Peoria Holocaust Memorial | Peoria, IL The Peoria Holocaust Memorial is located outdoors on the campus of the Peoria Riverfront Museum, near the corner of Washington and Liberty Streets. The Memorial is on long-term loan from and cared for by the Jewish Federation of Peoria. Jewish Federation volunteers conduct tours of the Memorial by request and frequently speak to school groups about the Holocaust and the Memorial during their field trip visits to the Museum. The purpose of the Memorial is to remember the 6 million Jews and 5 million enemies of the state who lost their lives during the Nazi Holocaust, and to help educate future generations about the importance of standing up to bigotry, prejudice and hatred wherever and whenever they occur. The Memorial features 11 million buttons, to signify the lives lost. Why Buttons? Each button is unique — like each person.
- Buttons hold things together, an analogy to each individual who helped hold together their family, their community, and their society.
- Buttons once opened, left the people vulnerable.
- Buttons were a part of all the clothes left behind at the gates of the concentration camps, ghettos, and slave camps.
- Buttons are enduring — they last long after garments have faded and unraveled to remind us of the lessons of the Holocaust.
- Buttons are round and symbolize the cycle of life.
- Buttons are symbolic of “Joining Our Past to Our Future.”