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Ohio dedicates Holocaust memorial in Columbus

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(JTA) — The state of Ohio dedicated a Holocaust memorial on the Statehouse grounds in Columbus.

The Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial was dedicated Monday at a ceremony that drew 1,500 people, including Holocaust survivors and former U.S. soldiers. The 18-foot-high memorial, which resembles a shattered Star of David, was designed by the prominent Polish-born architect Daniel Libeskind, the son of Holocaust survivors.

The $2.1 million memorial was funded mostly by private donations.

Proposed in 2011 by Gov. John Kasich, the memorial was met with opposition from former state Sen. Richard Finan, chair of The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, for not following proper procedure, the Dayton Jewish Observer reported. Finan also said in an interview, “I don’t think a Holocaust memorial fits with the historical markers (at the Statehouse).”

Messages on the pathway leading to the memorial say it was “inspired by the Ohio soldiers who were part of the American liberation and survivors who made Ohio their home,” and that it was erected “In remembrance of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and millions more including prisoners of war, ethnic and religious minorities, homosexuals, the mentally ill, the disabled and political dissidents who suffered under Nazi Germany.”

It is the second Holocaust memorial in the United States built on state-owned land, according to the Cleveland Jewish News. The first opened in Des Moines, Iowa, in October.

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