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Pic of the week: Solemn tribute at Holocaust memorial

By Kerry McKittrick

A lone hand throws a single white rose onto a column at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, close to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Wednesday to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The memorial consists of 2,711 concrete columns of the same length and width, but each of varying height.

There is also an attached Place of Information underneath the memorial, featuring a timeline of the Final Solution, the stories of 15 Jewish families and a room containing the name of every Jewish Holocaust victim.

According to architect Peter Eisenman, who created the memorial, the columns (or 'stelae') are designed to produce a feeling of uneasiness, or a confusing atmosphere.

Holocaust Memorial Day was marked around the globe to commemorate more than six million Jews who were killed in the Nazi Final Solution during the Second World War.

Holocaust Remembrance Day (or Holocaust Memorial Day, as it's known in the UK) has been held on January 27 each year since 2001.

The date was chosen to remember the genocide as it was on that day in 1945 that Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

More than 1.1 million people died at Auschwitz between 1941 and 1945. Most of them were Jews, but Poles, homosexuals, Soviet prisoners of war and thousands of others also died there.

Those who didn't perish in the gas chambers were forced into labour. Most of those would go on to die from starvation, execution, disease or through grotesque medical experiments.

When the liberating troops arrived at the camp, they discovered more than 7,500 prisoners.

These were the sick or dying who had been left behind when Hitler ordered the evacuation of all the camps.

The Nazis marched 58,000 of Auschwitz's prisoners towards Germany - around 20,000 of them survived the march to arrive at the Bergen-Belsen camp.

On Wednesday, David Cameron revealed plans to build a Holocaust Memorial in London close to the Houses of Parliament.

An international design competition will be launched with the monument being constructed in 2017 and will include an education and learning centre.

Belfast Telegraph


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