Children’s Holocaust Memorial, Charlotte
Paul Rosso, Charlotte, NC, Sculptor
Lucas Concrete Products, Builder
The Children’s Holocaust Memorial is the centerpiece of a garden dedicated to Margaret and Lou Schwartz who survived the Holocaust. The sculpture by Paul Rousso incorporates over 2,700 ceramic butterflies made by the Charlotte community and is dedicated to the honor of 1.5 million children who died during the Holocaust. The brightly colored butterflies are attached to a tall segmented pre-cast concrete structure shaped like a heart. Surrounding the heart are six pre-cast concrete arches of different heights and widths. The heart and arches are encircled by a low concrete wall which in turn is surrounded by a brick paver and concrete walkway.
The Butterfly Project (see subject notes) which lead to the creation of this memorial is ongoing and more butterflies will be added to the sculptural elements. Those who paint the sculpture’s butterflies are given a certificate with the name of a child who died in the Holocaust.
Levine Jewish Community Center
May 1, 2011
35.147970 , -80.786200 View in Geobrowse
“Butterfly Memorial,” Foundation of Shalom Park, (accessed April 20, 2017) Link
“Children’s Holocaust Memorial Sculpture Unveiled,” Big Statue, May 24, 2011, (accessed April 20, 2017) Link
“Design, MFG, & Craftsmanship: Shalom Park Butterfly Memorial - Charlotte, NC,” Lucas Concrete Products, (accessed May 9, 2017) Link
“NC Now: The Butterfly Project,” UNC-TV, May 23, 2014, (accessed May 9, 2017) Link
“Shalom Park Children’s Holocaust Memorial,” LS.3P.com, (accessed May 9, 2017) Link
“South Charlotte Center, Community to Remember Holocaust This Weekend,” Carolina Weekly (Charlotte, NC), April 5, 2013, (accessed May 9, 2017) Link
“The Butterfly Project,” Levine Jewish Community Center, (accessed April 20, 2017) Link
Ceramic butterflies, pre-cast concrete
Levine Jewish Community Center
The Children’s Holocaust Memorial Sculpture was unveiled on Yom Ha’Shoah, the day of Holocaust Remembrance. As the ceremony began, 12 who had been touched by the Holocaust stood one by one to get a close look at the sculpture. One of them, 90 year old Henry Hirschmann said “It is overwhelming,” as two of the butterflies memorialized brothers who perished along with his parents. “…I still hold out hope that one day there will be a knock at the back door, and there will be my brothers,” he said.
“Today we turn from memory to majesty in what we can create when we come together across our community and our city,” said Rabbi Judy Schindler of Temple Beth El. “May we as Jews and members of the broader Charlotte community continually move forward to create a world in which all children, no matter their background, are celebrated for the special spark of the divine they bring into our world.”
At the end of the dedication ceremony, numerous live butterflies have been released.
As detailed on the Levine Center website, the Butterfly Project originated at the San Diego Jewish Academy, in San Diego, California. It was inspired by the documentary “Paper Clips” and a poem, “The Butterfly”, written by Pavel Friedmann, a young man who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The project is meant to memorialize the 1.5 million Jewish youth who perished during the Holocaust and to help combat antisemitism, indifference, and Holocaust denial through educational workshops. The goal of the project is to create 1.5 million ceramic butterflies, worldwide.
Beginning in 2008, the Levine Jewish Community Center began work on its own Butterfly Project. For three years, volunteers led more than 60 schools (public and private), civic and religious organizations in the creation and painting of the ceramic butterflies.
The sculpture is located in the Margaret & Lou Schwartz Butterfly Garden of Remembrance and Hope in Shalom Park, 5007 Providence Road in Charlotte, NC.
The sculpture stand in Shalom Park, a 54-acre campus which serves today as the center of Jewish life in greater Charlotte.
Services are held each year on Yom Ha’Shoah, the day of Holocaust Remembrance.