3 Willard Hirsch Sculpture, City Hall Park
4 Francis Salvador Memorial, City Hall Park
Charleston’s memorial to the destruction of the Jewish people of Europe, and to the heroic few who made it out, is a testament to the impact Jews have made locally and to the drive and dedication of Holocaust survivors who settled in South Carolina after World War II. In 1994, a group spearheaded by survivors Joe Engel, Pincus Kolender, Charles Markowitz, and Sam Greene began discussing the idea of creating a memorial. Key players included attorney David Popowski, son of Holocaust survivors, Jennifer Phillips, Jeffrey Rosenblum, and Anita Zucker, a daughter of survivors. Architect Jonathan Levi of Boston was selected to design the memorial and Design Works of Charleston to plan the landscaping.
In 1997, builders broke ground along the southern perimeter of Marion Square. Two years later, on June 6, 1999, the memorial was dedicated at a ceremony with 1,500 people in attendance. The irony of its location next to a towering pedestal holding aloft 19th-century statesman John C. Calhoun, a staunch supporter of slavery and white supremacy, has not gone unremarked. Neither has the absence of a monument to the enslaved people whose wealth-generating labor built the city. The year 2020, however, saw some resolution to these ironies: the statue of Calhoun was removed in June by unanimous vote of Charleston’s City Council, and the very next month, the International African American Museum under construction adjacent to Gadsden’s Wharf witnessed a “topping out” ceremony with the placement of the structure’s steel beam.