Sights ~ RI Holocaust Memorial ~ Providence

RI Holocaust Memorial
Providence Greenway/Memorial Park
Providence, Rhode Island

I was moved when I read about the dedication of the RI Holocaust Memorial last summer. The description made it sound like a quiet, meditative place, so I put off going for awhile, to avoid the initial crowds.

When I finally did go, it was quiet. Just a couple of people on that late afternoon, taking a silent stroll.

Most paused at the entrance to read the inscription, a quote from Roman Kent, a Holocaust survivor.

The path through the Entrance Gate resembles train tracks, an eerie symbol for anyone even remotely familiar with the transportation of the Nazi's "undesirables." 

The path narrows, and six spires surround the end point, symbolizing the sharp decrease in numbers of the victims, and giving a ghostly sense of the claustrophobia of the camps. To look beyond the Memorial is to see the rest of the world through black bars. There are six spires to represent the six million Jewish people who died.

At the end of the path sits the gray granite Life Stone, which represents the survivors. It stands for the solidity of faith. To me it also seems lonely; the isolation of how few remain. It resembles the stones often seen on Jewish graves. Clearly others see it as a marker, because they've put their own remembrance stones on it.

You may notice that the link to the site contains the phrase "Yad Vashem." 
The name "Yad Vashem" is taken from a verse in the Book of Isaiah: "Even unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off" (Isaiah 56:5 ). The World Holocaust Memorial is called "yad vashem" (Biblical Hebrew יָ֣ד וָשֵׁ֔ם yād wā-šêm), which conveys the idea of establishing a national depository for the names of Jewish victims who have no one to carry their name after death.


Popular posts from this blog

Artists ~ Deanna Agresti ~ Cranston

Places to go, things to see in Rhode Island

Artists ~ Jerilyn Spaziano ~ Johnston