Nashua Holocaust Memorial reflects years of devoted effort
NASHUA — The New Hampshire Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on Sunday as attendees reflected on the millions killed by the Nazis decades ago.
“We have not yet healed completely from the sickness of hate,” said Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett while standing in front of the newly constructed granite memorial housed at Rotary Common Park along Main Street.
The monument, paid for with private donations, consists of six 11,000-pound granite walls, set onto a concrete hexagon 28 feet in diameter. Each of the walls is engraved with the name of an extermination camp: Sobibor, Chelmno, Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek and Belzek.
“This (monument) behind us is an open wound,” said Spira-Savett, who is hopeful it will eventually represent a healed scar and a peaceful place in the Gate City community.
About 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust, which included approximately six million Jews. The Nazis were responsible for killing about two-thirds of the Jewish population living in Europe between 1933-1945.
Fred Teeboom, a former Nashua alderman, was born in Holland around the start of World War II.
“I am a child survivor,” said Teeboom, who along with his parents and brother made it through the Holocaust. More than 270 of his extended relatives were killed during that time, he said.
“They were murdered by the Nazis for no other reason than they were Jews,” said Teeboom. “This shall never be forgotten.”
Teeboom spearheaded the memorial, which is visible from Main Street and located next to Salmon Brook. It has been a nearly five-year project.
Dozens of people attended Sunday’s dedication ceremony for the monument, where a tribute entitled “A Child’s View of the Holocaust” by the New England Dance Ensemble was performed.
Pastor Paul Berube said it is appropriate for Nashua to hold the state’s only Holocaust Memorial, as it is the Gate City into New Hampshire.
“We stand with the Jewish community,” Berube said.
John M. Weidman of the Andres Institute of Art designed the $150,000 monument, telling those in attendance that the structure is for everyone, regardless of their faith.
“We are a part of everything, and we cannot let it happen again,” said Weidman, noting the first entry plaque at the monument reads ‘never forget,’ and the last exit plaque states ‘never again.’