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Memorial Tribute to Holocaust Victims

The New Haven “Memorial Tribute to the Six Million” was dedicated yesterday in public ceremonies at its site in Edgewood Park. More than 3000 people participated in the event. The memorial, in concrete, is in the form of a Star of David, and has a steel and barbed wire center. It was conceived and designed by Cheshire architect Augustus J. Franzoni. The memorial was built under the direction of the municipality, in cooperation with a local Jewish Federation, and with funds contributed by the citizens of the New Haven area.

Participating in the dedication ceremonies, chaired by Dr. Philip Felig, Professor of Medicine at Yale University, was Mayor Frank Logue, chairman of the Mayor’s Holocaust Committee; Congressman Robert N. Giaimo, and Jerzy Kosinski, the noted author, whose classic, “The Painted Bird,” follows closely his personal survival experiences during the Holocaust; Dr. Irving Greenberg, a noted authority of the Holocaust era and chairman of Jewish Studies at City College of the City University of New York; and Solomon Zynstein, president of the American Federation of Jewish Fighters, Camp Inmates and Nazi Victims.

The New Haven Memorial Tribute to the Six Million is in the form of a raised Star of David, the symbolic center fence of iron and simulated barbed wire points upward, denoting the terror and the suffering of the victims. Buried within the center is an urn of ashes from the Auschwitz death camp. a yew tree planted at each of the star’s six points represents the death of six million Jews.

In remembrance of the Eastern European ghettos where the majority of the victims lived, the visitors area around the memorial and the center part of the monument itself will be paved with cobblestones, which are being symbolically purchased by individuals and organizations.

In the spring, the New Haven Park Department will plant a grove of 16 trees in a horseshoe shape around the memorial. Fifteen large pine trees will bear the names of the largest death camps, and the sixteenth, a copper beech, will be named in honor and memory of “Righteous Christians” who risked and gave their lives to save Jews during World War II. The memorial will have two plaques attached, one in English and the second in Yiddish and Hebrew, bearing the simple inscription “In Memory Of The Six Million Jews Who Were Murdered By The Nazis – 1939-1945.”

MEMORIAL PLANS BEGAN LAST YEAR

The concept of the memorial was developed by Lew Lehrer, a Holocaust survivor who is chairman of the New Haven Jewish Federation’s Holocaust Memorial Committee. Coordinating the wishes of the local area survivors and the Federation, he approached Logue, after the Mayor reported on his visit to Yad Vashem during his tour of Israel in 1976.

The concept of the memorial originally conceived by the Jewish community was to be a grove of six trees, donated by Cheshire nurseryman Marvin Cohen. However, when Cheshire architect Franzoni learned of the proposal, he sat down and formulated his expression of sorrow and outrage in the form of a memorial.

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