Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Judaic Studies and University Honors
Since the end of the Second World War, Holocaust Memorials have spread beyond Europe and become established in the United States. The genocide of European Jews and other ethnic minorities was an international event, spreading from Western Europe all the way into the Soviet Union. The international coalition which invaded Germany and ended the Second World War, resulted in Holocaust survivors resettling all across the globe. In the United States, where thousands of survivors joined existing Jewish communities, there arose interest for memorializing the victims of genocide and the trauma endured. The Oregon Holocaust Memorial (OHM) is a product of survivors coming together to construct the public memory of the Holocaust for Oregonians. The memorial seeks to transport the visitors to a space made relevant to the genocide, through testimony, remains and design. The project sought to be inclusive and in the process included the memory of the Roma people in a broadened collective memory of the Holocaust. The dissent to the memorial was mostly from members of the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association, but their arguments were based on a perceived loss of space and banalities such as parking. Significant dissent came from a single antisemitic letter written to the memorial coalition. Although there is antisemitism present in Portland, the fact that little rhetoric against Jews was heard during the construction of the memorial shows that Jewish people are well accepted into Oregon society. The memorial constructs a memory that represents survivor views and provides a place of reflection, for those with connections to the Holocaust, as well as those with none.
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Blust, Max, "Oregonian Holocaust Memory: Creating a Portal to the Past for Oregonians." (2020). University Honors Theses. Paper 884.