We went out to Boston a few weeks ago. My husband had a conference, and the kids and I tagged along to soak up all of the history Boston offers.
While we were walking around town, we stumbled upon the New England Holocaust Memorial.
From a distance, it is striking. The 6 green glass towers are 54 feet high and symbolize the 6 main death camps.
Before we entered the memorial, there was a marker that read:
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time, no one was left to speak up.
Once we entered, Bookworm seemed to appreciate how solemn the memorial is even though at his young age (9), he knows very little about the Holocaust. On one side of each tower inside, there are quotes from people who survived the Holocaust. As is expected, most of them are quite horrifying, and I saw the look of incredulousness that passed over Bookworm’s face multiple times.
As I was reading the quotes, I started to notice small numbers on the glass. Etched in the glass are the numbers Jews were given when they entered the camps.
While many of us know that 6 million Jews were killed, most of us have trouble fathoming a number that large. The towers help put that number into perspective. On each glass tower, the numbers go all the way to the top of the 54 feet. There are 6 million numbers etched on the glass.
I’d like to go back to the memorial after the kids have studied the Holocaust and when they are old enough to appreciate the gravity.
If you’re in Boston, I highly recommend that you spend at least a few minutes at this memorial. For more information about the memorial, go to the official website.
I’ve visited Holocaust sites in Poland on a trip during college, and it was incredibly eye opening to see the horrors of what has happened in our world. I’ve been to a few Holocaust museums, but the one I think is best is Yad VaShem in Jerusalem. It is an amazing, eye opening experience.
Though I’ve read quite a bit on the Holocaust, I have yet to go to any museums. This memorial was the first I’ve visited, and it was sobering. I imagine your trips were even more so.