Sunderland artist carves tribute to Holocaust victims

Neil Molloy alongside his Displacement Theory sculpture, commissioned for Holocaust Memorial Day.
Neil Molloy alongside his Displacement Theory sculpture, commissioned for Holocaust Memorial Day.
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A SUNDERLAND artist has carved a sensitive tribute to Holocaust victims.

Neil Molloy’s piece, The Holocaust and Genocide Memorial, is to be unveiled on Sunday at St Aidan’s College, Durham City.

In addition to marking the Holocaust, the work highlights the connection between Bergen Belsen and the now disbanded Durham Light Infantry Regiment.

Dr Henry Dyson, who is the keeper of fine art in the University of Durham, explained: “It was the DLI who liberated Bergen Belsen. This is also the only memorial in the North East that marks the event.”

The work consists of several pieces of stone carved and fashioned by Neil Molloy, a former Sunderland College fine arts lecturer.

Dr Dyson added: “It has a suitcase with the name Zdenka Fantlova and her concentration camp number on it, a bundle of unidentified possessions, a pair of shoes and other things hastily put together by Zdenka, when she was asked to leave her home to go to an unidentified place, that turned out to be Terenzin and Bergen Belsen concentration camps.

“Zdenka’s book, The Tin Ring, was published in 2012 and is a moving account of her horrendous journey until her liberation by the Durham Light Infantry in 1945.

“Neil has sensitively and beautifully carved the memorial which will remain in St Aidan’s College garden in perpetuity as part of Durham University Art Collection.”

Members of the Jewish community will say Kaddish – the Jewish prayer for the dead – at the event, but it is hoped that people from all faiths will be part of the occasion.

l The dedication to the memorial takes place on Sunday at 3pm at St Aidan’s College, Windmill Hill.