Mel Alexenberg
Author of "Through a Bible Lens"

Future Holocaust Memorials: An Artist’s Appeal to Congress

This week’s headline: “Six world powers adopt nuclear deal with Iran.” incredulously follows last week’s headline: “Smiling Iranian President Rouhani leads a march of thousands chanting DEATH TO AMERICA and DEATH TO ISRAEL”.

In the tradition of Picasso’s Guernica extended into networked times, I created a blogart project to prevent a second Holocaust before Iran executes its plan to wipe Israel off the map with a nuclear bomb as its prelude to global conquest.  This Chamberlain-wannabe deal can only lead to disaster.

As a wakeup call to this great danger, I propose upgrading Holocaust memorials that United States, France, Germany, Britain, and Russia built to mark the murder of 6,000,000 Jews in Europe to include the 6,000,000 Jews living in Israel today that Iran is planning to incinerate.

Ten years have passed since this blogart project was created. In 2007, it was incorporated into the Rhizome Artbase at the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York as an exemplary work of digital art.

The global reach of a networked planet gives artists unprecedented power to express their moral outrage as a worldwide call to action to confront hatred, bigotry, racism, terrorism, genocide, and cults of death and destruction.  My blogart project attempts to reach out across our planet screaming, “Never Again!”

Stopping Iran now may be ten years too late.   Hopefully, the US Congress still has the power to see though the deception of the genocidal Iranian regime and block the bad deal forged in Vienna.  It can stop the ayatollahs determination to build nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to deliver them to Tel Aviv and New York.

Iran’s armed forces chief of staff General Hassan Firouzabadi has warned the Islamic republic’s arch-foes that Iran is prepared for a “decisive battle” with America and the Zionist regime.  Iran will destroy Israel and make the United States will go up in flames.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in his speech to tens of thousands of Basij militiamen in Tehran “Israel is doomed to failure and will be annihilated.  It is the rabid dog of the region that cannot continue to exist.”  The militiamen responded in a loud roar, “Death to America!  Death to Israel!”  Khamenei added that Iran will never back down from its right to develop their nuclear capabilities.

My “Future Holocaust Memorials” blogart project follows in the tradition of artists in the past who confronted evil through their paintings, drawings, and prints, from the etchings of Goya recording the horrors of Napoleon’s invasion, George Grosz’s drawings of the catastrophe of World War I – the disabled, crippled, and mutilated – and his caricatures ridiculing Hitler and his Nazi henchmen, to Picasso’s Guernica crying out against the bombing practice by Hitler’s burgeoning war machine killing hundreds in a little Basque village in northern Spain.

Just as the world’s acquiescence to Hitler’s raining bombs on the village of Guernica gave him the license to proceed with preparing for WW II and exterminating the Jews of Europe on his way to global conquest, the world’s indifference to the thousands of rockets launched against Israel by Iran’s proxy armies, Hamas and Hezbollah, are empowering Iran to annihilate the Jews of Israel as a prelude to global jihad.

holocaust-memorial-in-berlinx-germany

I propose upgrading the Berlin monument that Germany commissioned to commemorate their having exterminated the first 6,000,000 Jews.  It is a sprawling field of 2,700 stone slabs. I propose doubling its size by adding 2,700 more stone slabs as a future memorial to the six million Jews of Israel incinerated by an Iranian nuclear bomb. 5,400 stone slabs for twelve million Jews murdered.

70 years of Holocaust #1, Germany was quick to sign off on a deal with Iran so that it can profit from Holocaust #2. As Iran’s major European trading partner today, German businessmen are whetting at the bit to end sanctions. Even before the agreement is ratified, and sanctions lifted, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is flying to Teheran to be the first in line to make billions through renewed trade with Iran.  The Germans are there two weeks after the virulent anti-Semitic al-Quds parade lead by President Rouhani celebrating Iran’s intention to destroy the Jewish state.  Instead of telling the Iranians to end their Holocaust denial, support for terrorism, genocidal threats, the Germans are busy arranging to reach $10b worth of business per year, including the sale of dual-use technologies to boost Iran’s nuclear and missile development.

When Hitler and his henchmen said they want to exterminate the Jews, people didn’t believe them. “The Jews are the enemy with whom no armistice or peace can be made.” “We must annihilate the Jews wherever we find them and wherever it is possible.” “The victory will be only entirely and finally achieved when the whole world is free of Jews.”

When the Iran’s president and his henchmen say they want to exterminate the Jews, believe them! “Israel is doomed to be wiped off the map in a war of destiny.” “Israel no longer has reason to exist and will soon disappear.” “Israel is a disgraceful stain on the Islamic world and a rotten dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm.”

At the 2009 Holocaust memorial ceremony in the Capital Rotunda, US President Barak Obama declared: “How do we ensure that ‘never again’ isn’t an empty slogan, or merely an aspiration, but also a call to action? I believe we start by bearing witness, by fighting the silence that is evil’s greatest co-conspirator.”

The author’s artworks exploring digital technologies and global systems are in the collections of forty museums worldwide. He is former art professor at Columbia University and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

About the Author
Mel Alexenberg is an artist, educator, writer, and blogger working at the interface between art, technology, Jewish thought, and living the Zionist miracle in Israel. He is the author of "Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media," "The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness," and "Dialogic Art in a Digital World: Judaism and Contemporary Art" in Hebrew. He was professor at Columbia, Bar-Ilan and Ariel universities and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies. His artworks are in the collections of more than forty museums worldwide. He lives in Ra’anana, Israel, with his wife artist Miriam Benjamin.
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