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Monument to Holocaust Victims

May 3, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A monument to Jewish victims of the Holocaust has been erected by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza opposite the United Nations. The 13 foot by 21 foot pink granite wall contains seven bronze bas-reliefs depicting the massacre at six million Jews by the Nazis.

The monument’s bas-reliefs is the work of Arbit Blatas, an internationally known artist and sculptor, who was born in Lithuania and whose parents were victims of the Holocaust, Blatas, whose paintings and sculptures have been exhibited throughout the world, was awarded the Legion of Honor Chevalier by the French government in 1978 for his contributions to French art.

The bas-reliefs in the “Monument of the Holocaust” are each three feet by two feet. They are based on paintings by Blatas and are named “The Deportation,” “Crystal Night,” “The Quarry,” “Punishment,” “Execution in the Ghetto,” “The Revolt of the Warsaw Ghetto,” and “The Final Solution.” Two other additions of the bas-reliefs are in Europe–the first imbedded in the wall of the Venice Ghetto in 1980; the other dedicated at the Martyrs Juife Inconnus (Unknown Jewish Martyrs) in Paris in 1981.

Construction of the wall and reproduction of the bas-reliefs were made possible through grants from Mr. and Mrs. Moses Deitcher of Freeport, Bahamas, and Mr. and Mrs. William Troy of New York City. Also assisting in the ADL project was the League for Human Rights of B’nai B’rith in Canada.

At the dedication at the monument last Sunday, Ambassador Yehuda Blum of Israel praised Blatas and the ADL for “having erected this monument across the street from the headquarters of international hypocrisy–which is also one of the world centers of virulent anti-Semitism.” Benjamin Epstein, executive vice president of the ADL Foundation, presented Blatas with the Foundation’s Masada Award and, in behalf of Mayor Edward Koch, a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of New York.

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