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OCT 1, 2011

Luce Sulla Shoah - "Light on the Shoah" (L'Espresso)

LAMH was recently reviewed by Massimiliano Fukas in the Italian weekly magazine "L'Espresso"

Below is a translation of the article.

 

Light on the Shoah


The new Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is located in Pan Pacific Park, a local park next to the Grove shopping mall. Pan Pacific Park, like many parks of the city, regularly sees crowds of children, men and women, attending to everyday activities such as walking their dogs and playing. It’s in this very conventional and non-descriptive location that the Jewish community decided to build a museum with the purpose of reminding us of the atrocities committed in the Nazi camps. There are 16 Holocaust museums in the United States, if I remember correctly. A few years ago, a group of survivors of the Shoah got together and founded a Museum in Los Angeles. It was at first housed on Wilshire Boulevard. For many years, these Survivors acted as educators, receptionists and tour guides. In the first months of 2011, a real public space was opened. The new Museum building is developed on one floor, with ramps. This fluid space houses displays and testimonies of one of the most horrific acts of cruelty ever perpetrated by humanity. The Museum’s roof is covered in green grass. And the inclines cover approximately 10.000 square meters. This project was completed by Hagy Belberg, the lead architect. He was able to do so by working mainly with reinforced concrete. The pillars, floors and roof are cement as well. The recorded sounds of the everyday tragedy of Auschwitz-Birkenau blend in with the laughter and joy of children playing in the park. The structure and its impact are very different from Peter Eisenman’s Jewish Museum in Berlin. Completed in 2004, the structure has 2711 pillars. In Eisenman’s work, the focus was placed on the outdoor metallic landscape. While at LAMOTH, we find ourselves in an indoor landscape. Alone and desperate, now more than ever, and immersed in a light that generously plays with the surrounding space.