In Behind the Rose, James Smith explains the purpose of the rose gardens at the Holocaust Centre:
“While planning [the Holocaust Centre's] first permanent exhibition, my brother Stephen was advised to visit locations of killing in countries like Poland. Over three million Polish Jews were murdered during the Nazi occupation from 1939-45; half of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Many more were deported there from other parts of Europe to be killed. We were told it is like a large Jewish graveyard. But what we found there resembles no graveyard.

As we built the Holocaust Centre, Stephen and I were concerned that the pictures we used in the exhibition of starving prisoners with no names in striped uniforms behind barbed wire might just continue to dehumanise the victims.

So the idea of the Rose Garden at the Holocaust Centre was born; a place, not shaped by historians or curators, but somewhere for victims and survivors to have a little dignity. As Mike and Christine Hogg say of Mike's grandmother, who was murdered in Treblinka, “Planting the rose for Malie helped to give her back her identity” (page 142).

We expected a hundred or so roses to be planted. Today, there are nearly one thousand highly scented white roses growing in the grounds of the Holocaust Centre, many of them dedicated by Holocaust survivors and their families. Each rose has an inscribed plaque helping visitors, mostly schoolchildren, to understand that the victims are not just a catalogue of statistics but human beings, with names”.

If you would like to dedicate a rose please click here