The Children’s Holocaust Memorial will be officially opened at the Central Library in Auckland on 22 July, 2019.
The Memorial honours the 1.5 million children killed during the Holocaust (including children related to New Zealand’s
own Holocaust survivors and refugees).
The Memorial is the first of its kind in the world, taking the simple everyday button as an icon – chosen by the then
Principal of the Moriah Jewish Day School in Wellington in an effort to communicate to her students the enormity of the
number of children killed. Over 1 million buttons have been collected from around New Zealand and internationally to
symbolise the 1.5 million innocent lives lost.
The majority of the buttons will be contained in a truly unique design and installation by Matthijs Siljee of Massey
University’s School of Design. Other key elements of the Memorial include an interactive educational section -
especially relevant for schoolchildren - and a reflective reading space with a selection of books from the Library’s
substantial Holocaust collection.
“The Children’s Holocaust Memorial represents the culmination of many years work, especially the passion and dedication
of a number of our Holocaust Survivors. The enduring lesson of the Holocaust for New Zealanders is a preparedness to
stand up to discrimination and prejudice and the violation of human rights…in essence, to be an Upstander not bystander”
says Jeremy Smith, Chair of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand.
The Memorial will be at the Central Library from 23 July 2019 to 4 November 2019. After Auckland, it will then travel to
the new Public Library in Christchurch.
The Children’s Holocaust Memorial is an initiative of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand.