For such a stark yet provocative memorial, it’s easy to miss.
But if you head to 25th Street and Madison Avenue, on the facade of the circa-1900 marble Appellate Division Courthouse facing Madison Square Park, you’ll see it at eye level: a bas relief of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
It’s a grim and affecting aerial view of the camp. Buildings are arranged inside a high walls. “Torture Chamber” and “Commandant’s House” are inscribed beside two separate structures.
“Execution Wall” and “Gas Chamber and Crematorium I” are chillingly noted as well.
A small plaque next to it lets us know that this is a “Memorial to All Victims of the Holocaust,” completed in 1990 by Harriet Feigenbaum, who used a photo as her guide.
“Feigenbaum’s choice of source material is used to question the moral character of the Allies, who, by the taking the photo itself, exhibit their awareness of the camp existence, and their simultaneous indifference to addressing that very existence,” wrote Nasha Virita at Untapped Cities.
“By doing so, she demonstrates the terrors that arise when law and justice are left by the wayside.”
The smokestack-like column that tops the memorial mimics the columns of the rest of the building. Note the flames carved on the side, above the words “indifference to justice is the gate to hell.”
New York’s postwar-planned Holocaust memorial in Riverside Park remains unbuilt.
[Top photo: Wikipedia]