RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The mayor of Rio de Janeiro laid the cornerstone of a long-awaited Holocaust memorial in Brazil’s second-largest city.
“The greatest homage we can render to the six million victims of the Nazis is to shout to the world: Holocaust, never again!” said Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella during Friday’s ceremony, quoting Rio’s state assembly member Gerson Bergher, creator of the project, who died last May.
The memorial will feature a 72-foot-tall tower divided into ten parts alluding to the biblical commandments, including the phrase “Thou shalt not kill” at its base. The memorial, which is being built with private funding, is located at the Yitzhak Rabin park, inaugurated by the widow of Israel’s murdered prime minister, Leah Rabin, in 1996.
“Even 70 years after humanity experienced this terrible tragedy, we still see all sorts of persecution, discrimination and injustice in our world. With the Holocaust memorial, Rio de Janeiro joins other major cities on the planet, in revering the victims of this genocide,” added the mayor, who is a fervent evangelical and openly pro-Israel.
The landmark, which also will feature a 130-seat auditorium and a digital media area, will honor all ethnic, religious and sexual minorities persecuted by the Nazi regime. A rail car used to transport prisoners to the concentration camps is expected to be brought from Poland as well as victims’ clothes and shoes from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, according to the organizers.