In late 1984 a group of Holocaust survivors from around Miami all came together to form a committee dedicated to the memory of over six million Jewish victims (over one million of those being children under the age of 6) of the senseless Holocaust.
The Holocaust Memorial Committee, with full cooperation and support from Miami, started the developing ideas for the site and seeking financial support from any source they could find. The present day site at Meridian Ave and Dade Blvd was suggested by the City of Miami Beach Commission because of the large amount of tourist flow experienced there.
Architect and sculptor, Kenneth Treister, was the chosen one by the committee to memorialize the suffering and portray the events of the Holocaust through artistic representation. In February of 1990, the Holocaust Memorial was dedicated and opened in one of the highest turnouts of support that Miami had seen in years.
Mr. Treister’s design virtually puts you by the side of a suffering mother with her small child in the first sculpture at the beginning of the plaza. The first of Anne Frank’s messages is framed here; “…in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. Following the path forward you walk through columns of Jerusalem stone with a large black granite slab etched with photographs of the Holocaust.
The feelings that this part of the exhibit stirs inside you will not be forgotten soon. A quiet garden of meditation is your next step in the journey. Mr. Treister felt that this area was a necessary stop along the way after viewing the photographs of the tortured souls in the area just before entering here. This is the area where these courageous souls can be quietly mourned and remembered.
Thousands of families of Holocaust survivors spend time reflecting at this spot every year. Next is the opportunity to walk through the Dome of Contemplation. This name is fitting to the area because of the eternal flame (portrayed by a yellow light projected through a Star of David) you see burning in the center of the dome. The scripture from Psalms 23 is inscribed on the surrounding walls.
The next area in the memorial is the most talked about and photographed area in the entire Holocaust Memorial, the sculpture of Love and Anguish. Portrayed in this scene is a large arm and hand reaching up out of the earth extending towards the sky. Clearly marked on the arm is the tattoo that sufferers of the Holocaust were forced to endure. Towards the base of the arm you can see that it is made up of many small figures coming together to form the one united hand. The following areas bring you past the memorial wall with all of the known survivors and a list of the Nazi camps that took the lives of millions of innocent Jewish descendants. This journey through history is something that every person should experience by themselves first hand.
Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach
1933-1945 Meridian Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139