Originally created 05/01/00

Holocaust victims get memorial



The 2-year-old Augusta Jewish Community Center in Evans will get its final touch Tuesday with the dedication of a memorial to the estimated 6 million Jews lost in the Holocaust.

Rabbis Jordan Parr from Congregation Children of Israel and Alex Greenbaum from Adas Yeshurun synagogue will lead the service, which begins at 7:15 p.m. The event coincides with the annual International Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Holocaust.

The memorial, made from white marble poly-resin, is in the form of a flame blowing in the wind. The flame is formed by six intertwining bands, each representing a million lives, the artist, John T. Grogan of Atlanta, said.

"One million is such a huge number, and here we are remembering more than 6 million," Mr. Grogan said.

Dachau, Buchenwald and the names of other Nazi death and concentration camps appear along the bands of the flame.

The sculpture is the first of a limited edition of 12.

An anonymous donor provided funds for the memorial, which was six months in the making, said Mike Pousman, executive director of Augusta Jewish Community Center.

"It is an important physical sign of remembrance. That dark time needs to be in memory so that it will not happen again," he said.

As Adolf Hitler gained power in Germany in the 1930s, the legal rights of the Jewish population shrank. The Gestapo, the German secret police, was established in April 1933.

Jews from Germany and other Nazi-dominated countries were first persecuted, then sent to concentration camps. Allied forces liberated the camps in 1945, but not before 6 million had died.

People have to work hard to prevent anything like that from happening again, Mr. Pousman said.

"We have a duty to do that," he said.

Reach Virginia Norton at (706) 823-3336.

Remembrance

What: Holocaust memorial dedication

Where: Augusta Jewish Community Center, 898 Weinberger Way, Evans

When: 7:15 p.m. Tuesday

Phone: 228-3636.