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Oregon Holocaust Memorial, Portland

4.6
#9 of 37 in Sightseeing in Portland
Monument Tourist Spot
The Oregon Holocaust Memorial is an outdoor memorial dedicated to victims of the Holocaust. Located in Portland, Oregon's Washington Park, the memorial was dedicated on August 29, 2004. Owned by the American Jewish Committee and constructed by Atlas Landscape Architecture and the Walsh Construction Company, the idea for a memorial was proposed in 1994 by Alice Kern and a local group of Holocaust survivors that met through the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center. According to Fodor's, the memorial is open daily from dawn to dusk and admission is free of charge.DesignThe memorial features a stone bench with wrought iron gating around a cobblestone circle. Scattered bronzes of common objects such as shoes, glasses, and a suitcase represent items left behind by those persecuted during the Holocaust. A cobblestone walkway, with granite bars simulating railroad tracks, leads to a wall containing a history of the Holocaust as well as quotes from survivors. The memorial also contains a "soil vault panel", which covers soil and ash from six extermination camps of the Holocaust (Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bełżec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Treblinka, and Sobibor) brought back by local residents. Engraved on the back of the wall are the names of people who died in the camps, as well as the names of their surviving relatives in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Author and designer John Laursen created the lettering for the memorial. Other design team members included artists Tad Savinar and Paul Sutinen, landscape architects John Warner, Marianne Zarkin and Marlene Salon, and historian Marshall Lee.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
152 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I didn't know there was a Holocaust memorial here. Found by accident. Learned a lot. Well represented with little bronzes of things people would have lost: a suitcase, a pair of glasses, a violin, a d...  more »
  • This is a beautiful tribute to Holocaust victims & survivors. I will say we were approached by a somewhat aggressive homeless woman while visiting and it made us uneasy. She was screaming vulgarities ...  more »
  • "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Definitely worth a visit... while you're at Washington Park there are plenty of other things to do as well, so this can easily be added...  more »
Google
  • Very difficult to say nice things about a memorial place of the darkest days of the history of human race. Still, this one does the job very well. We should never forget. Should never happen again.
  • We stumbled upon this memorial while perusing the park. It is touching and relevant. I appreciate this being here and that the memories for those who died so tragically are preserved here. The perspective from the art symbolizes what was left behind by the people forced out of their homes. The bear was exceedingly sad but for me represented the children of the Holocaust.
  • Such a moving memorial. Make sure to read everything.
  • Nice memorial dedicated to those who died during a horrible time.
  • I've visited quite a few memorials of the Shoah, but this outstanding monument in the lush and serene Washington Park in Portland especially struck me. The historical concise description of the Holocaust, etched on the left hand side of the main slab, conveys the incomprehensible dimensions of the worst European tragedy in history in a poignant, effective, heart-wrenching way. An attentive visit to this place should be a mandatory activity for anyone, in particular for young students. The educational value is immense. I could not help recoiling in deep tears, as once again I was overwhelmed with sorrow and shame for what was perpetuated to those minorities just barely eighty years ago. If you are planning a visit to Portland, OR,ake sure you set aside a few minutes to dedicate to this place.

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Where to stay in Portland

For easy foot access to Portland's best shopping, dining, and entertainment, stay in or around the downtown area, connected to the rest of the city by light rail. This compact and busy part of Portland contains the highest concentration of hotel rooms in the city, allowing you to explore options ranging from boutique properties to big chains. Thanks to Portland's convenient transportation system, you can also choose a less expensive motel or bed and breakfast in one of the outlying neighborhoods, and still be within minutes of most major tourist attractions.
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