The National Holocaust Monument lies across the street from the Canadian Firefighters Memorial, dedicated in memory of the victims of the darkest chapter of the Second World War. Over the course of the winter, access is only possible from the west side. This view, from the east, includes the Canadian War Museum in the background.
Friday, March 31, 2023
A Visit To The National Holocaust Monument
I headed towards the west entrance. The monument is a collaboration- Daniel Libeskind designed the architecture with its harsh angles, entirely appropriate to the subject. Claude Cormier handled the landscaping architecture. Historian Doris Bergen, Gail Lord, and Dov Goldstein consulted. And photographer Edward Burtynsky contributed photographs etched onto the walls.
Inside, we see two of Burtynsky's works. He photographed places connected to the Holocaust as they appear in the current day. At left is Hiding Place, Warsaw Jewish Cemetery, Poland, depicting a trench beneath tombstones which became a hiding place during raids. At right is Prayer Room, Theresienstadt, Czech Republic.
A look west.
Here we have Track 17, Berlin, Germany, a place that was the starting point for many trains taking Jewish prisoners and others to the killing sites.
Abandoned Railbed, Treblinka, Poland shows how quickly nature reclaims. It was along this rail spur that nearly a million people were taken to the death camp.
A look east here. The staircase to the overlook is closed off for the winter.
Fence, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland is appropriately stark.
Late in the war, aware that they were running out of time to hide their crimes, the Nazis took prisoners out and forced them on what was effectively a death march away from those areas where they were losing ground. Site Of Death March, Near Mauthausen, Austria depicts a place as it looks today. In April 1945, 20 000 Jewish prisoners were marched along this road. Anyone who couldn't keep up were shot and left in the ditches.
A series of panels across from it tells the story of the Holocaust.
My last shot features where I came in, with the west entrance and the War Museum beyond.