Thursday, September 20, 2018


The National Holocaust Monument was opened last year in the Lebreton Flats area, situated between the War Museum and the Canadian Firefighters Memorial. The first time I visited the monument was in the evening, which I think was fitting- it seems even more solemn by night. I have shown you it by day here and here, but I wanted to show it in evening conditions. The Monument was designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind, as a stylized Star of David from above, done with concrete angles in his signature style. Historian Doris Bergen and landscape architect Claude Cormier worked with Libeskind in the project on the historical panels and the surrounding shrubberies and plants. And photographer Edward Burtynsky contributed several current day images of Holocaust sites on a large scale, etched onto the walls. This view is from the entrance on the west side.

This is one of the Burtynsky photographs. Site Of Death March shows a country road near Mauthausen, Austria, as it appears today. Towards the end of the war, death marches were initiated by the Nazis as a measure to hide their crimes. Twenty thousand sick and weakened Jewish prisoners were taken along this road from the death camps into places still held by the German military. Those who couldn't keep up were shot and left in the ditches.

This large one on the wall, shown from two angles, is titled Abandoned Railbed. It shows the old railbed at Treblinka, where 900 000 Jews and thousands of Roma and Sinti were gassed to death. Decades later, the forest is moving in on the former railbed.

Across from it is another photograph etched on the wall. Fence, Auschwitz-Birkenau depicts the preserved barriers of the death camp.

Turning to the left gives a view of this photograph, on a section between sharp angles. Track 17 as it appears today shows the Berlin freight yard where many Jews and other persecuted peoples were put on the trains to death camps and the ghettos.

Turning back around, this perspective gives us the historical panels on the left, across from Site Of Death March.

Hiding Place depicts a Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, outside the walls of the ghetto. A trench beneath the tombstones became a hiding spot for Jewish prisoners. 

Prayer Room is the last of these large scale etched photographs by Burtynsky. Found in Theresienstadt in what is today the Czech Republic, it was created in the midst of the camp-ghetto conditions as a place of prayer and devotion, and has been preserved.

A staircase leads up to an overlook that ends pointing towards Parliament Hill. Turning around, I photographed the structure. Two other visitors are visible up here.

And I finish with this view of the east side of the Monument.


  1. There were quite a lot of memorials or museums in the Eastern countries. I think it's better to stop actual wars and concentration camps, so we won't need that. Anyway nobody has learned anything out of the past !

  2. Impressive monument specially by night. Libeskind is going to make a monument in Amsterdam too.

  3. ...brings light to a dark period of history.

  4. I remember you've shown this before, but in darkness it's even more mysterious and impressive than during daylight, I think.

  5. The building is as beautiful as the Holocaust was horrible. So fitting that you photographed it at night.


  6. Very thought provoking, it looks stunning at night:)

  7. It is horrifying, but important to remember.

  8. @Gattina: I think it's important to preserve such places, at least in part, as a rebuttal to the hate mongers who claim it never happened, or try to diminish it.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Marianne: he is quite well known around the world.

    @Tom: it does indeed.

    @Jan: yes, I very much wanted to show it in both conditions.

    @Janis: it is very moving, particularly at night.

    @Rosie: it does indeed.

    @Sandi: definitely.

    @Maywyn: thank you.

  9. Thank you for taking me to this important place. It carries much significance for today's world. What a horrific period of time that was. :-(

  10. Thanks for explaining the monument, William. It is very unique.

  11. Such an effective monument. And great pics, William.

  12. Awesome monument. Our memory needs to be kept of such atrocities. We have to get much better than we are.

  13. Wow, such impressive architecture and lighting. It does look very solemn in that lighting.

  14. @DJan: it was.

    @Dina: you're welcome.

    @RedPat: it certainly is.

    @Red: that's true.

    @Sharon: I think it's the best time to visit it, in the evenings. I've done so more often than in daytime.

  15. It's absolutely breathtakingly beautiful William. In the daylight also, but here at night sent chills down my spine at the thought of the atrocities committed ✨

  16. Those ghostly photos are stunning, so atmospheric.

  17. Love this night view. A good reminder of “never again.”

  18. I think everyone should visit places like this and never forget. Thank you for the photos.

  19. Thank You Canada for standing for what is right! America will rejoin you, by and by...

  20. A great reminder for everyone to see and never forget. Thanks William!

  21. @Grace: it has that effect.

    @Jenny: I certainly think so.

    @Marie: it was well designed and thought out.

    @MB: definitely.

    @Jenn: you're welcome.

    @Cloudia: soon, hopefully!

    @Bill: you're welcome!

  22. Those museums around the world are places that disturb your emotions...this one is especially beautiful.

  23. This is almost too painful to view.

  24. The lights and shadows give the place a different look.

  25. Very dramatic at night. I visited the Dachau concentration camp near Munich and it was horrific!

  26. i don't usually take night shots, i enjoy the textures, and light glowness??! whatever u wanna call it? ( ;

  27. Thank you for that informative pictorial tour of the National Holocaust Monument. Beautifully done.

  28. Impressive monument especially by night.
    A reminder for all to see and not forget.

    Very good photographs William, thank you.

    All the best Jan

  29. It's an impressive monument to a horrific period in history.

  30. @Janey: I think so.

    @Happyone: very much so.

    @Catarina: indeed.

    @Kay: I know the feeling.

    @Nancy: that they do.

    @Sami: I can imagine.

    @Beth: I like to do so.

    @Barbara: you're welcome.

    @Klara: thank you.

    @Jan: you're welcome.

    @Beth: thanks!

    @Norma: it is.