first in Canada to provide a designated space for a Holocaust Memorial. Philip Weiss, an award-winning Winnipeg furniture maker and craftsman, led the campaign to have the memorial built. Weiss was a Holocaust survivor who was seized from his parents home in Poland by the Nazis when he was just 15 years old and sent to two different concentration camps. holocaust memorial winnipeg legislature groundsThe names of  various concentration camps are engraved at the base of the monument. 

monument to holocaust winnipegThe monument also includes a menorah and the words These we do remember and our hearts are grieved.  Some people had left memory candles in the space below the menorah. 

holocaust memorial winnipegI’ve learned that each year on Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Memorial Day there is a service of remembrance at this monument during which each name inscribed on it is read aloud. 

Other posts about the Holocaust………

Meeting a Holocaust Survivor in Hong Kong

Brundibar- More Than It Seems

Taking Teens to Israel and Palestine

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Categories: Historical Events, Politics, Statues | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Holocaust Memorial- A Broken Star

  1. Reblogged this on What Next?.

    • Zelig Alec Katz

      Hello,
      I read your article with interest and would like to add some details to your commentary. There were 4 other people who were on the Committee and instrumental in conceiving and executing this significant memorial to those survivors residing in Manitoba an Saskatchewan. The other members were Arye Meller, Mickey Fingold, Morris Steele. I, Alec Katz was the Architect for this project. Former Premier Garry Filmon facilitated this memorial being located on the Legislative grounds. No small feat as getting a place on these grounds is both rare and difficult. The concept for this memorial was to create a marker for those that were murdered in the Holcaust with no graves or markers.
      The design evolved from a wall with the names of the family members lostin the Holocaust. The Star of David design evolved when David Penner, a designer in our office while preparing design drawings drew a solid Star of David. My response was that the solid Star of David looked too much like a pedestal for a statue. It struck me though that David had chosen a Star of David as an identification for Jews. I then recalled how Jews were identified in Germany, and the occupied ghettos by yellow Star of David that they had to wear. I suggested that we try a planar Star and break it to represent how European Jewry were torn asunder by the Nazis. The remaining walls represent the Jews that survived. The footprint of the Star left a plan for revival. The shape on the ground had the names of the Extermination Camps and locations where Jews were massacred.
      When the design was presented to the committee there was universal acceptance of the design. The entire monument was executed on a budget of $70,000.
      In all of my 40 years of Architectural practice this is one of the projects I am most proud of.
      After the first meeting when the Committee members thanked me for attending and for my input, I told them I was honoured. I was honoured because I too was a Holocaust survivor, born in August 1944, in Vilna, Poland. The Committee members were not aware of this when I was invited to participate on this journey. On the day that li brought my father to the memorial I was deeply moved as he touched the names of his mother,father, 2 sisters and two brothers. My mothers parents and other relatives were also named.
      Just a little background on this remarkable monument.
      Regards,
      Zelig Alec Katz Architect

  2. Zelig Alec Katz

    I forgot to mention the choice of rocks around the base was a reference to the gravel on the railway tracks that transported the Jews to the Concentreation Camps.

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