Libeskind to design St. Louis monument


TORONTO (JTA) — Renowned architect Daniel Libeskind was chosen to design and create a Canadian monument to the Holocaust-era ship the St. Louis.

To mark Canada’s refusal to accept the ship and its Jewish refugees, the monument will be housed at Pier 21, Canada’s Immigration Museum, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The steamship fled Nazi Germany in 1939 with 907 Jewish passengers bound for Latin America. No country in the region, including Canada and the United States, accepted its passengers, and the St. Louis was forced to return to Europe just as war broke out.

Ultimately, according to estimates, at least one third of its passengers were killed in the Holocaust.

Last year, the Canadian government announced a grant of $500,000 to help fund the project.

Titled "The Wheel of Conscience," Libeskind’s proposal will be made of steel with four prominent gears turning smaller wheels etched with the words "hatred," "racism," "anti-Semitism" and "xenophobia." 

Libeskind, who beat out many artists for the job, is the son of Holocaust survivors and the creator of a Holocaust memorial in Berlin.

The Canadian Jewish Congress, which worked closely with the museum and held the artist selection process, said in a statement that the monument will serve as the centerpiece of a CJC project to educate Canadians about the St. Louis and its impact on Canada’s society and immigration history.

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