National Monument to the Remembrance of the Victims of the Jewish Holocaust

The National Monument to the Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust , by the architects Gustavo Nielsen and Sebastián Marsiglia, is located at the intersection of the avenues of the Liberator and Intendente Bullrich, in the City of Buenos Aires , Argentina .

The Government of the Argentine Nation arranged in 2000 to pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and the Legislature of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires authorized its location.

It consists of a wall about 40 meters long and 4 meters high and one deep, formed by 114 paralelepípedos of precast concrete, representing the victims of the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina and the victims of the AMIA bombing . In each block appears a print of some everyday object.

The metaphor is that of the memory imprinted on the stone. Hundreds of individual memories that assemble the collective avatar of a town.

Gustavo Nielsen – Sebastián Marsiglia 1


In 1996, the Chaco deputy Claudio Mendoza (accompanied by Alfredo Bravo , Federico Storani and Graciela Fernandez Meijide ) won the penalty for the National Congress of Law 24,636, ” for the construction of a national monument to the memory of the victims of Jewish Holocaust “. According to this, in 2000 the Government of the Argentine Nation ordered the realization of the work “National Monument to the Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust”. However, this law could not be fulfilled by multiple rejections from different social sectors to the proposed locations 2 and only in 2006 , the Legislature of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires authorized its location by Law 2268. 3 4

In 2007, to the place where the monument is located today, it was given the name of Marcela Brenda Iglesias Promenade instead of Paseo de la Infanta , to remind a girl who died from the fall of a badly placed sculpture in that site , But in 2008, the Legislature of the city passed the law 2728, placing there the delayed homage and giving definitive name to the site: Homage to Holocaust-Shoah Victims . In the grounds it said that ” a recognition should be constituted to perpetuate the tribute of society to the martyrs of the appalling expression of intolerance and xenophobia that mourned humanity in the twentieth century. I remember sense and reflection. Therefore this square should receive the appropriate landscape treatment to achieve such high aims . ” 2

The Secretary of Culture of the Presidency of the Nation then called for a contest for the design of the monument. The jury was composed of Andrés Duprat (Secretary of Culture of the Presidency of the Nation); Teresa Maffeis (Ministry of Education of the Nation); Jaime Grinberg (University of Buenos Aires); Claudio Avruj (Government of the City of Buenos Aires); Darío Jaraj (DAIA); Yiftah Curiel (Embassy of the State of Israel in Buenos Aires); And Donata Finckenstein (Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Buenos Aires, representing Ambassador Gunter Kniess). 4

The allocated budget was 4.4 million pesos , contributed by the Ministry of Culture of the Nation and the government of Buenos Aires plaza built at a cost of two million pesos. 5

In 2009, the international contest was won, with architects Gustavo Nielsen and Sebastián Marsiglia among 70 projects, promoted by the Israeli and German embassies, the Shoah Museum , and the governments mentioned.

At the same time, the outstanding Brazilian landscaper Rosa Kliass volunteered to collaborate with the City’s offices to promote the landscape project. But this was forgotten: the renewal of the concession of the low railway viaduct to a company by the Railway Infrastructure Administration of the Secretary of Transport of the Nation, to exploit a promoted “gastronomic pole” omitted that the Code of Planning Urban city does not admit commercial activity in the place. According to the Doctor in History of Art and Philosophy and Letters, Sonia Berjman , the municipal authorities also did not enforce that code, and in this respect, in 2012, said: the authorities have decided to park the square and de facto admit the existence of A series of food places that occupy part of the land. Can these two activities coexist in the same space? Impossible. The Plaza de la Shoah should be a space for reflection, recollection and recollection, not to buy the “happy box”. 2

Finally, in 2013, the square was built and in 2014 the monument was launched. They handed the end of work on February 8, 2015, but the opening was delayed in part by the death of the prosecutor of the AMIA case, Alberto Nisman , made relations clench between the two entities representing the Jewish community (DAIA And AMIA) and the national government. 5

On January 25, 2016 was held the traditional lighting ceremony six candles, one for each million victims in concentration camps Nazis and later the monument and “opened Walk of the Righteous “. The event was organized by the Ministry of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism of the Nation, as part of the International Day of Remembrance in Memory of the Holocaust Victims , along with ministers, ambassadors, officials, representatives of the Judiciary, survivors and relatives Of the victims. 6


In each block appears the silhouette of some everyday object.

The work consists of a wall of thirty-nine meters in length by a maximum height of four meters. It is made of concrete and consists of 114 cubes representing the total number of deaths in both events note 1 that the attacks of the Embassy of Israel and the AMIA were charged.

In each block appears in an identifiable silhouette, such as: a kitchen apron, a girl dress, a radio, a headset, a photo camera, umbrella, books, musical instruments, tableware, appliances, a cane, pacifiers, etc. . 5

The idea is to emphasize the absence of the human being through these imprinted prints of objects that compose the geography of human life, as if they were urban fossils, in all its stages, which go unnoticed daily but when the subject is no longer , They take on the strength of a presence. 5

To make the prints, they first made molds in silicon rubber, with the support of graphic designers, industrialists and builders. Then the mold was poured into the stone and so the silhouettes were imprinted that account for a culture decimated during Nazism. 5

The wall gives the appearance of being embedded on the railroad embankment that accompanies the Dorrego avenue with the idea that it does not have a central position but indicates a route, accommodating to the environment of the Plaza de la Shoah (ex Paseo de la Infanta) . 7 1

The historical part is represented by three black cubes, one names the memorial, another has a Star of David and the third has registered the year of creation: ” 2014 ” according to the Gregorian calendar and “5775” as the Jewish . 5

The nocturnal illumination is flush from the floor, so that the people, when visiting the monument at night, cut the beams of light as they passed, causing human shadows on the stones, in an involuntary and spontaneous participation. 1

The metaphor is that of the memory imprinted on the stone. Hundreds of individual memories that assemble the collective avatar of a town. 1

According to their authors, it was tried to avoid the testimonial record, because “they are for the showcases of the museums”. The choice of contemporary objects (some did not exist at the time) was designed so that people can grasp the message directly and reach the heart immediately. They chose objects that transform everyone into cultural beings, which can be found in every house in Argentina, whether Jewish or not. It was sought that the monument communicate the disappearance of the normal, small things, that make to the construction of a culture. 1 Continuing with the explanation, the authors felt that each of the massacres orchestrated from the state was mounted on a negative idea of ​​the difference. That is why the monument deliberately seeks to work on the idea of ​​”no difference”: although the Jewish people have, like all, an infinite number of traits that identify it, it seemed to us more interesting and reparative to seek in this case the infinites Points of union between the victims of the Shoah and the international community that houses them. The absence of such an infinity of elements that make us as cultural beings, is the absence of culture. 1

Getting the objects to print on the blocks took six months. Many were donated by people who worked with Nielsen in his studio. Others had to ask for them, and some were hard to come by. They always thought it was better for objects to come with their own stories. That was one of the reasons to weigh the used ones on the new ones. The full list of donors is on a plaque, including the Gotlib family who gave away the lights that show the monument at night. 1

Each object was manipulated to obtain castings in gypsum or alginate , which in turn were filled with silicone rubber to achieve the molds. The whole process was destined to make the final recognition of the objects immediate and easy. 1


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f g h National Monument to the Memory of the Victims of the Jewish Holocaust . By Gustavo Nielsen and Sebastián Marsiglia. ARQA AR 08/13/2009
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b c Delayed Plaza de la Shoah , by Sonia Berjman Diario La Nación , 04/24/2012
  3. Back to top↑ CABA Law Nº: 2268/2006 Published in BO CABA Nº 2612 on 01-25-2007 Portal City and Rights.
  4. ↑ Jump to:a b Page of the Ministry of Culture. Presidency of the Nation
  5. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f Concrete and broken objects not to forget the victims of the Holocaust, by Susana ReinosoDiario Clarín , April 3, 2015.
  6. Back to top↑ The Government commemorated the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the HolocaustTelam Agency, 01/26/2016
  7. Back to top↑ The National Monument to the Memory of the Victims of the Jewish Holocaust. The daily memory. By Gustavo Nielsen Journal Page 12 , 11/18/2012