Remembering The Holocaust Through Art and Architecture

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,

According to the Hebrew calender, Holocaust Remembrance Day or Yom HaShoah will begin at sunset today (Wednesday April, 18) and end at sunset tomorrow (Thursday April, 19) falling on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, that occurred on April 19, 1943.  The uprising, that sadly resulted in most of those who rebelled being murdered, inspired Jewish communities in other parts of Europe to come together and stand against German soldiers who were infiltrating their homes and taking them to death camps. 

Around the world communities will be gathering, lighting candles, saying prayers and reflecting on the horrific genocide of World War II. 

Sh alechet (Fallen Leaves)             Menashe Kadishman  — Jewish Museum, Berlin

Almost 6 million Jewish people were murdered during the Holocaust. SIX MILLION…

A horrific number and a loss that has left gaps in families and communities all over the world.

This loss has been translated into stirring works of art and architecture all over the world, but especially at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The modern part of the museum, built by Daniel Libeskind, contains five cavernous voids with bare grey concrete walls. 

Scattered over the ground of these cold, sterile spaces is a shocking steel installation piece by Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman called “Sh alechet” (Fallen Leaves) that looks eerily like massive screaming faces. 

According to the architect, the physical voids reference the literal voids in the Jewish-Berlin history that exist because;

Humanity [has literally been] reduced to ashes
— Daniel Libeskind, 2000

Void             Daniel Libeskind — Jewish Museum, Berlin