The Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial takes visitors through a series of sculptures, architecture, statues, and gardens, guiding each person who travels the path through the memorial on a reflective journey of a significant time in history. Sculptor Kenneth Treister received the commission in 1985 and was charged with the task of creating a memorial and garden that would show the history of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and would serve to educate future generations.
The Holocaust Memorial in Miami is a visual memorial to the six million Jewish men, women, and children who perished during this period. The memorial took four years to create, and the memorial attempts to emphasize the mood and emotion of that time in history using a mixture of textures, colors, and materials. Visiting the memorial is one of the most moving things visitors can do on a Miami vacation.
A tour of the Miami Holocaust Memorial consists of a self-guided walk that begins with a sculpture of two children and their mother holding on to each other as the signs of the impending Holocaust appear. Continuing along the path, visitors reach a colonnade of Jerusalem stone pillars supporting a wooden arbor and trailing vines. Following along beside the path, black slabs of granite are etched with pictures depicting the history of the Holocaust.
Within the Holocaust Memorial in Miami is a serene garden containing a large plaza and a tranquil lily pond that is 200 feet in diameter. The circular pond is the Jewish symbol for continuity and filled with lilies that bloom day and night, producing white flowers representative of those who died. Along the path, an enclosed dome contains an eternal flame. A shaft of yellow light depicts the Star of David against the floor and the 23rd Psalm is inscribed along the dome's wall.
Visitors to the Holocaust Memorial in Miami then move from the dome area onto the path leading through a dark tunnel with only glimpses of sunlight filtering through a few openings while listening to the voices of children singing. At the end of the path, a sculpture of a crying child greets you as you emerge from the tunnel and cries louder as you approach.
One of the most striking sculptures at the Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial is the bronze, tattooed arm of a dying person rising from the earth. The sculpture's meaning is decided by each individual's interpretation of what the upraised arm symbolizes. The freestanding figures surrounding the arm, as well as those clinging to it, allow visitors to interact and touch the bronze, life-sized sculptures.
Along the black granite walls of the memorial, you will see names of many victims of the Holocaust etched into the granite slabs to commemorate friends and family. After reaching the final sculpture, visitors to the Miami Holocaust Memorial return to the reflecting pool where the journey ends. At this quiet place, each person can reflect of the journey taken and their emotions and thoughts.
Throughout the year, the Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial offers events including Lecture Series, Yom HaShoah-Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Holocaust Education Week. The Miami Holocaust Memorial is open to the public free of charge daily from 9 am until 9 pm. Vacationers who are interested in other historic and educational attractions in the city might also consider trips to the city's numerous museums, such as the Children's Museum and the Miami Art Museum.