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German History in Documents and Images
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Memorial for Victims of the Holocaust (1947)
Jewish survivors in the DP camps called themselves She’erit Hapletah, the Surviving Remnant, after the biblical concept in the Book of Ezra (9:15): "O Lord, God of Israel, You are benevolent, for we have survived as a remnant, as is now the case." Similarly, Kings II (19:30-31) states: "And the survivors of the House of Judah that have escaped shall regenerate its stock below and produce boughs above. For a remnant shall come forth from Jerusalem, Survivors from Mount Zion." This theme of vitality and the Jewish nation is also found in the central symbolism of the She'erit Hapletah, the image of a tree that has been sawed down but remains firmly rooted in the ground. The fallen portion, which lies with its lower half on the ground, is lifeless and barren, while new shoots sprout out of the stump to entwine themselves around the outlines of Palestine. The photo shows a memorial for the victims of the Holocaust at the Ziegenhain DP camp, which takes up this symbolic theme (April 27, 1947). Photographer unknown.