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Far from Germany’s World War II concentration camps in both distance and time, Portland survivors of the widespread torment prompted creation of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. Visit this peaceful spot to remember the horrors of systematic oppression and killing of millions of Jews and other persecuted individuals.
Walk along a stone path in a shady park setting to approach the memorial, which is composed of several sections. In the Town Square, scattered metal recreations of a doll, a single shoe, broken eyeglasses, a briefcase and other simple items represent possessions lost by people as they were taken from their homes and sent to the camps.
Continuing on the path, look down to see parallel tracks representing rails of trains that hauled boxcars of people to the camps. At the History Panel read an extensive inscription to be reminded of the facts about the Holocaust. From 1933 to 1945, Nazis systematically orchestrated the imprisonment and killing of more than 6 million Jewish and other people.
Adjacent is the curved Witness Wall. Read quotations from survivors describing their terrors. Step around to see the inscriptions on the Memorial Wall on the back of the curve. The names include those of Holocaust survivors from the Northern Oregon area and victims of the terrors who are related to local residents. Beneath the wall are soil and ashes from Auschwitz and five other concentration and killing camps.
Sit at the curved stone bench facing the memorial to contemplate these horrors and reflect on preventing future persecution. Rest here to appreciate the scents and hues of spring, shady trees of summer, colorful leaves of fall and isolation of winter.
The Oregon Holocaust Memorial is in the northern part of the large Washington Park west of downtown Portland. While you’re in the park, visit other diverse features including the International Rose Test Garden, Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center, Portland Children’s Museum and Portland Japanese Garden.
The memorial site was dedicated in 2004 and is managed by the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. Enter the park for free from early morning to late evening.
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Located in Downtown Portland, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Powell's City of Books, Pioneer Courthouse Square, and Portland Art Museum. Roseland Theater and Portland State University are also within 15 minutes. Galleria-SW 10th Avenue Station and Library-SW 9th Avenue Station are within a 5-minute walk.
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