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Holocaust memorial design OK’d for Ohio Statehouse

H. Upchurch

The Freedom from Religion Foundation says litigation is likely due to a Holocaust memorial featuring the Star of David.


COLUMBUS — Despite the threat of a constitutional lawsuit, a state panel approved a large Statehouse bronze and stainless steel Holocaust memorial featuring a broken Star of David.


The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board longtime chairman, former Senate President Richard Finan, cast the sole negative vote, then told the board and audience he was resigning.


The memorial will be erected on the Statehouse’s south lawn with a low limestone wall next to it displaying “If You Save One Life, It Is As If You Saved the World.” The board approved the design created by Daniel Libeskind, renowned architect and artist and son of Holocaust survivors.


Joe Sommer, Ohio board member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, said litigation is likely. “The foundation believes that [the Star of David’s] prominent display in a Statehouse memorial would give the impression of government endorsement of Judaism,” he told the board. “Such endorsement is inconsistent with the First Amendment’s requirement of governmental neutrality towards religion.”

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