Victims of the HolocaustPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The three-metre sculpture, entitled Tomb, comprises six angled bronze chimneys, representing the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust between 1939-1945 and who have no known graves.

Beneath it lie ashes from Auschwitz, bone fragments from the Chelmno camp, soil from a mass grave in a Latvian forest and twigs from a plant given by the parents of a child victim. The ashes were buried at the site in a ceremony held on the 16th May 2004. The furnaces that consumed the bodies of 6 million Jews in World War Two also denied the victims a proper burial under Jewish law, which forbids cremation.

Sculptor Andrew Rogers who lost extended family in the Holocaust, completed the work voluntarily for the Melbourne Jewish Museum and Holocaust Centre.

A sculptor has created a tribute as a focus for Melbourne's Jews, writes Jill Stark.

Every school pupil who walks through Melbourne's Holocaust Museum gives survivors hope that one of history's darkest periods will never be repeated. Now in its 21st year, the centre is testament to the horrors of Nazi concentration camps and the persecution of Jewish people. It befits a city that plays host to one of the world's largest populations of Holocaust survivors.

But most of Melbourne's 8000 survivors have nowhere to grieve for the countless family members lost in the camps. Bodies were burnt and the ashes often dumped in rivers or used to fertilise fields. For those who made it out alive, having no place to commemorate their dead compounds an unimaginable grief.

Last year, staff at the Holocaust Museum buried ashes and bones of victims in Springvale Cemetery to honour the unknown dead. Now the remains have been interred in a unique monument, unveiled at a ceremony yesterday. The ashes interred in the monument come from the camp at Auschwitz, the bones were brought to the centre by a Latvian migrant whose parents were among 31,000 Jews shot and buried in a communal grave outside Riga.

Melbourne sculptor Andrew Rogers created the three-metre monument, entitled Tomb. It comprises six angled bronze chimneys, representing the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The rent and fractured chimneys signify destroyed lives and are angled to highlight the difference to the vertical tombstones surrounding them.

Rogers, an internationally renowned sculptor who lost extended family members in the Holocaust, hopes it will convey a powerful message. "I think what I'm trying to do is perpetuate memory, because I believe that without memory we are nothing," he says. "Historically, memory is very important for a community and for victims so that those that have gone before, that laughed and loved, aren't forgotten."
The Age. 16 May 2005.

The Holocaust was a genocide in which Adolf Hitler'`s Nazi Germany and its collaborators killed about six million Jews. The victims included 1.5 million children and represented about two-thirds of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe. Some definitions of the Holocaust include the additional five million non-Jewish victims of Nazi mass murders bringing the total to about 11 million.


Address:50 Browns Road, Melbourne Chevra Kadisha Springvale Cemetery, Noble Park North, 3174
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.945607
Long: 145.187837
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945
Monument Designer:Andrew Rogers (Sculptor)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 15th May, 2005
Front Inscription
Plaques: (Inscription in English and Hebrew)

" In memory of men, women and children
all victims of the Holocaust, 1939-1945.
Gassed in extermination camps,
killed in forests and ravines
ghettos, concentration camps or during transit.
Died of starvation or illness while resisting.
Never to be forgotten.  
Interred are ...
ashes from Auschwitz,
soil from Riga - Rumbuli forest and
fragments of Chelmo and
plant matter - given by a parent or child
who was killed in the Holocaust.
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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