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Lviv Ghetto memorial

Lviv Ghetto memorial
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The Lviv (or Lemberg) Ghetto was one of the largest ghettos established by Nazi authorities in the General Government. It was also one of the first to have Jews transported to the death camps as part of Operation Reinhard (this was the code name given to the Nazi plan to murder Polish Jews in the General Government, and marked the deadliest phase of the Holocaust—extermination camps). Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal was one of the best-known Jewish inhabitants of Lemberg Ghetto to survive the war.

The memorial shows an old man frozen in grief and prayer, lifting his head and hands to the sky. One hand of the sculpture is made into a fist symbolizing the suppressed pain and desire for revenge; the other hand is lifted, palm upwards, in supplication and questioning address in prayer. The old man’s head is turned skyward, symbolically doomed not to see the developments beneath, as though frozen in the recollection of the tragedy.

A marble path leads to the man, an imitation of the "road of death." To the sculpture’s right is an imitation of gravestones, while behind the man’s back is a tree, planted at the monument’s opening as a sign of peace and continuing life. At the sculpture’s feet are stone ruins and debris of gravestones, a symbol of death and destruction.

A massive black menorah stands before the monument as a sign of eternal remembrance and respect. The monument’s ensemble stands on the historic site of the Lviv ghetto.

The memorial also honors the victims of nearby Janowska, the largest death camp in Ukraine. Between 1941 and 1943, more than 200,000 Jews were murdered there, approximately one-third of Ukrainian Jewry.

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