Self-guided Tour

The New England Holocaust Memorial is an outdoor space, open and accessible to the public at all times. The structure is built primarily of granite and glass, and consists of six luminous towers lit internally to gleam at night. The number six recalls the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust; a row of memorial candles; the six main death camps; and the six years, 1939-1945, during which the infamous “Final Solution,” the most deadly phase of the Holocaust, took place.

Visitors approaching the towers see the word REMEMBER inscribed in the pathway in Hebrew and English. As they walk under the towers they are prompted at one end by a chronology of Holocaust events, and at the other by a quote from Pastor Martin Niemoller. Inscribed along the edges of the pathway between the towers are short factual statements about the Holocaust, its many victims and heroes.

The towers are lit internally to gleam at night. They are set on a black granite path, each one over a dark chamber emblazoned with the name of a death camp: MAJDANEK, SOBIBOR, AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU, CHELMNO and BELZEC. Smoke rises from charred embers at the bottom of these chambers, reminding us of the horrors of the extermination.

Each tower consists of 22 individual panels of glass. The outside walls of the panels are inscribed with seven-digit numbers, evoking the numbers tattooed on the arms of the concentration camp prisoners. Numbers are arranged in 8×10 blocks, each block having sets of six numbers arranged in a 6×6 grid. A single panel contains 17,280 unique numbers, which are subsequently repeated throughout the memorial. In total there are 2,280,960 non-unique numbers listed on the 132 panels representing the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust.

The inside walls are inscribed with quotes from witnesses to the Holocaust.

Visitors often leave stones at the site of the Memorial, reflecting the ages-old Jewish custom of marking a graveside visit. In fact, when the construction fence was first removed, the design team discovered that visitors had left stones on the top of the dedication monument.

Please feel free to add your own remembrance.

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