Even for a Holocaust piece, this memorial is particularly powerful. With over 100 sculptures, its centerpiece is the Sculpture of Love and Anguish, an enormous, oxidized bronze arm that bears an Auschwitz tattoo number – chosen because it was never issued at the camp. Terrified camp prisoners scale the sides of the arm, trying to pass their loved ones, including children, to safety only to see them later massacred, while below lie figures of all ages in various poses of suffering.
Around the perimeter of the memorial are dozens of panels, which detail the grim history that led to the greatest genocide of the 20th century. This is followed by names of many who perished. The memorial doesn't gloss over the past. The light from a Star of David is blotted by the racist label of Jude (the German word for ‘Jew’); representative of the yellow star that Jews in ghettos were forced to wear, and two Menora sculptures, flanking the Dome of Contemplation descent to the center, show the transformation from life to death in a rather lurid fashion. It's impossible to spend time here and not be moved.
The memorial was completed in 1990 through the efforts of Miami Beach Holocaust survivors, local business leaders and sculptor Kenneth Treister. Download the excellent free app (Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach) for iPhone or Android to learn more about the sculpture as well as hear testimonials from survivors, peruse slideshows and view interactive maps and additional audio and video.