Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

huener, Jonathan


The New England Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on 22 October 1995 in Boston, Massachusetts following a process of development and design that lasted over ten years. This study examines the progress of the memorial project, and in doing so, addresses the connection between collective memory and identity. In addition, it places the New England Holocaust Memorial in the context of American Holocaust commemoration, emphasizing throughout the role of public discussion and debate in the commemorative process. Mostly importantly, this study confronts the three debates central to the memorial project: 1) the debate over whether or not the memorial was to commemorate the liberators, 2) the debate over the memorial’s location on Boston’s “Freedom Trail,” and 3) the debate over whether the memorial should represent the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust or victims of Nazi Germany in general. An examination of the history of the New England Holocaust Memorial, this study contributes to existing scholarship on Holocaust commemoration in the United States, and illustrates the importance of discussion and debate as forms of commemoration.