The Oregon Holocaust Memorial is an outdoor memorial dedicated to victims of the Holocaust. Located in Portland, Oregon's Washington Park, the memorial was dedicated on August 29, 2004. Owned by the American Jewish Committee and constructed by Atlas Landscape Architecture and the Walsh Construction Company, the idea for a memorial was proposed in 1994 by Alice Kern and a local group of Holocaust survivors that met through the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center. According to Fodor's, the memorial is open daily from dawn to dusk and admission is free of charge.
The memorial features a stone bench with wrought iron gating around a cobblestone circle. Scattered bronzes of common objects such as shoes, glasses, and a suitcase represent items left behind by those persecuted during the Holocaust. A cobblestone walkway, with granite bars simulating railroad tracks, leads to a wall containing a history of the Holocaust as well as quotes from survivors. The memorial also contains a "soil vault panel", which covers soil and ash from six extermination camps of the Holocaust (Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bełżec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Treblinka, and Sobibor) brought back by local residents. Engraved on the back of the wall are the names of people who died in the camps, as well as the names of their surviving relatives in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Author and designer John Laursen created the lettering for the memorial. Other design team members included artists Tad Savinar and Paul Sutinen, landscape architects John Warner, Marianne Zarkin and Marlene Salon, and historian Marshall Lee.
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Oregon Holocaust Memorial Reviews
I happened upon this memorial as I was making my way downhill from the Japanese Gardens. Upon entering the memorial are I noticed ‘items’ half-buried under a fallen layer of leaves. It took me a... more »
We visited the Holocaust Memorial after our visit to the Rose Test Garden. It was moving in its simplicity with specific attention for families associated with Oregon. Very well done and easy to... more »
I found the memorial to be very powerful. I was in tears just walking up to it after seeing the baby shoe and doll etc. It was beautifully written and the messages on the wall were heart wrenching. It's very small, but definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.
Moving, heart wrenching, thought provoking. One of the best, if not the best, Holocaust memorials I have seen. Lost and damaged belongings in bronze strewn around the ground elicited quite an emotional reaction from the start. The writings on the walls were powerful and the history told was very well explained. It was succinct and powerful. It highlighted the importance of seeing the commonalities in all of us as human beings and the need to be there for one another. I left in tears. Definitely worth visiting this memorial site.
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