The Oregon Holocaust Memorial, dedicated August 29, 2004, serves as a permanent reminder of the Holocaust, where millions were systematically murdered by the Nazi government of Germany from 1933 to 1945. They were murdered because of their political or religious beliefs, physical and mental disabilities, sexual orientation, or assistance to the persecuted. By teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and visiting the Memorial, we pay homage to those who lost their lives during that period. Further, there is hope that we can encourage future generations to be accepting of all good people, regardless of personal choices.
In 1994, the Oregon Holocaust Memorial Coalition had its beginnings when a local group of Holocaust survivors formed the Oregon Holocaust Survivors, Refugees and Families Committee. They organized, with the purpose of memorializing their loved ones and other millions murdered in the Holocaust, by creating a memorial in the city of Portland, Oregon. The site in Washington Park was generously donated by the City of Portland with the unanimous support of the City Council, adding Portland to the list of major cities around the world with such a monument.
The Memorial design was a group project designed by artists Tad Savinar and Paul Sutinen; landscape architects Marlene Salon, John Warner, and Marianne Zarkin; typographic designer John Laursen, and historian Marshall Lee. Upon completion, the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center, took over as stewards and caretakers of the Memorial. With generous support from local individuals, families, businesses and organizations, the Memorial stands as a living testament to courage.
No public funds of any sort are allocated to the Memorial. The OHRC, along with one of its committee’s, The Friends of the Memorial have made a commitment to endow the Memorial by its 10 year anniversary in 2014. Donations to the Oregon Holocaust Memorial Endowment can be made directly to the Center or through our partner, the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation.