Have you ever wondered about the unique candelabra lit each year at ADL’s Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program?
Created by Colorado artist Barbara Patrick, the candelabra was chosen as the winner of a contest to create such a piece in the 1990s. It has been displayed at the Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program every year since. David Fell & Company, Inc. completed the photo etching and donated the silver for the candelabra.
Ms. Patrick’s concept statement follows below along with photos of the beautiful and inspiring candelabra.
To see the candelabra in person, we invite you to attend this year’s 37th Annual ADL Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program taking place next Tuesday, April 24, at Temple Emanuel at 6 pm. Free tickets are available here.
Holocaust Memorial Candelabra
The Holocaust Memorial Candelabra features a smokestack structure that represents the prison walls and one of the methods of death that the Holocaust victims were subjected to. The patina on the smokestack was achieved by flame and other abuses to the metal’s surface. Wire arms supporting the oil lamps reach through the prison windows, telling through photographs the story of the Holocaust victim’s persecution. The smokestack eventually begins to crumble at the top, allowing the Survivor’s Candle to break through. This portrays the victory of the actual survivors, their ancestors-to-be, and the Jewish faith. Below the survivor’s candle, I etched actual stories and articles about the survivors. I felt their words were powerful, and I wanted to preserve them in metal.
The oil lamps are made of sterling silver that has been photoetched with pictures of actual events of the Holocaust. Each oil lamp has a different photoetched image. For example, one has etched images of men in a train’s box car as they were being shipped to a concentration camp. I used a photo collage technique to combine several photos in each oil lamp; by doing this I could increase the amount of visual information presented to the viewer.
The top oil lamp is the flame of hope and survival, and it will burn the brightest of the six candles. The Survivor’s Candle has photos of the survivors and survivor children. We truly have cause to celebrate the people who endured this tragedy. I believe the surviving children offer hope for the future of the Jewish faith and people. The Survivor’s Candle is shaped like a flower ready to bloom, whereas the other oil lamps are bullet shaped. The six oil lamps represent the six million innocent Jewish people who did not survive the Holocaust.
My inspiration came from having a lifetime of Jewish friends and neighbors, and not understanding why they were being persecuted. I had also read articles about the revisionists saying that the Holocaust didn’t happen or that the numbers of murdered Jewish people was exaggerated. Their rhetoric made me angry. This anger lead me to a design that is ultimately like a time capsule. The truth of the Holocaust on a piece of paper can be destroyed. But by etching the stories and photos in metal I have created a more permanent record of the Holocaust events.
The finished candelabra is 40” x 18” x 18”. The materials used are sterling silver (4 pounds), copper, bronze, and brass. A Jewish owned company, David H. Fell and Co., donated the sterling silver, and they also did the acid etching of the silver. The candelabra is entirely fabricated; casting has not been employed.