Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monuments and Memorials

The site of the Warsaw Ghetto, with Ghetto monument in background. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

The site in front of the Ghetto Monument of the about-to-be-built Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

Memorials to the Holocaust and to the Jewish communities destroyed in the Shoah are among the sites of Jewish heritage and memory in Europe that receive the most visitors.

I want to draw attention to two particularly thoughtful essays by Sam Gruber about their design, purpose and impact.

One is about what's missing from the Holocaust memorial in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Answer? Any information to inform the visitor what it is about.)

The other is about the complexity and changing style and emphasis of Holocaust monuments and memory in Warsaw, focuses on the Ghetto Monument, erected in 1948, the monument at Umschlagplatz, erected in 1991, and the planned new Museum of the History of Polish Jewry.

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