News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Lehmans

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Holocaust memorial unveiled on Ohio's Statehouse lawn
Controversy arose over the process and the message, but the dedication focused on the emotion
Story by JO INGLES AND ANDY CHOW


 
Gov. Kasich and memorial architect Daniel Libeskind just after they pulled the tarp, revealing the memorial.
Courtesy of KAREN KASLER
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The unveiling today of the Holocaust Memorial at the Ohio Statehouse marks the end of a three-year saga from conception to creation. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, that story includes some controversy and the resignation of a top Statehouse official.

LISTEN: A sound portrait of the dedication

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:00)


LISTEN: The evolution of the memorial

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:36)



Bill Ruth helped liberator the Nordhausen concentration camp, which was part of the Buchenwald in central Germany. He was among those witnessing the dedication of Ohio's Holocaust Memorial on the Statehouse grounds today.

The memorial was first envisioned by Gov. John Kasich three years ago, and ran into controversy over its placement. But those witnessing the dedication said it is appropriate because the extermination of Jews began with laws passed by governments.

“We need to have remembrance in this Statehouse," Gov. John Kasich declared three years ago during the annual Holocaust Commemoration.

“That members of our Legislature and members of the public --  as they pass through this great rotunda-- will be able to understand not just the history of the times when people wouldn’t stand, but the fact that  today that we must stand against evil.”

Those comments set the memorial project in motion. The Capitol Square board which runs the Statehouse created a panel to select a memorial site and artist. However, the board’s chair, former Republican Senate President Richard Finan, strongly opposed the project.

Finan doesn't believe the Statehouse is the appropriate site for a Holocaust memorial and claimed the governor’s involvement intruded on the intended independence of the Capitol Square board.

“What the governor should have done was come to the board to apply for a memorial and then the memorial would go through a process within the board and be approved or not be approved. He didn’t do that," Finan said a year ago.

Differences over how and why
Tensions escalated after Finan asked a Statehouse crew to construct a mock-up of the memorial — and an 18-foot structure of pipes, tarps, and rope stood on the south lawn.

Finan eventually resigned, soon after casting the only “no” vote on the Holocaust Memorial plans.

Other groups suggested that the memorial, which includes two tablets displaying the Star of David in the middle, could threaten First Amendment rights. Joe Sommer is an Ohio board member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, who testified against the structure.

 “We’re concerned that the prominent display of the Star of David — which is a sacred symbol of the Jewish religion —constitutes an endorsement of a specific and therefore would violate the First Amendment.”

Joyce Garver Keller, executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities, says the star does not promote any certain religion and stresses the importance of the memorial standing on public grounds.

“Yes it’s appropriate for government because the Holocaust did not begin with smokestacks and ovens. It began in the halls of government, where legislation was passed that allowed the expulsion of Jews and others that the Nazis didn’t support.”

During today's unveiling ceremony, Gov.Kasich said he hopes the memorial reminds visitors to continue the fight against prejudice and recognize the evil that still exists.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Stories with Recent Comments

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

A small group of tea party and Democrats protest at Kasich campaign stop
Enjoyed your excellent coverage of the statehouse for sometime now, never dreamed I'd be on. The feedback from people has been great. Thank you. Doris Adams

Top staffers are leaving the FitzGerald gubernatorial campaign
I's too bad that the dirt on Fitzgerald dug up by Kasich's operatives and publicized heavily by the Yellow Plain Dealer has caused the weak staffers of the Fitz...

Churches come together to welcome and include Gay Games athletes
Nicely done!!! A little known fact about the El Salvadoran and Columbian scholarships.. A big thank you to the Faith Community for their support of Gay Games 9....

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University