Auckland Domain will be home for a new Holocaust Memorial made of Jewish ghetto cobblestones.

December 7, 2017 by Keren Cook
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Auckland is receiving its first ever Holocaust tribute in the shape of a living garden formed by using cobblestones from a Jewish ghetto.

Bob Narev
Photo: Stephen Robinson

The Auckland Holocaust Memorial Trust (AHMT) will embark on designing a living and dynamic landscape called the Garden of Humanity in the Auckland Domain after receiving the Auckland Domain Committee’s approval last week.

The place for this living landscape has been earmarked outside the Winter Garden and will feature approximately 200 cobblestones built around an overgrown pond.

Bob Narev, AHM trust founder, is a Holocaust survivor and spent two years in Therensienstadt concentration camp in the Czech Republic.

Mr Narev says the garden has the potential to show people what discrimination and racism and persecution can lead to.

The cobblestones were originally part of a street in a ghetto in Warsaw, Poland and were gifted to the Auckland War Memorial Museum by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum five years ago.

The ghetto is an important symbol of human triumph in the face of adversity, after its Jewish residents stood up and fought deportation to death camps and fought against German soldiers for over a month in 1943.

Holocaust survivor Mr Narev says there is a growing interest in the lessons that could be taken from the Holocaust.

Narev stresses the importance of sharing his experience saying: “There’s not many of us left to tell the story.”

About the live garden Mr Narev shares, “we are excited about it happening and hopefully happening here,” as the garden has the potential to show people what discrimination and racism and persecution could lead to, he says.

Auckland Domain Committee Auckland councilor Mike Lee said it was looking forward to seeing designs and the scope of the project.

The site has been approved in principle, and is pending on the design that is presented.

 

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