Holocaust Memorial

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City Boardwalk Holocaust Memorial

Competition Entry (2010)

Conceptual Design

Design, Masterplanning


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Many would be surprised to learn that Desypher submitted an entry for a Holocaust Memorial Competition.

The intention was to throw up a number of challenges in the mindsets of those of Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds. Our contention is to firstly challenge the notion of Holocaust as an exclusive event that by definition lessens recognition of all other genocides committed against a host of peoples. And secondly to demonstrate the cycle in which the victim can easily find him or herself to be the innocent bystander, the perpetrator, the victim or the ethicist. 

Our Atlantic City Boardwalk Holocaust Memorial design represents an overlaying of two ongoing processes:

  1. An examination of genocide – past, present and future; and the basic required responses to any genocide - acknowledgement, repentance and intervention.
  2. The creation of a stage-set made up of spatial installations that invite those that frequent the boardwalk to experience various roles:
    • The “Innocent Bystander” sees and hears from a distance but may elect to walk on.
    • The Naiveté unsuspectingly wanders into the path that is the victim – the endpoint obscured by each turn until the path converges as a “plank” – and he/she is left standing alone under the domineering gaze of the perpetrators
    • The Egotist seduced by the glitz and cliché of the propaganda wall. Embarks upon a more deliberate path that widens as support is collected, peripheral view blinkered, fortified by heartless post mobs until too confronted by victim’s vulnerability at arm’s reach
    • The Ethicist driven by higher consciousness rises the stair and sees all in perspective; enabling reflection and resolution for change and intervention, a trail of moist footsteps from whence he came evaporating

Our entry drew upon consequences of genocides throughout history of mankind, and the message of peace and mercy, in moving forward. Perhaps understandably, it did not make it to the final selection.

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