We believe that now more than ever memorials must strengthen our resolve for justice and tolerance. Our memorial is a call to action. Composed of six million individual stones—one for each of the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust—the Memorial invites visitors to take a stone and light a candle, symbolizing a pledge to prevent past injustices from repeating.
In Jewish tradition laying a stone at a grave is intended to protect against disturbance and to mark the many visitors over the years who come to remember those who have died. This simple act links generations together. The word for stone in Hebrew is אבן or Eben. Because it combines אב or Av (father) with בן or Ben (son)—the word itself represents that link.
The Holocaust—or Shoah—shattered this sacred continuity. Its legacy is not just the elimination of nearly six million Jews but the grievous loss of generations that never came to be—millions of stones yet to be placed. Taking the stone captures that individual memory and symbolizes our individual and collective commitment to justice and tolerance.
This is our proposal. Six million stones placed at and then taken from the center of London. -- John McAslan + Partners and MASS Design Group with Lily Jencks Studio, Local Projects and Arup