Through Gabriella's Eyes
6,000,000 Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust and also 5,000,000 non-Jewish people were murdered in WWII, all civilians. The 6 columns of this sculpture are symbolizing the Jewish people. The leaves are representing the dead people, because a falling leaf from a tree, is not alive anymore. The screaming faces are showing the agony of Jewish people before their death. In the center, the sign shows that alongside the Jews also 5M civilians were killed. The signs in between the columns are showing us the persecuted people.
The groups are:
HANDICAPPED: There was no place for disabled persons. Hitler decided that he will not support the disabled. During his “cleansing program” people with various handicaps were put to death.
CHRISTIANS: Priest and Pastors died for their beliefs. They were forced into concentration camps; some were executed, and some died from starvation.
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES: They didn’t believe in the Nazi ideology and they were willing to die for their beliefs. They refused to recognize any other God besides Jehovah.
COURAGEOUS RESISTERS: Resistance occurred in every occupied country in Europe - made up of children, teenagers, and men and women who were responsible in defending thousands of Jewish citizens. Many were killed for their acts of courage.
GYPSIES: Same as the Jews, gypsies were chosen for total annihilation. The Germans believed both the Jews and the Gypsies were racially inferior and degenerate and therefore worthless.
HOMOSEXUALS: Hitler’s plan for a “Master Race” had no room for any homosexuals. They were persecuted and executed.
12 WINDOWS TO THE UNFORGETTABLE PAST
WINDOW ONE: WHERE WAS THE WORLD WHEN THE NAZIS INVADED EUROPE?
WINDOW TWO: BURNING OF RELIGIOUS BOOKS – KRISTALNACHT
WINDOW THREE: BUNK BEDS IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMP
WINDOW FOUR: STARVING PRISONER
WINDOW FIVE: DEATH MARCH
WINDOW SIX: PRISONERS UNDER FORCED LABOR
WINDOW SEVEN: THE SILENT SCREAM
WINDOW EIGHT: LOSING THE PRECIOUS CHILD
WINDOW NINE: AUSCHWITZ GATE WITH TATOO ON JEWISH HAND
WINDOW TEN: RAILROADS LEADING TO A GAS CHAMBER
WINDOW ELEVEN: WEDDING RINGS
WINDOW TWELVE: FROM TRAGEDY TO A NEW BEGINNING - STATE OF ISRAEL
WILL THE BUTTERFLIES FLY AGAIN
The butterflies represents the transformation of our life from normal to a merely existing stage, The question is if there will be normal life again, or will be life at all. The sad screaming faces are the vision we all had in our minds, The hope to survive is a dream we wanted to believe will become a reality. The girl represents expectation in her fate and is hoping to see butterflies fly away.
THE SURVIVAL OF THE SHABBAT CANDLES
Kristalnacht”, November 9, 1938, was the beginning of the horrors. We heard the news about stores being vandalized, windows broken, merchandise burned and people thrown out from windows to their death. Can this really be true, that a civilized people could do it?
My sculpture shows the Sabbath candles surviving the burning flames. This is to commemorate the enduring qualities of Judaism. In spite of all the difficulties, Jews are still lighting Shabbat candles, and the Jewish tradition continues.
THE VISION OF THE HOLOCAUST
HIDDEN IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH
The sculpture is about myself during WWII. It depicts my parents, two uncles, my aunt, and a couple (family friends) who were hiding with me. It also shows a gentile man who brought us food. The shoes screaming represents my thoughts about all the people in the concentration camps who had to take off their shoes before their were killed. The boots outside the fence represents the Nazis marching in front of the building where I was hidden.
This sculpture is displayed in the Holocaust Museum in Slovakia.
When I was a little girl I adored my Grandmother. I still do and continue to miss her. She taught me all the skills she knew. She was very adept with her hands. This sculpture is my effort to honor her with a permanent memorial. The open book represents the thoughts I still have trying to remember and learn from what she taught me. I chose the fuchsia because it was her favorite flower.
THE NUNS IN URSULINKI CONVENT IN BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA
OUR FAMILIES PERISHED, BUT THEIR SPIRIT LIVES ON
Sometimes when thinking about the Holocaust we do not remember that each person who died during the Holocaust was part of somebody’s family. In my family about 75 people perished. My Grandmother was taken to Terezin and from there to Treblinka. This is where she was shot to death by Germans. Many of my great uncles and cousins, were part of the 6 million who died in the Holocaust. The mourning continues, but we don’t understand the purpose of their death.
They still live in my heart. I made this sculpture as a memorial to all our relatives to be sure we will never forget them as long as we live, and to help all that follow us pledge this should never happen again.
OUR LAST POSSESSION
First they took away our citizenship, then they took away our jobs, and then our apartments. And when they took people away on the trains, they allowed them to take with them a small luggage. When they arrived with the train to the camp and they stepped out of the train, the first thing they took away was the last thing from home: the small luggage.
This sculpture depicts a nun hiding a young girl and is dedicated to the nuns at the convent in Czechoslovakia where I was hidden with two other Jewish girls during World War II. The nuns cared for us with concern, were able to save us from the difficulties of the world. I have warm memories of them and constructed this sculpture to show my appreciation.
This sculpture is on a permanent exhibit in the Holocaust Museum in Bratislava, Slovakia (Haydukova Street).
AWAITING THE FREEDOM TRAIN
This sculpture represents people returning on a train from a concentration camp. Relatives and friends of those who had been captured went to the railroad station daily in hopes of seeing a familiar face. Because the skeleton-like arrivals looked so similar it was difficult to recognize a particular person
WE REMEMBER THEM
SHIMMERING LEAVES - PERISHED FAMILIES
May the tragic death of the six million Jews who were murdered be not in vain, but as a reminder to us all that we must prevent anything like this from ever happening again. May those who were lost always have a place in our hearts.
My terrible traumatic memories will never leave me. It is impossible to describe the horror, pain, grief, and the utter hopelessness we felt during World War II and the Holocaust. These memories can never be erased from my mind, which compelled me to create the memorial, “We Remembered Them”, as a loving tribute to all 75 people from our family that perished in the Holocaust.
The loss of my family members left a permanent emotional scar, deepened by the loss of friends, acquaintances and the millions of others. The time spent in hiding to survive forced me to replace the playful innocent days of my childhood with fear of being caught. Even today, I still feel the pain and suffering of those in the Holocaust, constantly reminded by the memories of seeing the anguished faces of people being arrested and deported, as I peered out from my hiding place. My wish is that the future generations learn from the history of the Holocaust, and commit themselves to rejecting prejudice and unjust behavior. I feel it is very important for those who actually experienced the time to create a permanent record of the toll on them, both mental and physical.
Each leaf represents an individual that cannot be here today. I imagine a name appearing on each and every leaf. The leaves are moving physically and spiritually, the way the memory of those lost never rests. The vast number of names is an inconceivable, overwhelming amount. To emotionally feel the huge number of the 6,000,000 Jews that perished in the Holocaust, one has to think about one child, one mother, one father, one family… and then begin to multiply it seemingly forever.