Greenhead Park could be site of first permanent Holocaust memorial in North of England
16 Aug 2013 08:51
The north of England’s first permanent Holocaust memorial will be in Huddersfield
Greenhead Park is one of three sites which have been shortlisted for the memorial. The other possible sites are the town’s university and Huddersfield New College, in Salendine Nook.
Holocaust Memorial Workshop, Greenhead Park. Volunteers and visitors to the workshop pictured with handfuls of buttons Holocaust Memorial Workshop, Greenhead Park.
One option, revealed in Greenhead Park this week, could be the blueprint for “6 Million+”, a memorial to the six million Jews and other minorities massacred by the Nazis.
The concept, designed by Young Batley youth group, is one of several ideas for the “6 Million+ In Our Hands” project.
Young people, including students from Huddersfield University, Huddersfield New College and members of the Pakistani Youth Alliance, have been working on different concepts with artist Antonia Stowe.
Ms Stowe designed and built the original 6 Million+, a work comprising 6.7m buttons installed at Huddersfield Art Gallery, in 2006.
The final design will be made into a permanent memorial which will be installed at an unconfirmed venue in Kirklees.
The design and the venue will be announced on January 30, three days after UK Holocaust Memorial Day.
Again, it will include over six million buttons representing those killed during the Holocaust and other genocides.
Other ideas include stringing buttons together and making branches to form a tree.
6 Million+ exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery.The 6million buttons installation which was the centrepiece of the Holocaust exhibition 6 Million+ exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery.
Another uses the buttons to make a giant pod inside which visitors can hear the voices of Holocaust and genocide survivors.
Ms Stowe, who is based in Leeds, said: “I’m not just looking at ideas, I’m looking at how people think, connect and describe their own personal stories and their emotional responses.”
But why is the project based around buttons?
Project leader Kim Strickson explains: “Buttons have little stories behind them; like where they’re from and who they belonged to.
“Everyone has buttons and they’re all different with different colours, textures and sizes – a bit like people.”
Involved in the project is Dieudonne Manirakiza, a Kirklees Council officer who survived the Rwanda-Burundi genocide.
Mr Manirakiza said: “I have been giving my ideas and perspectives having grown up in Burundi and seen some atrocities of the civil war.
“It’s about changing the way we think.”
The word Holocaust comes from the Greek ‘holos’ (whole) ‘kaustos’ (burnt).
Between 1933 and 1945 the Nazis massacred six million Jews as well as up to 1.5m Gypsies and thousands of homosexuals, disabled people and political opponents.
Some extend the definition to include the murder of millions of Slavs, Poles and Soviet prisoners of war.
Other genocides include the Armenian Genocide of 1915 (approximately 1.5m victims), Rwandan Genocide of 1994 (up to one million victims) and the Srebrenica massacre of 1995 (8,372 victims).