Memorial to the Six Million
Owner: Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City
Artist: Maurice Newman
Dates: Dedicated June 9, 1963; Relocated 1984 and 1988
In 1958, Holocaust survivors who had immigrated to Kansas City shortly after the end of World War II formed a group called The New Americans. This group commissioned and funded the created of the Memorial to the Six Million. It was dedicated by former Harry S. Truman on June 9, 1963 at the Jewish Community Center's original home on Holmes Road in Kansas City, Missouri. The monument later moved with the JCC to its temporary home at Indian Creek in 1984 and then to its new permanent home in Overland Park on 115th Street in 1988. This sculpture is reported to be the first art work in the United States dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Holocaust.
The front of the sculpture depicts the historic struggles of Jewish people, specifically the Warsaw ghetto uprising. There are skeleton-like figures reaching out for remembrance and reverance of the Torah. The back of the sculpture depicts the historical efforts of the Jewish people for peace since Biblical times. In the flames that rise above these depictions, the names of the loved ones of the New Americans who perished in the Holocaust are engraved in alphabetical order. The Star of David and Hebrew letters and words are also part of the sculpture.