The National Holocaust Memorial, Athens 2010
The National memorial in honor of the Greek-Jewish victims of the holocaust is located in the archaeological center of Athens overlooking the ancient burial ground of Keramikos.
Simple geometric and metaphorical language is used to refer to the Jewish people and communities destroyed during World War II, while also linking the environs and particularly the ancient burial site at Keramikos in a meaningful dialogue with the memorial.
The central site in Athens is transformed into a compass by abstracting the star of David, its points broken off, to show the orientation of the places throughout Greece from which Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.
The sculpture is composed of 7 pieces of solid marble. The central hexagon is surrounded by triangular pieces that are carved on the inner facade with the names of cities and towns from which victims of the Nazis were deported- places that prior to WWII had thriving Jewish communities.
The triangular pieces become the points on a compass and the listing of cities and towns on the inner facades clearly refers to tombstones, and the burial site of Keramikos.
Planted around the monument is a herbal garden as a metaphor for place, healing and memory. Herbs from around Greece are planted in accordance to the orientation of the star.
People can walk through and around the monument as in a garden. The orientation of the star of David and the smell from the herbs all act together as a catalyst of memory and a tribute the dead and lost homelands.
Landscape design in collaboration with Simon Rackham Landscape Architects. simonrackham.com