Sunday, December 10, 2017

Stark And Solemn

Here we have a view looking out at the Holocaust Monument from where I left off yesterday. Have a look at the website for a bird's eye view of it.

This is a closer view of Burtynsky's photograph etched onto the wall. Track 17, Berlin, Germany captures a spot in the heart of the German capital that was a focal point for Holocaust operations. Trains leaving this freight yard would carry Jews to ghettos and death camps starting in 1941.

This is the most haunting of Burtynsky's photographs, even decades after the Holocaust. Fence, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland depicts the barbed wire electric fence of the death camp where well over a million people, many of them Jews, were systematically murdered during the Holocaust.

I have three close ups here with period photographs on the panels I showed yesterday. Other photographs I chose to not do in close ups, given the material.

There is a staircase (and an elevator for those who require it) leading to an overlook. Part of the design of the Monument includes a sharp point directed east towards Parliament Hill, where the Peace Tower can be glimpsed at a distance on the left. The Firefighters Memorial is directly across the street,  and a careful eye can pick out the large statue there.

Turning around from here shows more of the architecture.

Burtynsky's last two works are side by side. Hiding Place, Warsaw Jewish Cemetery, Poland depicts a trench beneath the tombstones that served as a refuge for Jewish families during raids.

Prayer Room, Theresienstadt, Czech Republic shows a place of prayer that was created despite the misery and torment of the camp ghetto.

Here we have one final view. I have found this place to be haunting, filled with sadness, but also something that should have been built here in Canada long ago. It is fitting that it has been completed. May we never forget.


  1. Such a tragic story. Years ago I read Exodus by Leon Uris and it was heart-breaking. People can be unbelievingly cruel.

  2. I can't imagine anything less dramatic being as effective as this monument. Its starkness and drama are the least that can be done to represent the horrors of the holocaust. This is so fitting and appropriate.

  3. I know we should remember...although it is hard to comprehend.

  4. I'm impressed by this great building and the horrible history behind it.

  5. This place seems to be very well thought out. Stark and Solemn is a great description. A few years ago on a trip to Paris, I visited the Holocaust Memorial in Paris which was beautifully done but with that same stark and solemn atmosphere.

  6. Hello, that is a cool structure. Great monument for such a terrible time in our history. Hopefully history will never repeats this story again. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week!

  7. @Linda: that is true.

    @Kay: I agree.

    @Janey: it is.

    @Tom: definitely.

    @Jan: indeed.

    @Sharon: stark and solemn fit it.

    @Eileen: thank you.

  8. Thanks for sharing the new monument, which I learn about only now from your blog.

  9. I love the recurring geometry of today's series!


  10. With what's going on in the world today we have to work harder to see that something like this doesn't happen again. Racism is alive and well.

  11. An impressive monument from one of the darkest times in history.

  12. When we know better, we do better. THing is, many have not learned the lessons.

  13. The Burtynsky photos work so well in this setting.

  14. Very impressive monument to all those who suffered an injustice to humanity. People must always remember.
    Thank you for sharing, William.

  15. @Cloudia: a privilege to show it.

    @Dina: you're welcome.

    @Janis: so do I.

    @Red: that is true.

    @Marleen: it definitely is.

    @Jennifer: that's true.

    @RedPat: they do indeed.

    @Bill: you're welcome.

  16. Stark is right. A shame that didn't have the pictures I saw when WWII was over, but now someone would probably sue.

  17. What knd of crazy contraption is that in your header!?

  18. The monument is beautifully done William, such an unimaginable horror the likes of which never to be seen again.. hopefully!

  19. The building is stark and solemn indeed, but hauntingly beautiful. And that is exactly the way it should be for this Museum. Thank you for showing it and yes, may we never forget.

  20. I'm just catching up today on your photos of this monument. It is haunting and a fitting tribute. I saw those barbed wire electric fences at Auschwitz and took many photos of them. What struck me about them was that they were doubled in many places just to make certain that if any prisoners were able to get over one, there was another one right next to it. Very disturbing.

  21. I think the monument has been done very well, may we never forget.

    All the best Jan

  22. @Mari: thanks.

    @Furry Gnome: that would be the dragon boats.

    @Grace: it is quite something to visit, very haunting.

    @Sallie: it's appropriate for its subject.

    @Lois: the Holocaust- proof of how inhuman human beings can be.

    @Jan: I agree.