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How is it possible to memorialize the Six Million?
ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM ASSOCIATE EDITOR
eside a small tower of thick ty administrators, who com-
stones and in front of a plained it obstructed their driving
pale brick wall is a frieze route at the school.
In 1988, the problem was
of a man, bearded and with
sharp figures, his arms wrapped solved. "A jackhammer crew from
the university demolished the
around figures of children.
Their faces are distinct and Black Form." The result: "An ab-
universal at the same time. Their sent people would now be com-
gaze speaks of unspeakable memorated by an absent
Filled with photographs, The
The work is a tribute to author
Janusz Korczak, who lived his life Texture of Memory also reviews
for children and died with them memorials throughout the Unit-
ed States and in Aus-
tria and Poland,
discusses the state of
the former death
camps, and looks at
Yom Hashoah in IS-
rael, where the dead
are remembered with
a moment of silence.
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Spring .. .
Just before the hour,
some people in the
street begin to hesitate
and wait. Then the
siren begins, low and
deep and rises until it
reaches scream pitch,
an open-mouthed wail.
Depending on where
one stands, the siren
can be unbearably loud
or is muffled by build-
who looks up wondrously at the
suddenly still streets.
1111 he children's father "has
It's in his heart and it's
in his eyes.
I saw a wolf in the zoo once,
with eyes like that. He was pac-
ing back and forth in his cage, up
and down and up and down, to
the front and back again. I spent
a long time staring at him
through the bars.
Full of worry, I went to look for
(my brothers) Max and Simon.
They were hanging over the rail-
ings around the monkey rock,
laughing at a baboon throwing
"Please, come and look at the
wolf" I said, but they weren't in-
terested. Only when I started to
cry did Max reluctantly turn
away and follow me.
"Well?" he said in a bored voice
when we were standing in front
of the wolfs cage. 'What's the mat-
ter with him?"
"He has camp!" I sobbed.
In Nightfather (Persea
Books), Carl Friedman tells of
growing up in a home where the
Holocaust never goes away —
though which death camp the fa-
Ann Arbor's memorial to the Six Million.
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Allied Member ASID
(though he was offered the
chance to escape) in the gas
chambers of Nazi Germany. Lo-
cated at Yad Vashem, the memo-
rial is aptly called "Pillar of
For decades men have strug-
gled for ways to remember the
Holocaust — through books,
through words, through art. Now
James E. Young considers some
of those memorials in The Tex-
ture of Memory (Yale Universi-
Professor of English and Ju-
daic studies at the University of
Young begins his book by con-
sidering Holocaust memorials in
Germany. One sculpture there
called the Black Form, a tribute
to the "missing Jews of Munster,"
sat "like an abandoned coffin ings and trees. All in the street
amid soaring mock-baroque fa- stop in their tracks: taxis, buses,
cades and gas lamps, a black trucks, pedestrians. Drivers get
blight squatting in the center of out of their cars, some look up at
a sunny and graceful university the sky, then at their watches, and
then down at the ground. Most
It did not remain abandoned stand with heads bowed, shoul-
for long. Like so many other ders hunched. At the corner of
memorials recalling the Six Mil- King George and Ben Yehuda
lion, this one soon found the at- streets in Jerusalem, where I
tention of gangs and stand, an old man shakes un-
pseudo-artists, who covered it controllably. A young mother
with graffiti, and then universi- clenches the hand of her child,
Carl Friedman: Chicken pox and "camp."
ther was in remains a mystery.
He only talks about "the camp."
It's there in the books about
American Indians ("In the end
the Indians were sent off to reser-
vations, to ghettos where they fell
sick with grief," the father says)
and in a spoiled homecoming
("When my train came in this
morning, I broke into a cold
sweat. I don't know what got into
me."). It's even in the movie the-
ater, in a film about Odysseus.