New England Holocaust Memorial

Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazis created a regime of hate and victimization in Germany that eventually consumed most of Europe. Driven by racist beliefs, they killed millions of men, women, and children in their quest to dominate Europe and to create a “pure and superior” race. The Nazis singled out the Jews for total extermination, their very existence to be erased from history and memory. Before their defeat in 1945, the Nazi regime murdered six million Jews—more than half of Europe’s Jewish population. This memorial is dedicated to those six million Jewish men, women, and children. Here we create a marker—a place to grieve for the victims and for the destruction of their culture—a place to give them an everlasting name.

We seek to encourage a universal understanding of all that happened in that period. Nearly 11 million people, of many races, religions, and nationalities were murdered by the Nazis. Among the victims were Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, political dissidents, homosexuals, and the mentally and physically disabled. Survivors of the death camps, those who courageously aided them, and those soldiers who liberated them with compassion were caught up in this great tragedy, and they carry the burden of those memories throughout their lives. We acknowledge each unique experience, as well as the horror of the collective history.

To remember their suffering is to recognize the danger and evil that are possible whenever one group persecutes another. As you walk this Freedom Trail, pause here to reflect on the consequences of a world in which there is no freedom—a world in which basic human rights are not protected. And know that wherever prejudice, discrimination and victimization are tolerated, evil like the Holocaust can happen again.

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