Holocaust Tree of Life Memorial – Budapest, Hungary - Atlas Obscura

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Holocaust Tree of Life Memorial

The metal leaves on this tree are engraved with the names of Holocaust victims.  


Tucked away in the rear courtyard of the Dohany Street Synagogue is a memorial that is known by many names including The Tree of Life, The Holocaust Memorial Tree, The Emanuel Tree, and The Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs. The sculpture was created by Imre Varga in 1991.

The sculpture commemorates the at least 400,000 Hungarian Jews murdered by the Nazis and their Hungarian collaborators during World War II.

The sculpture takes the form of a silver-colored metal weeping willow tree symbolic of mourning. The tree has thousands of small metallic leaves, some of which are engraved with the names of victims of the Holocaust that were once housed in the Budapest Ghetto.

Some suggest that the weeping willow tree form also represents an upturned menorah. In front of the tree stands a tall, black pillar with two spaces that form the image of the Tablets of the Covenant. It’s believed the pebbles placed around the base of the sculpture are left in memory of those who lost their lives.

Know Before You Go

The tree can be viewed from outside on the street, it is worth paying to enter the synagogue and view it properly.

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June 6, 2022

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