Our History

On April 26, 1964, a group of Holocaust survivors led by Dalck Feith, Harold Greenspan, Abram Shnaper, Joe Smuckler, and the Federation of Jewish Agencies of Greater Philadelphia presented to the City of Philadelphia the first public monument in North America to memorialize the Six Million Jewish Martyrs of the Holocaust.

Located at 16th and Arch Streets at the head of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Monument was created by internationally renowned sculptor Nathan Rapoport. It remains the only major public monument in Philadelphia dedicated to the remembrance of the Holocaust.

 

Monument Dedication Ceremony, April 26, 1964
Nathan Rapoport with his iconic contribution to Holocaust remembrance, 1964

In recent decades, an annual Holocaust remembrance event has been held at the site, but otherwise the memorial has become an underused corner of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway due to its design and landscaping limitations.

Since 2006 the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation has been spearheading efforts to preserve the existing monument and reactivate the site for enhanced public access and education. After significant planning and early fundraising, the Foundation has assembled a world-class group of content advisors and Philadelphia civic and corporate leaders to redesign, reconstruct, and expand the existing site of the Monument into the Holocaust Memorial Plaza. The redesigned park will become a destination landmark among Philadelphia’s other historic sites on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which attracts more than 3 million visitors annually.