on the River Walk, Providence, Rhode Island

“If anything can, it is memory that will save humanity. For me, hope without memory is like memory without hope.”

-Elie Wiesel, 1986 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

“I speak to young people about my life as a Jew in Nazi Germany because they need to understand how such horrors can happen. Only then can they effectively help prevent genocide and promote world peace.”

-Alice Goldstein, Warwick, Rhode Island, Survivor

At this moment, somewhere in the world, someone is persecuted for his or her culture or religion. Innocents suffer. Fear and cruelty persist, even close to home. But so do empathy and courage.

Poem by Michelle Cicchitelli

And they would not be silenced.

Even as unspeakable genocide flared across Europe, even before we called it Holocaust, the story lived. It lived at first in whispers and rumor, in a reality that challenged belief. And then, in the end – after far too many long years of horror and loss – the whole world knew.

Their voices carried on. The voices of the millions who were lost and the millions who survived, inspiring us with their strength, courage and grace. The voices of those who witnessed, who liberated, and those who dared to protect or protest.

Their story is our story. Its truth is timeless and potent and essential. In shadow and in light, it shows us what humanity is capable of. And it reveals the terrible price of silence.

The first voices are fading now. Those who witnessed and survived the Holocaust are passing into the mists of memory. It is more important than ever to preserve their story, to honor their lives, and to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust are passed down to each new generation.

Never again.

The Rhode Island Holocaust Memorial honors the dead and celebrates the living – building a bridge from the past for young people and for all who seek insight, peace, and solace.