April 28, 2009

Cornell News: Holocaust Memorial on the Arts Quad

Print More

If you wander the arts quad today, you’ll see the patch of grass to the left of A.D. White covered in small flags. The display was created in remembrance of the Holocaust, with each flag representing 4,000 killed through the genocide. The flags are not only representative of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, but are also in memory of any minorities that suffered at the hands of the Nazis, including homosexuals and the mentally challenged. Each maligned group is represented by a different colored flag (e.g. Yellow flags represent Jewish victims)

This flag memorial is the latest in a line to adorn the the Arts quad. Most famously, the Black flags that represent Palestinian victims were a source of major dispute within Cornell. They resulted in protests, acts of vandalism and two discussion panels. This latest display, while not as visually bleak as the black flags, recall a vastly darker time in human history.

The new display hasn’t triggered anything in the way of a reaction like the black flags. That’s not unexpected, they represent something vastly different. But, given the Campus’ past experiences with flag displays this semester, it does highlight impact of the flags on campus, whether as a tool of protest, or as a stark reminder of a harrowing past.