Supreme Court of the State of New York
Hon. Dianne T. Renwick, Presiding Justice
Susanna Molina Rojas, Clerk of the Court

Dedication of the Memorial to the Victims of the Injustice of the Holocaust

Photo: Holocaust Memorial Sculpture

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “When evil men plot, good men must plan. When civil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind.”

Every day our city sees countless acts of human kindness, decency and justice. This memorial is one such act. The erection of this monuments completes four years of quiet work by many decent human beings to promote justice and respect for the rule of law.

I thank everyone associated with this project, especially Justice Francis T. Murphy, who conceived the idea of a monument at the Supreme Court Appellate Division and worked with my distinguished predecessor in office, Mayor Edward I. Koch, to make it a reality.

And I pay tribute as well to Harriet Feigenbaum, the sculptress of the memorial.

I also thank the host of people who supported this undertaking, including Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, William H. Mulligan, William A. Shea, Kenneth Bialkin, David Finkelstein, Alexander Forger, Henry L. King, Denis McInerney and Powell Pierpoint.

Though your acts of kindness do not always receive the attention they deserve, you represent the spirit of New York – the spirit of respect and unity. May God bless every one of you.

David N. Dinkins

We are here, on this gentle spring day, to Remember the unspeakable horror of the Holocaust and to mark that evil with a monument to the victims of that injustice.

From the grief and suffering of the murdered millions we here today pledge that the memory of that injustice will never be forgotten, that all who see this monument or enter this courthouse will remember the price exacted when principles of justice are subverted.

The Holocaust is not one story but millions, each unique compelling and heartrending. With us this afternoon are people who, by sharing their experiences of that nightmare, help us grasp its human dimensions.

This Holocaust Memorial is now and forever a part of this Temple of Justice. It will speak forever of justice under law...

Justice Francis T. Murphy

The loss of the six million Jews who died and the pain suffered by the men, women, and children before their death and of those who survived Auschwitz and other death camps cannot be described. The inhumanity of the Nazis directed at the Jews who were the principal victims at Auschwitz is unbelievable. While every death perpetrated at the hands of the Nazis has to be lamented and recalled with horror, the horror perpetrated against the Jews of Europe was especially cruel.

That is why this monument is so important. The survivors of the concentration camps are now elderly and many are feeble. Soon they will be gone and no one will be left to recall personally what happened. This monument will serve as a remembrance.

Hon. Edward I. Koch

In a moment, we will unveil the Memorial to the Victims of the Injustice of the Holocaust.

The Memorial, transformed through the artistry of Harriet Feigenbaum from a mute shaft of Carrera marble into a powerful and striking symbol of monstrous injustice, will be for all who see it a reminder of events we dare not forget.

Of victims, we dare not forget.

Of murderers, we dare not forget.

Of the human capacity for evil, we dare not forget.

Our common, public memory of the Holocaust has been carved into this marble, enclosed and captured in it, kept whole and safe in it.

That is a good and necessary thing...

Governor Mario M. Cuomo

On May 22, 1990, a ceremony was held outside the Appellate Division courthouse to mark the unveiling of a Memorial to the Victims of the Injustice of the Holocaust. The memorial, a 38-foot columnar marble sculpture created by the artist Harriet Feigenbaum and the only such monument on a public building in this country, is now a permanent part of the Madison Avenue exterior of the courthouse.

At the ceremony, speaking to an audience that included Governor Mario M. Cuomo, Mayor David N. Dinkins and Mayor Edward I. Koch, Presiding Justice Murphy noted the monument’s significance.

“The holocaust memorial we unveil today is not free standing; it is a part of the walls and foundation of this courthouse.... it is fitting that our memorial be part of the Court, just as the memory of the Holocaust should always be a part of our consciousness.”

Photo: Memorial dedication
Left to right: Governor Mario Cuomo, Judge Gertrud Mainzer, Harriet Feigenbaum, Sculptress, Mayor David N. Dinkins, Presiding Justice Francis T. Murphy
back to top