New England Holocaust Memorial

A beacon of memory and hope. The New England Holocaust Memorial was built to pay tribute to the six million killed and to honor our survivors. Located on Boston’s historic Freedom Trail, near Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, and many other treasures of American history, the site offers a unique opportunity for reflection on the importance of human rights. The Memorial project was initiated by a group of Holocaust survivors living in the Boston area. By the time the site was dedicated in October 1995, more than 3,000 individuals and organizations nationwide had joined in sponsoring the project. We invite all to visit the Memorial and to join us in reflecting on the impact of bigotry and resolving to combat all forms of oppression.

The Memorial began with a Holocaust survivor, Stephan Ross (Szmulek Rozental), who was imprisoned at the age of nine and whose parents, one brother, and five sisters were murdered by the Nazis. Between 1940 and 1945, Stephan survived 10 different concentration camps. His back was broken by a guard who caught him stealing a raw potato; another time he was hung for eating a potato. Tuberculosis wracked his body. He once hid in an outhouse, submerged to his neck in human waste, to save himself from being shot. Emaciated and near death, he was liberated from Dachau by American troops at age 14.

When Steve and his brother Harry, the only other surviving family member, were released from Dachau to seek medical attention, they came upon an American tank unit. One of the soldiers jumped off his tank, gave Steve and Harry his rations to eat, and embraced Steve, who fell to his knees, kissed the soldier’s boots, and wept for the first time in years. The soldier gave Steve a piece of cloth with which to wipe his tears. Steve later discovered that the cloth was in fact a U.S. flag: a treasured item that has been kept by Steve and his family as a symbol of freedom, life, compassion, and love of the American soldiers.

In 1948, 16-year old Steve was brought to America under the auspices of the U.S. Committee for Orphaned Children. Though illiterate upon his arrival in America, he subsequently managed to earn three college degrees and he worked for the City of Boston for more than 40 years, providing guidance and clinical services to inner-city youth and families.

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