Holocaust Memorial at California Palace of the Legion of Honor
The Holocaust Memorial at California Palace of the Legion of Honor is a Holocaust memorial in San Francisco, California, in Lincoln Park, overlooking the Golden Gate. It was created by artist George Segal out of white painted bronze. In 1981 the city invited Segal to submit a design for its competition; his plaster maquette is held by the Jewish Museum in New York. The bronze cast was installed in 1984
Several of the bodies in the sculpture were designed to be symbolic. One of the bodies resembles Christ, another is of a woman holding an apple, evoking Eve. Both symbolize the connection between Jews and Christians. The only standing man, a survivor, is thought to be the sculptor's representation of Margaret Bourke-White's famous Life Magazine 1945 photograph of the liberation of Buchenwald. Segal's friends posed for the casts, so they are not emaciated like the corpses found at the liberation of Buchenwald. This was an intentional choice by the artist, as was the star formation of the corpses, which added some order to the chaotic helter-skelter of the corpses in the liberated concentration camps.
The memorial has been vandalized several times. The most common types of vandalism of the memorial are the graffiti of swastikas and the use of splashes of red paint. Segal indicates that the vandalism is a reminder that antisemitism still exists.
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