A shocking monument dedicated to the children of the holocaust

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Praskipark on October 26, 2012

The monument dedicated to the Children of the Holocaust is just behind the Janusz Korczak Monument also set in a small park area with benches and trees.This monument was much more disturbing although the subject matter is similar. It is dedicated to the children who were victims of the holocaust and was donated by a man called Jack Eisner.

He had a very large family who were killed by the Nazis. From a distance it looks like a bit of broken wall - that's what it is supposed to look like, it represents the ruined Ghetto Wall. A path leads to the wall which has been tiled in a way that it resembles a Menorah, a symbol of Judaism, a long, tall, seven branched lampstand. At the foot of the ruin lies a bed of broken concrete covered in small pebbles, small tins holding candles, photographs of children embedded into the stone. On the base of this monument there is an inscription that reads, 'In Memory of one million Jewish Children murdered by Nazi German Barbarians, 1939-1945.' The sponsor, Jack Eisner's name is also engraved underneath the inscription. The inscription is written in English, Polish and Hebrew.

From a distance and as you approach the wall it is very difficult to make out what is on top of the ruined concrete. At first I thought the small candle tins were old fashioned tins of Heinz baby food. It wasn't until I leanined over the ruin I saw that there were small white candles inside each tin. All the photographs are in black and white and are of children. Most of the girls and boys in the photos are smiling, only a couple of children look solemn.

To the left of the wall there are three marble tablets attached, of a poem written by a child from the Ghetto, Henryka Lazowert. It's a sad poem written in 1941, titled the Little Smuggler. The subject is starvation, desperation but also courage. It tells the story of a child sneaking out of the Ghetto to find food for his mother and also about his worries of dying and leaving her alone. From his words I could see that the boy knew that death was unavoidable but he wasn't worried about himself, only his Mama. The poem has been inscribed in all three languages, English, Polish and Hebrew.

It's strange how a man made monument like this - just a piece of wall with bricks cemented together and a rough stone platform covered in candles and photographs can make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Well, that's what happened to me. I was shocked and had to walk away, deep in thought, to another part of the cemetery.

It is one of the saddest monuments I have witnessed in Warsaw. If you do visit the Jewish Cemetery please take a few minutes to look at this piece of work donated by Jack Eisner.
Jewish Cemetery/Cmentarz Zydowski
Ul. Okopowa 49/51
Warsaw, Poland, 01-043
+48 22 838 2622


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