Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
by Joy S
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
June 30, 2011
From journal 5 Nights in South Beach
Great Falls, Virginia
June 12, 2008
From journal Sunny Florida 2008
by Adventures With Adam
New York, New York
March 4, 2005
While the statue is the memorial's centerpiece, the site certainly holds more to investigate. Around the back side of the large hand stands a semicircular black granite wall covered with a wooden arbor. Using maps and photos etched into the stone, the black granite panels tell the whole, heartbreaking story of the World War II Holocaust, when six million Jews were killed throughout Europe. Kristallnacht, the public humiliations, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Nazi death camps and crematoriums are all represented. It's a story so sad that even the liberation seems a somber event.
Halfway along the wall, you are directed away from the arbor into a tunnel that gets smaller as you walk through, creating a claustrophobic sensation of collapsing space. Then the passage opens up into the sunlight, where you can get a close-up view of the statue. Upon closer inspection, you can now see the letters and numbers inscribed on the giant forearm, representing the tattoos worn by concentration camp inmates. Each of the horrific figures ascending the arm seems to have a story to tell--some rising, some falling, some helping others, some trampled by others.
After returning through the tunnel, you can continue along the black granite wall, which beyond that point is etched with the names of thousands of Holocaust victims. It's a spot for quiet contemplation and meditation, which seems out of place in a party town like South Beach. You probably wouldn't want to visit here after kicking back a few mojitos at afternoon happy hour; but if you come upon it during the morning, as we did, it could be a powerful experience. The memorial is open daily from 9am to 9pm, and admission is free.
From journal Adventures in Miami
Bayside, New York
July 20, 2004
It took about five years to build this memorial whose idea was conceived by Miami survivors of families that perished in the Holocaust. The contrast of horrific facts and recreations of anguish stands firmly next to a reflecting pool of unimagined tranquility.
Let’s start at the beginning. When you enter, you are met by what is unmistakably a mother in a protective stance with her two children. You will revisit that family as you exit, but this time, they are not standing. You will walk through the "Lonely Path", pictured below, whose only light comes from above it in the form of a Star of David. Upon its walls, as it gets narrower until you exit, you can read the names of the infamous Nazi death camps.
The history of the Holocaust is recalled with etched photos on black granite walls with appropriate inscriptions. A similar group of walls bears witness to the massacre with names of those who perished. As you get closer to the outstretched hand, you can see and feel the angst captured on the faces of the bronze figures. One in particular tries to reach out to the group clutching onto the forearm of that hand, which by the way, displays an Auschwitz number. Two skeletal figures appear to be saying goodbye to each other; a child at the entrance is depicted as screeching in terror.
I realized that the reflecting pool is of great value to this memorial, as it helped me sort out my personal anguish and feelings of revulsion at what I was seeing. An eternal flame burns on a sconce on one of the walls; there is a remarkable inscription by Anne Frank that alludes to her belief that no matter what happens, people are basically good inside.
The memorial is as much a reminder of the most unthinkable crime of the last century as a provider of solace to those who seek some closure for the loved ones they lost. Go see it.
From journal Locos in Miami