Last Embrace, 1986 by Alfred Tibor
Jewish Community Center of Youngstown
505 Gypsy Lane
Youngstown, Ohio 44504
Youngstown, Ohio area Memorial to the Six Million Martyrs of the Nazi Holocaust, Dedicated Yom Hashoah 1986.
Years of planning and study have culminated with the erection of the Youngstown area Jewry’s Memorial to the Six Million Martyrs of the Nazi Holocaust. The monument rests in a park-like setting on the site of the Jewish Community Center. The location provides visibility to persons entering or leaving the building, lending itself to mass public gatherings and educational programs as well as casual viewing and meditation.
The Holocaust Memorial Committee, in keeping with its charge to establish a meaningful memorial which would stand as a constant reminder to the human family that such a tragedy must never be permitted again, in 1981 commissioned well-known Columbus sculptor Alfred Tibor to create the sculpture Last Embrace.
Last Embrace glimpses the final desperate moment in the life of all humanity as it faces destruction at the hands of an overwhelming and inhuman force. The fourteen faces express a variety of emotions – – terror, defiance, bewilderment and resignation – – as they confront death. Young men, women and children, and the elderly are all swept up in the cataclysmic moment. Fate and circumstances have molded them into a single family — the Family of Man. Their mutual response to the hopeless situation that they face is instinctively to reach out and hold one another. Bound together by the barbed wire of political and religious oppression, the figures cling to one another in a final symbolic gesture of human brotherhood.
The nine-foot statue is mounted upon a granite-faced base engraved with the words “Zachor” and “Remember!” and the poem “I Believe” – – an inscription written on the walls of a cellar in Cologne, Germany, where Jews hid from the Nazis. On the base of the monument are found the names of major ghettos and concentration and death camps, dramatized by an eternal light.
The Holocaust Memorial is sponsored and funded by the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, and the Frances & Lillian Schermer Charitable Trusts by and through the B’nai B’rith, Mahoning Lodge 339 and the Zionist Organization of America, Youngstown District.