on June 30, 2011
This is not, I think, on the agenda for most tourists and visitors to Miami Beach. I am very glad that we visited, and I do think it is a place you should see during a stay in South Beach.The memorial is located at 1933-1945 Meridian Avenue. We got there early in the morning, before the sun got really hot later in the day.The memorial was opened in 1990 and was the idea of a committee of Holocaust survivors. Apparently, there are more survivors of the Holocaust living in Miami than there are in Israel. It is a very inspirational memorial to the Jewish victims who were killed during the Holocaust - more than 6 million who perished.You can see the main part of the memorial - the huge hand reaching out to the sky - from a distance away. The other parts however are equally memorable.The first part is sculptures of a mother and her 2 children, with a quotation by Anne Frank behind, which says, "In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart."You walk through an arbor which had beautiful bougainvillea growing over the top. On one side is a black granite wall which has pictures etched into it from the Holocaust. There is then a domed area with an eternal flame of remembrance burning. On the wall are words from Psalm 23."The lonely path" - a dark tunnel made of stone has gaps at intervals where the sun shines through. When you walk along here, there is an eerie sound of singing which is quite strange but very haunting. It is actually the voices of Israeli children singing songs from the Holocaust. Names of concentration camps are carved into the walls.All of a sudden, it feels like, you come out of the darkness and into the sunlight and the central area. The huge arm, visible from a distance is right in front of you. It is outstretched to the skies and has a tattoo on it - a number from Auschwitz. Around the bottom of the huge hand, are bronze figures with tortured faces and expressions, all clinging to the arm and climbing up it. There are men, women and children of all ages. At various places away from the arm, there are also life-sized bronze figures of concentration camp victims.There is a memorial wall made of black granite, which has the names of Holocaust victims etched into it.The whole visit here, was for me, overwhelming and memorable. It is a true reminder of the crimes of humanity. Our 7 year old was equally solemn and serious as he looked around. It is a place everyone should make time for.
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